The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) has published a great number of articles on issues
of economic importance in Namibia over a number of years. Many of the articles relate to matters
concerned with land and livelihoods, which are issues that feature heavily in our debate and
discourse. This booklet reproduces those articles in a single volume, for ease of consumption and
For many years, the Association has espoused the benefits of focusing on policy interventions
that unshackle the potential of the Namibian people, catalysing this potential towards greater
development, building capacity and wealth, and ultimately breaking the chains of poverty and
inequality that continue to hamper far too many Namibians. Key interventions such as improving
access to ownership of urban land (rather than providing houses); increasing land ownership
opportunities in communal areas; enhancing access to savings mechanisms; stimulating
cash-multipliers in rural societies; and strategic, evidence based, intervention and restitution on
communal and commercial land form but a few of the proposals tabled by the EAN.
Many of these proposals are now being given the consideration that they clearly deserve. The
EAN is proud of its contribution in making these and other proposals, as well as its track record
of sparking discourse and debate to improve the lives of Namibians, however challenging these
debates may be.
In this regard, the EAN regularly takes an independent and objective position on critical and
emotional issues, where such views are founded in research and evidence. However, at the same
time, the Association appreciates the human, often emotional, factors at play in decision making
and public opinion.
This booklet on Land and Livelihoods comes at an important time, as the Namibian economy
shows lacklustre performance at best, and as unemployment, inequality and poverty show undesirable
trends. The contents of this booklet provide extensive insight and recommendations on
policy interventions and options that can help lead Namibia out of these challenging times.
The overview of the booklet is as below:
URBAN LAND AND MIGRATION 7
Rural-urban migration – a blessing in disguise
Urban migration: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Too Poor to Own Land
Namibia’s housing problem is not hard to address
Why do so many Namibians have to live in urban shacks?
Windhoek: A Tale of Two Cities
House prices not just expensive, but unaffordable
Would a Land Value Tax reduce the housing backlog?
Why is Namibia changing rapidly from a rural to an urban society?
Public spaces create business opportunities
How Manhattan solved its housing problem in the 1800s
Housing market moves to buyers’ market
Roads vs Streets: the Economic and Social Cost
INCOME AND INEQUALITY 26
The myth of the lazy poor
One small, but big aspect of the Basic Income Grant
The multiplier effect of Basic Income Grants
How about a Basic Nutrition Grant instead?
Is food security more important than cash security?
Perpetuating inequality on a daily basis
Most Namibian families can’t own land!
Not the source, but the level of income matters
How do rural people save and invest traditionally?
What is the purpose of property rights?
The cost of bypasses
Transport services, jobs and motor cycles
RURAL LAND AND FARMING 40
Should tenure systems still govern land uses, or vice versa?
Capital or revenue: the use of land by wealthy, urban livestock owners
“We will die communal”
Strip the Emperor’s clothes: the façade of the rural
What is the purpose of livestock in Namibia?
Crop farming on communal land: maximising production or minimising risk?
The Business of Land Grabbing
What is land reform all about, or what could it be?
Please download the booklet here: