IGAD and Partners Launch Regional Land Governance Dialogue Platform
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a grouping of eight countries from the Eastern Africa and the Horn region, convened the inaugural Regional Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue Platform (RMDP) on land governance in the IGAD region.

The dialogue focused on pathways for land administration in response to the African Union (AU) Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.

The RMDP took place concurrently with the 6th Capitalization Meeting of the EU-SDC funded Land Governance Programme, which was attended by project implementers from 10 African countries and Pakistan.

10 November 2017: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a grouping of eight countries from the Eastern Africa and the Horn region, convened a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Land Governance in the IGAD region. The dialogue, which also served as the launch of the Regional Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue Platform (RMDP) on land governance, focused on pathways in land administration in the region in response to the African Union (AU) Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.The dialogue convened from 8-9 November 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The inaugural meeting of the RMDP was co-organized by the IGAD Secretariat, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the AU Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), as part of a regional land governance project funded by the EU and Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). The objective of the RMDP is to create an enabling dialogue environment for member States, regional institutions, development partners, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to learn from each other and identify possible areas of collaboration and convergence in taking forward the land policy reform agenda at country and regional levels.

In their outcome document, participants recognized that many of the challenges faced by African countries are “surmountable,” and stated that this should not be the case for a continent that accounts for “nearly 60% of the world’s arable, uncultivated land.” The meeting noted that such dialogues could help IGAD member States address the current “inefficient and non-inclusive use of land resources,” by strengthening the management and accountability of their land administration and monitoring systems.

Among key issues that need to be addressed in this context, participants highlighted: securing land rights to improve livelihoods and facilitate economic development; recognizing the centrality of urban land delivery and urban land development; enhancing access to natural resources and sustaining common property resources; ensuring equitable land distribution and restoring wasted and alienated land; and addressing gender equity and conflicts over land.

Further noting that only 10-20% of land in sub-Saharan Africa has been registered, participants stressed the importance of legally recognizing, and strengthening, customary tenure systems and highlighted the need to link monitoring of land governance to regional frameworks such as Agenda 2063, Strengthening Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The outcome document also urged IGAD countries to reduce their reliance on development partners by exploring how best to assemble national resources to address land challenges at the country level.

The RMDP took place concurrently with the 6th Capitalization Meeting of the EU-SDC funded Land Governance Programme, which was attended by project implementers from 10 African countries and Pakistan. Among other topics, the meeting addressed diverse themes linked to land governance such as the sustainable use of natural resources and securing rights over land and small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication. Meeting participants also shared experiences from country-level projects in Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi.

The Land Governance Programme seeks to contribute to achieving the goals of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges by integrating national-level implementation the AU Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa with the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT). The programme receives support through a partnership between the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). [ECA Press Release on RMDP Launch] [IGAD Press Release on RMDP Launch] [ECA Press Release on Opening of 6th Capitalization Meeting] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on Launch of the African Land Policy Centre] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on Launch of Regional Land Governance Projects] [1st RMDP Outcome Document]

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