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July 10, 2024 (KAMPALA, Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through its Land Governance Programme this morning kickstarted the reviewing and approving of the Issues Paper and First Draft of National Land Policy for the Republic of Uganda through the convening of the National Land Policy Review Working Group (NLPRWG) and other stakeholders.

One of the Working Group’s major roles is to review and approve the various outputs generated by respective consultants that in this meeting include; approval of Issues paper and 1st draft of NLP, approval of the 2nd draft NLP, approval of Regional Consultations report, and approval of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) whose processes are supported by a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary committee that comprises of members from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the land, natural resource and other sectors working closely with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development; Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the land sector, academia, private sector, and individual experts in the sector.

The meeting was officiated by Mr. Harrison Irumba, Assistant Commissioner, Policy Analysis representing the Director, Land Management at Uganda’s Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development appreciated IGAD and development partners’ efforts towards the formulation and review of Uganda’s National Policy through the facilitation of stakeholder engagements, undertaking of regional consultations as well as interest groups.

“I call other IGAD Member States who have not yet developed National Land Policies to benchmark from Uganda and Kenya whose land policies are under review to be able to address the recurring land issues within the IGAD region for the realization of economic development and transformation for the IGAD citizens” Mr. Irumba said.

On behalf of the Director of Agriculture and Environment; Ms. Joselyn Bigirwa, Acting Coordinator Land Governance Programme & Gender & Land Expert informed the Working Group members that IGAD is mandated to serve its Member States using its convening capacity to facilitate dialogue, providing technical support for policy development and building capacity through experience sharing and knowledge exchange.

“In line with Uganda’s Land Policy Development processes, IGAD is committed to supporting Uganda to develop a gender responsive and context – appropriate land policy that is compliant with international best practice” Ms. Bigirwa added.

Uganda and Kenya are the Member States currently with National Land Policies that are under review as supported by IGAD Land Governance Programme and other stakeholders. The Programme is also supporting the Republic of South Sudan to approve its National Land Policy as well initiate the processes for Djibouti and Somalia to strengthen Land Governance Processes and land policy making processes as well as support stakeholder engagements in the different IGAD Member States.

Other roles and functions of the NLPRWG as spelled in their Terms of reference (TORs) to include;

  • Making strategic decisions and providing guidance on the NLP review process.
  • Constitute the standing committees of the working group namely; (i) the Experts Committee, (ii) Finance/fundraising committee, (iii) Media and Communication Committee, as well as defining their roles and responsibilities.
  • Implement the approved roadmap for the NLP review process to its finalization.
  • Adopt and Approve reports/deliverables from the Select Committees.
  • Recommend and approve any research, memoranda, policy briefs and any other communications from stakeholders including special interest groups for consideration in the NLP review process.
  • Bring up any other issues of relevance concerning the review of the National Land Policy.
  • Produce a report during its term, detailing activities carried out, recommendations, challenges.

Prior to the creation of the Working Group, the Government of Uganda in 2013 formulated the National Land Policy (NLP) with the ultimate goal of ensuring efficient, equitable and optimal utilization and management of Uganda’s land resources for poverty reduction, wealth creation and overall socio-economic development in Uganda through the provision of a framework for the management of Uganda’s land and land-based resources more efficiently, equitably, and optimally drawing its major principles from 1995 Uganda Constitution, Uganda Vision 2040, as well as other macro-policy development frameworks such as, the National Development Plan (NDP), the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa, among others.

The IGAD Land Governance Programme will continually support the Working Group to meet, discuss and approve the Issues paper and the 1st draft of the NLP, these documents and whose inputs are expected to be utilized in the regional meetings.

The Project in its second phase is funded by the Swedish Embassy-Ethiopia towards “Realizing transnational land governance in the IGAD region through capacity development on innovations in land administration, land use and management, strengthening gender equality and youth empowerment”

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