Congo DR Initiates land reform

gebreKinshasa, 26 July 2012: The land reform process in the Democratic Republic of Congo was officially launched last week by the Vice President, Mr. Daniel Mukoko Samba.

Speaking during a national land consultation workshop where the launch took place, the vice president confirmed the government’s commitment to ease land-related tensions so as to promote an enabling environment for economic and social development.  Following the outdated 1973 land law, DR Congo has been plagued with issues in its land governance system resulting in land disputes.

The Minister for Land Affairs Prof. Robert Mbwinga Bila highlighted the need for DR Congo to promote a good land governance system to allow peace and reconciliation. “Land should no longer be a source of tension and division but a means for social cohesion and wealth creation for every citizen.”

Also in attendance was UN-Habitat’s Director for Regional Office for Africa, Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, who announced the agency’s renewed commitment to support the Congolese government in handling land issues. She further congratulated the Congolese government for allowing stakeholders a voice in the reform agenda.

Participating in the consultation workshop were stakeholders from both the capital and the country’s provinces. Representatives from line ministries, civil society, traditional authorities, land administration, women associations, diplomatic corps, UN agencies and International NGOs contributed to the creation of a roadmap towards a comprehensive and inclusive land reform process.

At the close of the three-day workshop, stakeholders agreed on the development of a land policy, the review of the current land based on the policy, capacity building on land administration with the mid-term goal of improving tenure security.

With the financial support of USAID, UN-Habitat is working to streamline the cooperation with the Congolese government for a successful land reform process.

Photo © UN-Habitat: Oumar Sylla