Land Tenure and the Grassroots’ Concern in Bamako

Between Social Embeddedness and Political Alienation

  • Lamine Doumbia DHIP/CREPOS - University Bayreuth, Germany


The question of the practice of urban land in Bamako is the subject of a crucial (in-)security, which is based both on bureaucratic imbroglio and on an epistemological difference of regularisations of access to the ground through national, regional, municipal institutions and the grassroots. To put an end to the illegal occupation of urban land by the population in need of housing, the state and its representatives have undertaken urban redevelopment measures. Land speculation is taking hold where the State’s intervention capacities do not seem capable to control demographic pressure. Households have been and continue to be evicted by the authorities for projects deemed as “urban redevelopment” or “public utility.” Some citizens have regrouped in Associations that have set themselves the task of combating abuses by the state.

Author Biography

Lamine Doumbia, DHIP/CREPOS - University Bayreuth, Germany

Lamine Doumbia is an anthropologist from Mali who, after studying Cultures and Societies of Africa and Geography of African Development at the BA level obtained a Master of Research in Cultural and Social Anthropology from the University of Bayreuth, Germany. During his studies, he conducted ethnographic research in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, leading to an anthropological critique of the planning processes of the city of Addis Ababa. He completed his doctoral thesis in legal and political anthropology at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), which was published as Une sécurisation foncière urbaine dans l’impasse. He is currently postdoctoral researcher in the international program “The Bureaucratisation of African societies” of the German Historical Institute in Paris (DHIP) and the Center for Research on Social Policies (CREPOS) in Dakar for a research project on “Land tenure and Bureaucratisation in Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso.” E-mail:

How to Cite
DOUMBIA, Lamine. Land Tenure and the Grassroots’ Concern in Bamako. Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 33-54, dec. 2018. ISSN 2570-7558. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 15 july 2020. doi: