Two regional projects on integrated approaches to improved land governance in Africa supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and other partners, kicked off in February 2015.
February 2015: Two regional projects on integrated approaches to improved land governance in Africa, supported by the (SDC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and other partners, kicked off in February 2015. The three-year project to improve land governance in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region was launched following a series of planning and coordination activities, which took place from 16-19 February, at IGAD Headquarters in Djibouti. The formal launch of the EU-SDC Programme on Land Governance in Africa, which is being implemented in 10 African countries, took place during a week of preparatory and capacity building activities held in Niamey, Niger, from 24-27 February 2015.
The IGAD project is implemented under the auspices of the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), which is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), whose mandate is to facilitate the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa. The project aims to enhance the capacity of the IGAD and LPI Secretariats to facilitate the implementation of the AU Declaration and mainstream land governance issues across IGAD programmes. As part of the launch events, the Project Steering Committee (PSC), which is made up of senior representatives of IGAD and the IGAD Civil Society Organization (CSO)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Forum, SDC, the LPI consortium, FAO, the East African Farmers Federation, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), approved the 2015 work plan and budget.
The official launch of the joint ‘EU-SDC-FAO-LPI Transversal Support Programme on Land Governance in Africa’ took place in Niamey, Niger, on 24 February. The EU-SDC is providing €33 million in direct funding to the 10 countries participating in the project, which include Angola, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan and Swaziland. A central goal is to mainstream the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G) into national policies, laws and institutional processes. FAO and LPI are providing support for country-level activities that include awareness raising, capacity development, technical facilitation, strengthening of partnerships and monitoring and evaluation.
Following the official launch, an inaugural coordination meeting for the 10 country projects and a comprehensive training for project coordinators and implementers on VGGT and F&G took place from 25-27 February 2015. [ECA Press Release on IGAD project] [ECA Press Release on EU-SDC-FAO-LPI project] [LPI Website] [IGAD Website]