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Beyond Coloniality of Markets: Exploring the Neglected Dimensions of the Land Question from Endogenous African Decolonial Epistemological Perspectives

Chimusoro Kennet Tafira
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni


Oftentimes the land question is discussed in economic terms. Agricultural relations of production, productivity, and food sustenance and food security are given higher priority. For this reason, some believe that by correcting the land imbalances through equitable land redistribution, mass starvation will ensue and food shortages will lead to economic devastation. This is despite the fact that millions still face hunger, even if they do not have land. In this paper, we contend that, firstly, land cannot be analysed as a market and economic logic. Secondly, Africans perceive land in holistic terms: its value encompasses the economic factor that is not sequestrated from other social phenomena, such as religion, spirituality, social interactions, the family and the polity. Thirdly, Africans have never regarded land asa commoditised private, individual and economic asset transferable in monetary and market relations of exchange. Indeed, privileging land as a market commodity is a result of colonial capitalist property relations and colonial jurisprudence, which is counter to African land law. Thus, any land redistribution programme must factor in African endogenous epistemologies, the question of being and ontology, worldview and other cultural indications

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eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804