Kenya unveils land governance legislation at Africa Curriculum Development Forum

Dr. Joan Kagwanja of the LPI (second from left) welcomes the chief guest Mariamu El Maawy, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning for Kenya at the opening of the Draft Land Governance Curriculum Guidelines Expert Review workshop. Looking on is Dr. Agnes Mwasumbi from Ardhi University, Tanzania (right) and Ibrahim Mwathane of Land Development and Governance Institute (LGDI

The Government of Kenya now has more comprehensive legislation that will guide the country in effectively managing and administering land resources in the country. This was revealed by Hon. Mariamu El Maawy, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning when she presided over the opening of an Expert Review workshop that was evaluating ‘Guidelines for Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa’ in Nairobi. In her keynote address, the PS presented three new pieces of legislation: Physical Planning Act, Community Land Act and Land Laws Amendment Act, pointing that they would provide a solid foundation on which to base all other policies being formulated by government such as the National Land Use Policy and the Kenya Spatial Data Infrastructure Policy among others in the pipeline.

This two-day Expert Review meeting comes in the wake of a week-long drafting write shop that saw a team of experts in land governance, curricula development and training from universities and institutions of higher learning from 11 countries develop guidelines that will facilitate the development and review of land governance curricula to ensure that university graduates and land professionals in Africa are better skilled to address Africa’s land governance challenges. The guidelines are set to be presented to the African Union for validation before dissemination to universities and other institutions of higher learning throughout Africa.

Speaking at the same meeting co-organized by UN-Habitat/GLTN and the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), Dr. Joan Kagwanja of the LPI recognized the need for the Universities to develop linkages with the industry in order to ensure that the skills acquired are transferable, relevant and responsive to real-life application.

On the role of universities in land governance, Dr. Agnes Mwasumbi from Ardhi University in Tanzania underscored the need to fill the deficit of land professionals in Africa, professionals who will also be equipped with the right attitudes to address the various challenges. “The current endeavour to prepare guidelines is timely as there have been various complaints across the sector that the existing curricula do not address the contemporary challenges in Africa, given that it has been tailored on Western models without reference to the African context, for example, how to address customary tenure,” said Dr. Mwasumbi.

The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).