Eduard Gragallo, “Beyond Black and White : Ethnicity and Land Reform in Namibia” in Politique africaine Volume 120, Issue 4, October 2010, pages 153 to 173
The land reform process in Namibia has been based on the official policy of “nation building” which attempts to ignore the existence of ethnic differences and tensions. The government has refused both to accept claims to ancestral lands by communities dispossessed during colonial times; and to recognise as “indigenous” any of the Namibian communities. Land acquired from white farmers is, therefore, redistributed to “African” beneficiaries regardless of their ethnic identity or their history of dispossession, and plots can thus be allocated to people who were never deprived of their land. This articles tries to analyse the reasons behind this policy, and to show how it makes many ethnic communities feel discriminated and unfairly treated.