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THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF LOCAL LAND DEALS DUE TO URBANIZATION AROUND BAHIR DAR, ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0304-03]
Globally, urbanisation is increasing rapidly around the world due to overall population growth and rural-urban migration. The urban population is projected to increase by more than 60% by 2030, and 90% of this growth is projected to take place in developing countries. The rising demand for urban land due to urbanisation tends to be met primarily by converting peripheral rural land. In Ethiopia, rapid urban expansion is one of the areas where the rural farmers and the government are engaged in local land deals. Bahir Dar city is one of the fastest growing cities in Ethiopia, where large numbers of local land deals are concluded every year. On average more than 2900 land deals were concluded every year from 2007/8 to 2016/17 (for ten years). The Ethiopian constitution gives farmers a lifetime right of use of their land, the right to transfer it to the next generations and the right to receive commensurate compensation if they are evicted on public interest grounds. However, it is argued that the compensation paid does not adequately cover the farmer’s loss. This creates numerous economic and social challenges for the affected people, and can also create difficulties for the country’s development efforts. In spite of the seriousness of the impacts of local land deals associated with rapid urbanisation, no comprehensive empirical study has been done on the socio-economic effects of this phenomenon in the study area. In this study, using a unique dataset on 10 years of compensation payments and a stochastic budgeting technique, we quantify the risks associated with local land deals, and offer tools that can be used to inform the decisions of policymakers.