Land speculation in Khartoum

Georgists will not be surprised that the Sudanese capital of Khartoum suffers from land speculation.  A perceptive article in the Sudan Tribune notes that downtown building lots go for $500,000 to $2 million USD. “The rents in Khartoum have also increased due to huge demand from the oil companies and UN agencies…”  Another source of speculative increase:

The Bank of Khartoum recently initiated the first mortgage policy in the history of Sudan and they announced that their customers could buy, through the bank’s policy, a house or an apartment and pay in installments over a period of 15 years.

Although he doesn’t draw the direct link between speculation and finance, Ahmed Elzobier’s article notes that “land speculation is, at best, a high-risk, high-return investment. At its worst, it is the playground of scam artists and rife with high-level corruption.”

Henry George’s analysis is brought in thru a Progress Report of Fred Foldvary. However, Elzobier does not mention George’s remedy, the taxation of land value.  Instead, he suggests that Mozambique “has the best land policy in Africa. According to the country’s 1997 Land Law, land in Mozambique is still owned by the state and cannot be bought or sold, but the rights of people or communities to use the land, and sell assets on it, are recognized.”  Being truly ignorant about Mozambique, I wonder how well this works.

Although the Sudan Tribune site claims to allow comments, I could not figure out how to make this function work, so I cannot comment on the story.

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