Uganda – Land


3.1 Land and Natural Resources

Uganda’s natural resource base is one of the richest and most diverse in Africa, resulting in the country’s economy relying heavily on these resources for provision of goods and services. The NRM manifesto considers land, which includes other natural resources like minerals, water and forests, as a key factor of production, particularly for Ugandans most of whom are still in agrarian economy. As part of efforts to ensure effective management of Uganda’s environment and natural resources, several policies and institutions have been put in place including; The Constitution, National Land Policy 2013, the National Land use policy 2007 and The Land Act (amended) 2010.

Despite the numerous achievements in land and natural resources management and administration, there still exists some challenges relating to protection of land rights in business operations. There is high incidences of small-scale and mass forced evictions orchestrated by businesses in both rural and urban areas. Illegal eviction is the consequence of lack of security of tenure and it amounts to a human rights viola on if conducted forcefully in disregard to set human rights standards.

High demand for land for large scale investments has resulted into increasing land evictions. For instance in March 2018, two private companies in Kiryandongo and Kitwanga sub counties rendered more than 5,000 families homeless after forceful eviction. Relatedly evictions by Hoima Sugar Works which resulted to displacement of many families in Kijayo Village, Kikube district relating and the increasing urban land illegal evictions which have resulted into destruction of several buildings, leaving families homeless and dependent on government support.

It was also established that those acquiring land for investments rarely undertake Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to determine the implications of land acquisition on the affected community and people. Undertaking a SIA minimizes the risks involved and prevents undue displacement, and ensures adequate rehabilitation, compensation and resettlement. It also guides the land acquiring agency to plan in a formal manner, thus saving costs, therefore reducing the risks involved in business activities.

During consultations, it was established that there is inadequate community engagement in land acquisition processes. This has resulted into increased cases of land conflicts including destruction of the established investments and violations of human rights.



OBJECTIVE 2: To promote human rights compliance and accountability by business actors

4.2.2 Promoting compliance to human rights observance


ix. Promote gender-sensitive and inclusive land use planning by investors.


OBJECTIVE 3: To promote meaningful and effective participation and respect for consent by relevant stakeholders in business operations.

4.3.1 Promoting FPIC for communities in all business operations


ii. Develop and enforce guidelines and policies regarding land acquisition, compensation and resettlement of communities affected by business operations, prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable, such as women, persons with disabilities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.




5.4 Business entities


ii. Ensure free prior and informed consent in acquisition of land and other properties for business operations.



ii. Ensure equal and equitable sharing of benefits among communities in conservation areas.

iii. Ensure equity in settlement and resettlement of the displaced communities particularly the vulnerable groups.

iv. Ensure that businesses under take ESIA prior to commencement of businesses operations
and conduct annual audits.


The strategic implementation framwork in the 1.0 Appendices includes: 

  • Objective 3.0 (Appendices) Improvement in the business entities’ duty to ensure Free Prior and Informed Consent in investment and other business undertakings

Budgeted outputs in Annex I include:

  • Review and enact laws guaranteeing FPIC (Objective 3.0)
  • Developing guidelines and policies regarding land acquisition, compensation and resettlement of the affected communities (Objective 3.0)