Tag: lease

Mizan Law Review Vol 5, No 2 (2011)

Mizan Law Review publishes peer reviewed scholarly articles that identify, examine, explore and analyze legal and related principles, stipulations and concepts based on research findings. Mizan’s articles aim at interpretation, description, exploration and diagnosis towards the solution of problems (or legal issues) including proactive critique and projection that assist the development of laws.(Source African Journals on-line   http://www.ajol.info)


Elias N. Stebek


This article examines whether the land rent contracts and the Ethiopian legal framework on rural land use rights can assure win-win mutual benefits expected from large-scale land transfers to foreign investors. The article further examines the challenges in the realization of the Seven Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investments prepared by FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD and the World Bank Group as a framework of standards for the current global dialogue on large-scale farmland acquisitions. I argue that land-use insecurity in the Ethiopian context results from the extensive powers of executive offices that are empowered to dispossess holders and reallocate land to investors. These powers can be even more discretionary where land transfers are made without prior mapping and demarcation of protected forests and wildlife, and where registration and the issuance of land-holding certificates to smallholder farmers and pastoralists have not yet been made. The article suggests the need to rectify the gaps in the land transfer contracts and most importantly, the need to render the government a custodian (and not owner) of land in conformity with the FDRE Constitution and to ensure that the termination of land use rights is decided by courts so that executive offices would not perform the dual functions of revoking and reallocating rural land use rights.

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Belachew Mekuria Fikre


The right to development stands out as one of the controversial rights ever since its articulation in the 1970s. The adoption of the 1986 United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development underlines the importance of international cooperation for it to be realised. I argue that the emphasis on ‘development aid’ rather than the broader ‘development cooperation’ has contributed a great deal to the politicisation of the right and consequently undermined its materialisation. Indeed, there is the need for semantic and conceptual clarity in the use of the term ‘international assistance and cooperation’ that has deceptively supplanted ‘international cooperation.’ While the former is a term used under Article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights with a view to laying down the broader States Parties’ obligations, the latter is what the Declaration on the Right to Development exclusively employs. I argue that even if development assistance is indispensable, taking it as the sole approach to the realisation of the right to development is both wrong and unhelpful.

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Hailegabriel G. Feyissa


Ethiopia’s aviation history goes back to the late 1920s. And, carriage of goods and passengers by air dates at least as far back as the 1940s – the decade which witnessed the establishment of Ethiopian Air Lines Corporation (now Ethiopian Airlines). Despite Ethiopia’s relative success in commercial aviation, domestic literature on commercial air law has been scanty. Court decisions involving air carriage are rare, and one can seldom find a course on air law in the curricula of Ethiopian law schools. This article is an attempt to briefly address the gap in literature and encourage further academic discourse on Ethiopian law of air carriage with particular attention to the law and practice regarding international carriage by air.

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Taddese Lencho


The Ethiopian Value Added Tax of 2002 follows the standard approach of exempting financial services from VAT. Not all ‘financial services’ are, however, exempted from VAT. A number of services provided by the financial institutions are made taxable by the VAT laws of Ethiopia. No subject in this regard has probably attracted as much attention and controversy as that of sale by foreclosure of property held as security by banks. Both sides (i.e., members of the financial industry and the tax authorities) seemed locked in their conviction over the treatment of foreclosure sales in VAT. Members of the financial industry (in particular banks) are convinced that foreclosure sales enjoy the privilege of exemption in VAT while some within the Tax Authorities are equally convinced that foreclosure sales should be chargeable with VAT. These controversies have played out in the courtrooms, the press and a number of communications between the Tax Authorities and the members of the financial industry. This article examines these controversies and analyzes the scope of exemptions for financial institutions under Ethiopian VAT laws.

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The New Land Lease Proclamation: Changes, Implications

(Daniel W. Ambaye

E-mail: danambaye@yahoo.com

This Article which is written in English and Amharic, first appeared on the Reporter newspaper.  It was suggested to me by the writer himself. The writer is a lecturer at the Institute of Land Administration, Bahir Dar University)


The New Land Lease Proclamation: Changes, Implications


The House of Peoples Representatives has passed a new urban lease holding proclamation in October 2011 that is termed as Proclamation 721/2011. This proclamation repeals the previous urban land lease holding proclamation no. 271/2002. The new proclamation has introduced some new and controversial articles which generate lots of discussions among the people and government officials.

Daniel Weldegebriel Ambaye tries to investigate the basic contents of the major changes introduced and the possible implications thereof.

Background and objectives of the proclamation

Before the revolution, urban land was held in Ethiopia in private ownership. When the Derg came to power in 1974, it passed a proclamation (47/1975) that transferred all urban land and extra houses to government ownership. Land owners lost their land without compensation and land was not subject to sale, mortgage, donation, lease and so on. Urban residents were allowed to keep one residential house and another business house, if necessary. Those who had no house at that time were allowed to get a land not more than 500 square meters to construct one. And those who had no ability to do so were given government houses on rental basis. Continue reading “The New Land Lease Proclamation: Changes, Implications”


Proclamation No. 721/2004


 WHEREAS it is provided by Article 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia that land is the property of the State and the people of Ethiopia and that its use shall be subject to specific regulation by law;

 WHEREAS the sustained rapid economic growth registered across sectors and regions in the country has steadily and exponentially increased the demand for urban land, and such development requires prudent and responsive land resources management;

