Abdoulaye Harissou, notary in Cameroon, re-examines in his book the major theories of land rights, including that of Hernando de Soto. Above all, it exposes the obstacles to be dealt with in many developing countries to obtain an official document recognizing the property.
In Egypt, for example, no fewer than 77 administrative procedures from 31 private and public agencies are required to record a barren piece of land owned by the state. The process can take 14 years. Often, these procedures are financially prohibitive for the vast majority: in Madagascar, it took 300 to 600 €, when the average income is 30 to € 50 per month. Difficulties in having their rights to land or homes recognized weigh on the poorest: unable to have their heritage recognized, they can not benefit from it, for example to obtain loans.
The value of Abdoulaye Harissou’s book is that it goes beyond a mere inventory. It offers a possible solution: the simplified, secure title (SST). Developed based on a successful experience in Madagascar and inspired by microcredit, this tool would reduce delays in obtaining land titles to six months for a maximum cost of 70 euros.
The Supreme Council of Notaries – the Fondation Chirac’s partner on land rights issues – and the Futuring Press agency both supported Abdoulaye Harissou as he wrote this book. Last June, at the Notary Congress, he could be found at the Fondation Chirac stand, dedicating his book.
A video interview with Maître Abdoulaye Harissou (in French):