Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Monitoring Land Governance

status of land governance in igad regionThis is a synopsis of the review of international and regional land governance policies and institutions as well as the review of policy, legal and institutional frameworks of land governance in the IGAD member countries. A snapshot of specific land governance issues at the international, regional and national levels in the IGAD region is discussed. At the international level, several instruments that provide guidance for land governance in the IGAD have been developed. The major ones are:

  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);
  • The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 1979;
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
  • European Union (EU) Land Policy Guidelines (2004);
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (2010);
  • The IFAD Environment and Natural Resource Management Policy, 2012.

The above instruments emphasize the need to recognise land rights of women and local communities. At the regional level, there are also instruments and policies that have been developed that provide guidance to land governance in the IGAD region. The major ones are:

  • The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa;
  • The AU Declaration on Land;
  • Agenda 2063;
  • The Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (2010);
  • The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) the Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa (2009) the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1981);
  • The Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa (2003);
  • The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (2014).

The above instruments provide guidance on land policy formulation and implementation. At the international level, there are several key institutions that are important in supporting land governance activities in the IGAD region. The key ones are:

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
  • The World Bank;
  • UN-HABITAT and;
  • International Land Coalition (ILC).

The above institutions support policy and legal reform and protecting security of tenure. At the regional level, there are institutions that support land governance in the IGAD region and the key ones are:

  • The African Union Commission (AUC);
  • African Development Bank (AfDB);
  • The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA);
  • The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and;
  • The African Land Policy Center (ALPC).

The above institutions create opportunities for enhancing land governance in the IGAD region.

IGAD region is made up of 8 countries namely: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The countries have similarities and differences in the land tenure systems, policy, legal and institutional framework. A review of policies and laws in the IGAD member countries, indicates that countries are at different levels of the development of policies and legal frameworks. Kenya and Uganda have recent comprehensive land policies and laws, while Djbouti and Ethiopia have no land policy but have land laws that address urban and rural land. In South Sudan, the Land Act has been developed but it is not implemented due to political instability while in Sudan the land laws are outdated and are heavily based on colonial principles and this is causing land conflicts between the pastoralists and agricultural farmers. In Somalia, there is almost no policy or law on land governance.

A review of the institutional framework in the IGAD member countries indicates that some countries have national land instititutions and while others do not. For example Kenya and Uganda have specific Ministries for land administration and National Land Commissions though there are conflicts of mandates, inadequate transparency and low level of land information systems that still affect land governance. In Ethiopia, rural land administration is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development while urban land is under the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. Managment of rural land is decentralised to regional governments while urban land administration is delegated to city governments and municipalities. However, there is no national land institution to administer land. In Djibouti, there is no specific Ministry for Lands and there is no national land body. In South Sudan and Sudan, there is no specific Ministry of Lands . The national land institutions were established under the law but are not operational. In Somalia there is almost no institutional structure for land administration.

A review of the Training and Research Institutions in the IGAD member countries, indicates that apart from Ethiopia, that has a specialized training institution in land administration, in all other countries, training in land administration is scattered in various institutions and does not adequately address training needs in the region. In some countries such as Djibouti, training is done abroad which is expensive and does not necessarily cover the local training needs.

Based on the above findings, the following recommendations have been made:

At IGAD Level

  • Strengthen IGAD Secretariat‟s capacity on coordination/technical assistance on land governance;
  • Strengthen IGAD Land governance by developing regional frameworks and related protocols for cooperation;
  • Develop regional platform for dialogue, exchange and learning among states;
  • Develop IGAD land governance training and research program;
  • Coordinate implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework for land governance.

At the National Level

  • Develop land policies and laws and reform institutions especially in Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan;
  • Improve tenure security - communal & individual lands especially in Sudan;
  • Increase access to land and tenure security for the poor and vulnerable people in all IGAD member countries;
  • Increase efficiency and transparency in land administration especially in Kenya and Uganda;
  • Strengthen land disputes resolution mechanisms for both statutory and customary land in all IGAD member countries;
  • Increase scope and effectiveness of land use planning in all IGAD member countries;
  • Improve public land management;
  • Develop post-conflict land administration in South Sudan and Somalia.

Read more on  folder Monitoring Land Governance ...