The growth of peri-urban areas in Tanzania and Dar es Salaam in particular has been sporadic due to increasing use of informal processes to access land and participation of various actors with varying interests. As a result, the peri-urban areas of Dar es Salaam have now become tenure hotspots where land access is characterised by high competition, unbalanced power relations among actors and unregulated land market. This has not only affected peri-urban growth but also caused land access governance challenges. Although studies have significantly reported on the challenge therein, in-depth analysis of roles, interaction and power relation among actors has not been addressed. The processes preferred by actors to access land has not been exposed adequately as well. Whereas, studies have highlighted challenges faced by land services consumers, the experiences of actors facilitating land access delivery services has also not been fully explored.
This topic was informed by the situation in Tanzania and it contributes to the international and national ongoing debate and strategies. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) acknowledge the need for sustainable cities and human settlements among other targets and indicators. The New Urban Agenda also focuses on the current and future situation of urbanisation for 20 years. The Tanzania Vision 2025 recognises that governance is an important feature in the socio-economic activities and good performance in the delivering of public services. In fulfilling this strategies various actors’ initiatives as well as supportive legal and institutional framework is fundamental. The research aim was developed for the reasons that peri-urban land access across the world and Tanzania in particular has been changing over time and place influenced by various aspects such as actors, processes, rules, policies and regulations from either external or internal forces.
In Tanzania Dar es Salaam City was chosen because it is a commercial city, experiencing rapid population growth and city sprawl which has expanded the peri-urban geographical space. There is high demand for land for commercial and residential houses, public infrastructure development as well farming activities. The city attracts various actors in implementation of these activities. However, the city also grapples with regulatory and policy encumbrances that guide formal land access. Inefficient and ineffective formal land access processes coupled with high costs, malpractices and bureaucratic systems discourage most people to formalise their land thus, encouraging a number of people to prefer informal options. Peri-urban areas of Dar es Salaam city motivated this study for the aforementioned reasons.