 WHEREAS the prevalence of good governance is a foundational institutional requisite for the development of an efficient, effective, equitable and well functioning  land and landed property market, the sustenance of a robust free market economy and for building transparent and accountable land administration system that ensures the rights and obligations of the lessor and the lessee;

 NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with sub-article 2(a) of Article 55 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is herby proclaimed as follows:

1. Short Title

This Proclamation may be cited as the “Urban Lands Lease Holding Proclamation No.721/2004

2. Definitions

In this Proclamation unless the context otherwise requires:

1/ “lease” means a system of land tenure by which the use right of urban land is acquired under a contract of  a definite period;

2/ “urban land” means land located within an administrative boundary of an  urban center;

3/ “urban center” means any locality having a municipal administration or a population size of 2000 or more inhabitants of which at least 50% of its labor force is, primarily, engaged in non-agricultural activities;

4/ “region” means any state referred to under Article 47(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;

5/ “city administration” means the Addis Ababa City Administration or the Dire Dawa Administrative Council;

6/ “appropriate body” means a body of a region or a city administration vested with the power to administer and develop urban land;

7/ “public interest” means the use of land defined as such by the decision of  the appropriate body in conformity with urban plan in order to ensure the interest of the people to acquire direct or indirect benefits from the use of the land and to consolidate sustainable socio-economic development;

8/ “urban plan” means structural plan, local development plan or basic plan of an urban center including annexed descriptive documents which are  legally endorsed by the authorized body and have legally binding effect;

9/ “tender” means a modality of land use right transfer applied for  providing urban land on lease to the highest bidder on the basis of market and competitive parameters;

10/ “allotment” means a modality of land use right transfer applied for  providing urban lands by lease to institutions that could not be accommodated by way of tender;

11/  “lease benchmark price” means the threshold price determined by taking into account the cost of infrastructural development, demolition cost as well as compensation to be paid to displaced persons in case of built up areas, and other relevant factors;

12/  “grace period” means a time frame that a lessee is relieved from payment after effecting the advance payment and before the commencement of the annual lease payment;

13/ “construction start-up” means the construction of at least the foundation and erection  of  re-enforcement  bars  to  cast   columns  of the planned construction;

14/ “completion of foundation” means the construction phase whereby the building site is dug, reinforcement concrete is filled in and its floor is completed and erection of its first wall is started;

15/ “half-completion of construction” means:

a) in the case of a villa, completion of foundation, columns and top beam;

b) in the case of a multi-story building, completion of foundation and 50% of the total number of floor slabs;

c) in the case of a real estate development, completion of the construction phase referred to, as the case may be, in paragraph (a) or (b) of sub-article (1) of this Article relating to the entire blocks.

16/ “completion of construction” means the full completion of a building and installation of basic utilities in accordance with the plan and make it ready for use;

17/ “old possession” means a plot of land  legally acquired before the urban center entered into the leasehold system or a land provided as compensation in kind to persons evicted  from   old settlements;

18/ “manufacturing industry premise” means plots of  land reserved, developed or allotted, in accordance with the land use plan, for use of manufacturing industries;

19/ “mega real estate” means a housing development involving the construction of at least 1,000 residential units with a view to alleviating the shortage of housing in urban centers;

20/ “projects having especial national significance” means projects having outstanding contributions in the success of the country’s growth and transformation, or projects which, in the course of expanding the country’s cooperative relations with other governments, are intended to lay strong foundation for  the relations between the countries;

21/ “Ministry” means the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction;

22/ “person” means any natural or juridical person;

23/  any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.


Ethiopian Urban Land Lease Law (the previous!)

Still I am not getting any good news about the publication of the newly adopted urban land lease law. I will be posting on this new law the moment I get access to it. The following material,  taken from Land Law Teaching Material, an official text book for all Ethiopian law schools, is a must-read to get a glimpse of the nature, content and scope of Ethiopian urban land lease law. It thoroughly discusses and analyses the Lease Holding of Urban Lands Proclamation No. 272/2002 (which is amended or may be totally repealed by the new law.)

The material is prepared by :

Daniel W/Gebriel


Melkamu Belache

Under the sponsorship of:

 Justice and Legal System Research Institute

The material (taken From Chapter Three) is presented here as it is.

3.4 Urban Land Lease

3.4.1 Scope

Today, in Ethiopia, lease is the “cardinal” and “exclusive” land-holding system to transfer urban land to users in accordance with the master plans of each urban area. Hence, unlike the housing sector, urban land is governed by a special legislation, namely, the Lease Holding of Urban Lands Proclamation No. 272/2002. And yet the civil code may be applied whenever necessary. The scope of application of the law is “to an urban land held by the permit system, or by lease-hold system or by other means prior” to the coming of the proclamation “as well as to an urban land permitted hereafter.” Continue reading “Ethiopian Urban Land Lease Law (the previous!)”

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አቶ ያረጋል አይሸሹም ታስረው ፍርድ ቤት ቀረቡ ሪፖርተር

የማስታወቂያ ረቂቅ ሕጉና ባለድርሻ አካላት  ሪፖርተር

እነ ኤልያስ ክፍሌ የተመሠረተባቸው የአሸባሪነት ክስ እንዲሻሻል ትዕዛዝ ተሰጠ  ሪፖርተር