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19-10-2019 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Amb. (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, signed a grant agreement with Ambassador Daniel Hunn of Switzerland to Ethiopia on Oct. 9 in Addis Ababa.

This grant agreement is aimed at providing financial support to Phase 2 of the IGAD Land Governance Project. To meet the mandate and the continental obligation on the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges, IGAD together with the Africa Land Policy Centre (ALPC) have been implementing the first phase of a project titled “Improving Land Governance in IGAD” since 2014.

During that first phase, 11 background studies were carried out that informed the development of three critical strategies:

  • The IGAD Land governance Strategy;
  • The IGAD framework for harmonized land policies; and
  • The Strategy for mainstreaming land governance in IGAD Projects and Programs.

These were all translated into the IGAD Land governance business plan 2019 -2023, as an implementation framework for land governance.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is focused on institutional strengthening of the Land Governance Unit of IGAD, taking into consideration the internal and external ecosystem within which it functions. Once the Land Governance Unit is grounded in its technical, institutional and political underpinnings, it will be better placed to serve the IGAD Region, drawing on partners such as the Africa Land Policy Centre (ALPC), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), the  International Land Coalition (ILC), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), The New Partnership for Africa’s Development-African Union Development Agency (NEPAD-AUDA), The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), and the Land Portal Foundation among others to scale up innovations and initiatives.

It is important that a strong monitoring mechanism is established to show progress towards improved land governance in the IGAD Region.

Phase 2 will mainly focus on strengthening the implementation of land governance in-country. This is hinged on improving land administration systems to enable the documentation of land rights and resolve land conflicts. There is a deliberate effort to strengthen the rights of pastoralists on land, improving their ability to negotiate for their rights with a clear view of their territories while improving regional integration. The gender agenda on land is the premise of Phase 2, addressing political, cultural, religious and legal barriers to gender equality on land.

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