Saturday, Jul 20, 2019

About the IGAD Regional Multi-Stakeholder Platform – A space for regional dialogues on land governance

Dialogue to IGAD is a way of exploring the roots of the many crises that face humanity today. It enables inquiry into, and understanding of, the sorts of processes that fragment and interfere with real communication. For IGAD, the process of dialogue is more important than ever today for a number of reasons. Firstly, the confrontation between different cultural traditions and worldviews requires some process by which people can communicate across differences. Secondly the fragmentation of society into a myriad of subcultures based on profession, status, race, ethnicity, political loyalty, etc., make it necessary that people find a pathway to common ground and lastly, traditional authority structures are falling away and the emergence and strengthening of formal systems is taking root.

Given the importance of land to economic and social development and to ensuring peace and security, the majority of African governments have embarked on land policy and institutional reforms to address land issues in the context of national development. The key issues that need to be addressed in this context are: securing land rights to improve livelihoods and facilitate economic development; the centrality of urban land delivery and urban land development; natural resource access and sustaining common property resources; property rights and environmental sustainability; equitable land distribution and restoring wasted and alienated land; land and gender issues; and land and conflict; among others.

Land policy needs to secure the rights of all land users and serve the multiple goals of equity, poverty reduction, income growth, economic efficiency and sustainable environmental management. To facilitate land policy formulation and implementation within the framework of the AU Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030), and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The need to have efficiently functional land administration systems has never been more apparent given the increasing pressure on land as an engine for growth, the population growth, urbanization, competing land claims and the growth of the land markets in the region. At the center of all these developments are people whose rights and interests must be taken into account.

Einstein is quoted to have said ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Dialogue is the only way for us to come in contact with the ‘whole’ of which we all are a part. Through dialogue we in the IGAD region are able to foster mutual insight and common purpose in improving land governance.

The regional dialogues create an enabling environment for member states to learn from each other and identify possible areas of collaboration and convergence in taking forward innovations in land governance. Furthermore, the regional dialogues seek to bring civil society and the private sector to interact with the member states and as such creating new pathways for national dialogues to emerge on land governance.

As we move into times of accelerating change and deepening uncertainty in the region and globally, we need to get smart about how to talk to one another as individuals, institutions and Member States. We need to be able to overcome differences, find common ground, build meaning and purpose, and set directions together. We need to be able to think together as groups, as teams, as committees, as communities, and as citizens of the IGAD region.

The IGAD Secretariat, facilitates thematic interactions through these regional dialogues with a view to improving land governance in the IGAD region.

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