Land policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Overview" in Akinyi Nzioki, Land Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa, Centre for Land,Economy and rights of women,
Odhiambo, Lewis Omwanda
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The twentieth century will go down in history as a century when Africa fulfilled the dismal Hobbesian prediction. Africa has become the one continent in the world where human life is hardly worth living because of the man-made problems of inequality and impoverishment. This thesis examines the effect of land consolidation on gender inequality and feminized poverty in a particular community in Kenya. This depends on historical documentation, comparative statistical evidence and interviews that the author conducted in the Siaya District of Kenya as well as in Nairobi. The thesis argues that land consolidation turned out to be a policy of dispossession and impoverishment imposed and sustained by a particular colonial authority on the people of Siaya. It does not accept suggestions that land consolidation was a positive development policy. Initially it started as a punitive measure that was imposed by colonial force in a state of emergency. The Luo people were not recognised as having their own traditional way of land ownership and use, a right and a heritage that had served them for centuries. An honest and ethical approach to life that had been inculcated in the culture and widely reflected due to lack of policy informed development. The Luo as a society sacrificed and lost all their dignity, and their social, human, physical and economic resources to colonial and post colonial Kenya. Siaya eventually became the most socially underdeveloped and therefore the poorest district in Kenya. This thesis is presented at a time when, paradoxically, the international community has resolved to eradicate poverty from the face of the earth. Different international agencies accept that this is possible. Certainly it will depend on a strong will. There are many people in the world who are ready to help others empower themselves, but not discriminate against them or dominate them. These are the people who will confront the problem discussed in this thesis. Overall, this thesis contributes to an understanding of the reasons why poverty has not been eradicated in Siaya and may even have increased. Having^vitnessed the failure of development policy, humanity will be defeated and international citizenship will remain a dream in the next century unless strategies to eradicate poverty and gender inequality become more successful.