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Left) Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Mohamed Moussa, Peter Sidler, Esther Obaikol-Land Tenure Expert, IGAD LPI (Right)
(Left) Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Mohamed Moussa, Peter Sidler, Esther Obaikol-Land Tenure Expert, IGAD LPI (Right)

02-11-2016, Nairobi: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Land Policy Initiative (IGAD LPI) Project, in collaboration with the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) of the African Union and with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), this morning opened a one-day validation workshop on the Mapping of Research and Training Institutions and Country Profiles on the Status of Land Governance in IGAD Member States in Nairobi.

The participants to this workshop, which was presided over by Mr. Mohamed Moussa, Director of Agriculture and Environment-IGAD, are drawn from Ministries and Institutions in charge of land policies and governance at IGAD Member States (MS), and support IGAD staff.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to validate commissioned reports on the mapping of the research and training institutions in the region and the country profiles of IGAD MS on respective status of land governance in order to agree on these as the overall guiding documents for work on land governance in the IGAD region. Participants were also expected to propose a roadmap 2017 for land governance work in the IGAD region, taking into account the findings of the consultancy reports submitted to them.

Mr. Mohamed Moussa, speaking at the opening session on behalf of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, highlighted the IGAD and the LPI Secretariat joint nature of the IGAD LPI project that is being implemented within the framework of the African Union “Land Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa” of 2009.

“IGAD has the responsibility to support the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land at the regional and MS levels. A key role of IGAD in the implementation process is to complement Member States in their efforts in this matter”, he said.

The Chief of the Land Policy Initiative based at the UN Economic Cooperation for Africa in Addis Ababa, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, thanked the Swiss government for the support provided to the IGAD LPI project, and also praised IGAD Secretariat for bringing together the organization’s MSs for the purposes of advancing implementation of the AU Declaration on Land.

“We are here for the purpose of finding ways of harmonizing and mainstreaming land governance for the region on the basis of the Declaration. LPI Secretariat is mandated to operate at the continental level, and we are glad Regional Economic Communities such as IGAD are helping us trickle implementation down to their respective MSs while also helping us listen to MSs in order for us to take lessons learnt back to our offices”, she said.

The First Secretary of the Development Cooperation & Humanitarian Affairs at the Embassy of Switzerland to Ethiopia, Mr. Peter Sidler, told the audience that out of the many ways of designing land policies and land governance, the best one would be the one that best serve end users.

“The IGAD region is privilege to pioneer the development of a comprehensive land governance project that will set pace for reforms in its member states and support other RECs through this process. Improving land governance is a process that is anchored on political good will and availability of resources to make transformation a reality for the region. Working together and collectively as a region will enable the region fulfill its commitments to the AU Declaration on land issues and challenges in Africa”, said Esther Obaikol, Land Tenure Expert-IGAD Land Governance Project.

It is within the mandates of IGAD and other RECs of the continent to implement AU Policies, Declarations and Strategies in their respective regions and provide support to their Member States and coordinating partners’ efforts in the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land. It is in this context that the LPI Secretariat and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), developed a three-year project titled “Improving land governance in the IGAD region.”

The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) was established in 2006 as a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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