17 Eastern and Southern African countries to collaborate on land and urban policies

Participants at the workshop on Using IG-UTP to support land policy processes held in Kigali, Rwanda

Regional Meeting commits to Integrated Planning and Land Management in support of Land Policy Processes

More than 40 government delegates representing directorates of physical planning,  and directorates of land administration/management from 17 Eastern and Southern African countries have agreed to explore ways of integrating and enhancing collaboration, coordination and dialogue when implementing land and urban policies. This commitment was made at a workshop held 18-19 November 2016 in Kigali/Rwanda on the margins of the Regional Centre for Mapping for Resources for Development (RCMRD) Governing Council and Ministerial Conference. The workshop on ‘Using the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP) to support land policy processes in Eastern and Southern Africa’ was co-convened by the RCMRD, UN-Habitat, Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and the Land Policy Initiative (LPI).

Speaking at the official opening, Dr Emmanuel Nkurunzinza, Director General, Rwanda Natural Resources Authority & Chief Registrar of land titles welcomed participants to the meeting and observed that the meeting presented the participating countries with a rare opportunity for stakeholders in planning and land management to discuss interaction. Dr Nkurunzinza highlighted the crucial role played by land and natural resources in the process of development.

Professor John Kiema, Director of Technical Services RCMRD highlighted the role of RCMRD in providing resource based mapping services to member countries that would support the realisation of sustainable development. He further reiterated that the meeting provided an excellent platform to share experiences and learn from one another innovative ideas how planners and land administers can collaborate when implementing land policy process.

Dr. Judy Kariuki from LPI highlighted the important role played by the Land Policy Initiative in supporting African countries improve their land policies and reiterated LPI’s readiness and commitment to work with partners to implement the African Union Declaration on Land.

Dr. Remy Sietchiping stated that UN-Habitat is the UN agency mandated to support Member States in addressing their urban and human settlements issues at all levels around the world and emphasised the need for UN-Habitat partners to collaborate in order for agency to deliver on its role.

During the workshop participants were exposed to the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP) and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G) and suite of GLTN tools to support both urban and territorial planning and land policy processes.

At end of the meeting, the participants issued a communique and road map that commits to the promotion of and integrated planning and good land governance through enhanced consultation, dialogue between authorities and professionals of urban and territorial planning and land management/administration when implementing land and urban policies.