Dr. Kenneth Mubea the RCMRD/SERVIR-ESA Capacity Development lead represented the The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) at the IGAD Land Project Development Meeting.
Held in Nairobi between 16 to 18 October 2018, the meeting was to orient directors responsible for Lands and Agricultureon the work done by the technical staff of member States as well as the IGAD Secretariat over the past two years. It was also aimed at reviewing the IGAD Land governance Strategy and the Mainstreaming Land Governance Strategy in preparation of the Ministerial Meeting and engagement with development partners. Adoption of the IGAD Land governance Strategy by Ministers responsible for Lands and Agriculture was another objective.
50 participants attended the meeting from IGAD member States, RECs, development partners, CSO, private sector, academia and other stakeholders. IGAD is currently implementing a project with support of the Africa Land Policy Centre (ALPC) with funding from UNECA and SDC to mainstream land governance in IGAD’s programs (proposed to last for six years, in two phases of three years each) that will greatly enhance the implementation of IGADs regional strategy. The project is aimed at helping IGAD and its member States to address the various land policy and governance issues and constraints faced by countries in East and the Horn of Africa.The AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa mandates the RECS to appropriately capture and address issues of land policies within their respective common agricultural policy framework. IGAD with the participation of its Member States developed two strategy documents: The IGAD Land governance Strategy and A strategy on Mainstreaming Land Governance in IGAD Programs and those of its member States.
On the first day, the IGAD Land governance Strategy was approved by Directors responsible for Lands and Agriculture. IGAD presented a 5-year business plan for IGAD land governance for the period 2019-2023. This showed the road map articulating IGAD goals and pans for improving land governance in the IGAD region. The “Improving Land Governance in IGAD Region” project aims at facilitating implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in accordance with the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa, in order to facilitate access to land and security of land rights for all land users in the IGAD region, especially vulnerable groups such as pastoralists, women and youth.
On day two, IGAD held a meeting with Development Partners on Land Governance Project.. IGAD currently has a Partners’ Forum (IPF) chaired by Italy and whose members were engaged in the Development Partners’ Forum. There was participation from Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC), African Union, FAO, UN-Habitat, GLTN. Dr. Addis Teshome, from SDC in Addis Ababa, commended the engagement the SDC over the last five years on the Land Governance Project and committed the agency’s support for the 2nd Phase. SDC pledged USD 2.5 million dollars for the IGAD business plan.
On day three, IGAD held a meeting with Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Lands in the IGAD region. The executive Secretary of IGAD, Eng. Mahboub Maalim opened the meeting. The Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning (Kenya) gave the welcoming statement on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary. The report on the meeting of directors (Chairperson, Augustine Masinde) presented the IGAD land Governance Strategies and Business Plan for adoption by the ministers. Later on the seven ministers from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda gave a statement of their respective countries on land issues. The communique on land governance was presented by Sudan for adoption by members. In conclusion, the members were tasked with adoption of the IGAD land governance strategy. Furthermore, the member countries were urged to source for funding in support of the IGAD business plan. The next IGAD Land Regional Forum will be held in Khartoum from 26 – 30 November 2018.
The workshop concluded with emphasis on the need for close collaboration and commitment by members in improving land governance in the IGAD region; Commitment by members to the IGAD business plan (2019 – 2023) as well as the need for members to raise funds in their respective countries in order to avoid reliance on Development partners. Specific results and follow ons for RCMRD included close collaboration and engagement of IGAD as an implementing partner, the Director General, RCMRD, will be invited to the second IGAD Land Regional Forum in Khartoum from 26 – 30 November 2018 and a follow up on engagement with UN-Habitat's, Dr Remy Sietchiping. Dr. Sietchiping said he was impressed by the workshop organized by RCMRD and partners on land governance in November 2016 in (Kigali, Rwanda) and November 2017 (Effective land administration workshop in Addis Ababa). He added that a similar workshop will be held in December 2018/Jan 2019 at African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD), Nairobi.