Given the importance of land in economic and social development as well as ensuring peace and security, the majority of African governments have embarked on land policy and institutional reforms with a view to addressing 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 land in agriculture development; the importance of urban land delivery and peri-urban land development; natural resource access and sustaining common property; property rights and environmental sustainability; equitable land distribution and restoring alienated land; land and gender issues; and land and conflict.
To facilitate land policy formulation and implementation within the framework of NEPAD and in line with MDGs, the Consortium of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with Regional Economic Communities have initiated a process of developing a framework and guidelines for land policy in Africa. The framework will be supported by Benchmarks and Indicators for assessing the performance of land policy formulation and implementation processes at national, regional and continental levels. This process involves a wide range of stakeholder consultations that are intended to gain consensus on the key elements that should characterize the framework and guidelines. The consultative workshop for Eastern Africa is the second in a series of regional workshops intended to engage all the key stakeholders in the process of developing the framework and guidelines.
Objectives and expected outcomes
Participants in the workshop consisted of a wide-range of stakeholders on land issues drawn from the Eastern African region and beyond, including high-level representation from national governments, civil society, private sector, centres of excellence, representatives of farmers organizations and development partners. Discussions during the workshop were informed by a regional background paper based on the assessment of key land issues in the Eastern Africa. The workshop aimed to:
Recommendations from the workshop will be used to enrich the draft continental framework and guidelines of the land policy framework and also a roadmap for the development of relevant benchmarks and indicators.
Identify the key land related issues that should guide/inform land policy and institutional reforms;
Gain consensus on key region-specific issues that should enrich the continental skeleton framework;
Identify the key gaps and challenges to policy and administrative reforms; and explore mechanisms for knowledge management, lesson sharing and capacity building in support of land reforms, including the role of actors.