East African Community (EAC) Secretariat’s Capacity Enhanced to address Land governance challenges

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The African Land Policy Center (ALPC) has enhanced the capacity of senior staff of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat to facilitate the integration of land governance issues in programs, epecially those of the productive sector. The capacity building workshop on implementing the AU Declaration on Land was held on 16 -17 August 2022, in Kampala, Uganda, under the auspices of a joint ALPC-EAC project which was endorsed by the EAC Council of Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources Management .

Emphasising the cross-cutting nature of land, ALPC Coordinator, Ms Joan Kagwanja, applauded the EAC secretariat participation at senior level in the workshop, noting that capacities gained to integrate land governance issues in programs will greatly advance EAC interventions in support of achieving objectives related to agriculture and food security; environment and natural resources; tourism and wildlife management; energy, infrastructure and industrial development; gender and women empowerment, among others. She further commended recent efforts and commitment to engage with Partner States and establish a steering committee that will oversee the implementation of a road map, the first activity of which is the operationalization of a platform for exchange of knowledge and best practices among partner states. This is what is envisaged in the AU Declaration on Land.

The Director of Productive Services, Mr Jean Baptiste Havugimana expressed his gratitude to the ALPC for their continued technical and financial support in implementing the AU Declaration on land in the region. To ensure the preservation, protection and sustainability of EAC’s land and related resources, Havugimana stressed that capacity building is paramount in order to strengthen the secretariat’s internal human and technical capacity to support land policy development and implementation in Partner States and enhance the impact of programs within the productive sector. He highlighted the importance of capacity building and knowledge as critical to attaining robust systems of land governance rooted in the Aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the EAC Vision 2050.

This workshop draws on a recently validated capacity assessment study report conducted with the technical support of ALPC, which identified the need to enhance the capacity of the EAC Secretariat to better address land issues within EAC programmes. The assessment also noted a gap in knowledge platforms that would facilitate exchange of best practices among partner states, and identify emerging issues in order to design frameworks/mechanisms to address land issues, especially those that are trans-boundary in nature. Capacity building modules touched on how to address land governance issues such as securing land rights for all land users, promoting responsible land based investments, preventing and addressing land and enthnic based conflicts, improving women’s access to land/securing their land rights, the central role of land use planning, effective land administration and information systems, the role of communication, among others.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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