December 11, 2022 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the National Land Commissions of Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda held a workshop on improving land governance in the region on December 6, 7 and 8 in Mombasa.
Representatives from IGAD Member States,National Land Commission of Kenya, National Land Commission of South Sudan, National Land Commission of Sudan, and National Land Commission of Uganda attended the workshop.
The Land Commissioners from these four IGAD Member States that have established national Land Commissions exchanged experience in Land Governance within the IGAD region with respect to their mandates.
In her opening speech delivered on Day 1, Mrs. Esther Obaikol from the IGAD Land Governance Unit of the Agriculture and Environment Division said:“The IGAD Land Governance Programme convened the first ever Land Commissions meeting from the IGAD Member States. Only four of the seven countries in the IGAD Region have land commissions. These are Constitutionally established to serve a particular purpose ranging from management of public land/government land to land dispute resolution and dealing with historical injustices on land.”
The four countries with constituted land commissions are Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. “The Land Commissions Platform is one such which will exponentially increase and improve the use of government land as an asset for revenue generation for the IGAD Member States. The Land Commissions through knowledge exchange will consider how best to secure rights of the communities over lands under their mandate”, she added.
Acting CEO of the National Land Commission of Kenya, Mrs Kabale Tache stated: I appreciated IGAD for reunitingKENYA, SOUTH SUDAN, SUDAN, and UGANDA to deliberate on strengthening land governance in our region. As aLand Commission, we’re committed to assist in developing a work plan to deliver on the workshop’s agenda. There’s a dire need to have manpower equipped w/ necessary skills to drive the Land Commissions’ mandates.”
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Take stock of the region’s achievement in land Governance;
- Identify the salient challenges and emerging issues faced by the Commissions in executing their mandates;
- Recommend ways to bolster the efforts in achieving the commissions mandate in Land Governance in the region; and
- Develop the region’s agenda for enhancing Land Governance.
The workshop facilitated cross learning from the achievements, successes, challenges and opportunities of the respective Commissions. It was also a time to reflect and identify gaps in land sector while identifying areas of synergy to promote land governance in the region.
From this inaugural meeting, a regional agenda for the Land Commissions was drawn up highlighting eight critical areas of action. The Land Commissions are at the center of driving this agenda and will meet annually to reflect on the progress that they would have made.
To focus its work, IGAD Land Governance Programme developed a 10-year Business Plan 2020-2030. The IGAD Land Governance Business Plan presents four programme areas of work to guide IGAD’s support and interventions on improving land governance to her Member States. The programme areas aim at enabling IGAD to play its role as a REC towards the realization of AU’s Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa. IGAD region is faced with the unique challenges in land governance such as; Legal Pluralism, land and natural resource degradation, land governance and migration, land tenure insecurity, poor land administration, land conflict, weak land rights of youth, women, pastoralists and other vulnerable groups, food insecurity and negative impacts of Direct Foreign Investment.