East Africa Community premiers its regional platform on land

Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA —Partner States of the East Africa Community (EAC) are resolute in ensuring the implementation of the African Union (AU) Declaration on land within their respective countries.

The resolution follows the sharing of best practices by the EAC Partner States during the first Regional Platform meeting held on 17-18 August 2022 in Kampala, Uganda.

The platform provides EAC Partner States an opportunity to share country lessons and best practices in land policy formulation, implementation and review to inform land reform processes in their respective countries.

“The Regional Platform is the first of its kind in the EAC and is expected to generate discussions and knowledge which will be helpful to all EAC Partner States”, explains the EAC Secretariat Director of Productive Services Jean Baptiste Havugimana. The forum discussions, he went on to explain helps to promote sustainable development and the rational utilisation of the region’s natural resources.

Joan Kagwanja, the Coordinator of the African Land Policy Centre at the Economic Commission for Africa applauded the EAC for putting in place a Regional Steering Committee and establishing the Regional Platform which provides a sustainable mechanism for bringing Partner States together for the periodic sharing of lessons and dissemination of best practices in land policy formulation and implementation.

She noted that land governance issues are cross-cutting within the region and reiterated the need for improving land governance in East Africa in a bid to achieve the EAC Vision 2050.

To facilitate the first Regional Platform ALPC provided technical support for a regional assessment to determine the status of land policy development in EAC Partner States. The assessment identified priority and emerging issues, along with the best practices in each of the Partner States, identifying the need for the establishment of a regional platform to facilitate the sharing of lessons and best practices.

The participants appreciate the role of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa, especially the achievement of the Eastern Africa node and its universities in the land policy processes in Partner States; and the potential contribution of the network to the Regional Platform.

Government representatives from Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi shared best practices at the forum, including the inclusion of the land rights of women, youth and other vulnerable groups in the land policies, laws and practices of Partner States.

The forum called for the EAC secretariat, with the support of ALPC, to enhance capacity building and resource mobilisation for land policy formulation, implementation and review within EAC Partner States.

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