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Prof. Clement Resetselemang Leduka
National University of Lesotho | Department of Geography



This is a scoping report on urban land markets in Lesotho that provides current background on urban land market governance in Lesotho. The report, commissioned by Urban LandMark, also reviews the efforts of the Lesotho government, assisted by its international development partners, to reform its land management and administration systems.

The report focuses particularly on current reforms supported by the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the government of the United States of America, specifically the potential impact of the reforms on access to land by the urban poor. This report also identifies issues around Lesotho’s modernisation of its governance systems for land administration where organisations working in this area could provide support in the medium term, and identifies opportunities to make urban land markets work better for the poor in Lesotho.

The report is divided into nine sections, including this introduction. Sections 2 and 3 provide brief background information on urbanisation and the evolution of modern urban land law in Lesotho, respectively. Section 4 identifies and discusses the areas of the MCC’s assisted land administration reforms that have a potential to influence urban land market activity in Lesotho and provides some tentative notes on the likely impact of the interventions on access to land by the urban poor in Lesotho.

Section 5 discusses governance of urban land, while section 6 highlights the pattern of urban land ownership and rights. Section 7 provides some information on urban land market actors, while the nature of urban land markets is presented in section 8. Section 9 summarises the issues that could inform a future work programme in Lesotho.

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