EAC Partner States reaffirm commitment to implement African Union Land Declaration
East African Community Partner States have reaffirmed their commitment to implement the African Union (AU) Declaration on Land.
The 1st Meeting of the EAC Regional Platform for Sharing Lessons and Best Practices in Land Policy Development that was held in Kampala, Uganda called on the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) to convene periodic meetings of the platform.
The meeting noted that such periodic forums would facilitate the sharing of experiences, information, lessons learnt and best practices in land policy formulation and implementation.
The meeting further urged the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the ALPC to support resource mobilisation for capacity building on land policy development and implementation in the region.
The Secretariat and ALPC were called upon to conduct sensitization and awareness creation programmes on the AU Declaration on Land in the region.
The meeting also urged the EAC Secretariat to conduct advocacy on the AU Declaration targeting policy makers and other stakeholders in East Africa.
Speaking during the opening session, the Chairperson of the meeting, Ms. Carine Hakizimana, from the Republic of Burundi, emphasised the need for strengthening coordination and collaboration on land governance in the EAC region.
In his remarks, the Director of the Productive Sectors at the EAC Secretariat, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, stressed the need for Partner States to cooperate in the implementation of the AU Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G) as well as the Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa (LSLBI).
Mr. Havugimana outlined the progress made in the implementation of the African Union Declaration on Land Issues in EAC Region.
Mr. Havugimana informed the meeting that the 5th Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources (SCNER) had adopted a concept paper developed by the Secretariat to set up the Project on Capacity Building of EAC to Implement the AU Declaration on Land.
The 8th SCNER Meeting held in May 2022 on the other hand directed the Secretariat to operationalise the Regional Land Platform by December 2022.
“The Regional Steering Committee on the Land Policy initiative was launched on 3rd August, 2022,” said Mr. Havugimana.
In her remarks, Ms. Joan C Kagwanja, the Coordinator at the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) and UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said that land governance issues cut across several economic sectors, adding that advancing these sectors would be an appreciation of the cross-cutting nature of land.
Ms. Kagwanja emphasised the need for advancing land governance in East Africa in a bid to achieve the EAC Vision 2050 which focusses on attaining the upper middle-income status of $10,000 GDP Per Capita by 2050.