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DR Congo validates draft land law

The presiding officials at the workshop opening, from second left, Mr. Robert Lewis-Lettington, Chief of Land, Housing and Shelter Section, UN-Habitat, Swiss Ambassador to DR Congo, M. Aimé S. Molendo, Minister for Lands and Mr. Ngwasi Coordon, CONAREF

Building from the adoption of a National Land Policy, a national workshop to validate the draft law modifying and updating the existing land law of 1973 concerning land and real estate regime, the general regime of properties, securities in DR Congo was held in Kinshasa, 25-27 May 2022.

Mr. Robert Lewis-Lettington, Chief of Land, Housing and Shelter Section, UN-Habitat delivers his opening remarks

Organized with the full support of His Excellency President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the Workshop was chaired by the National Minister of Land Affairs. The workshop was attended by more than 300 participants from the country’s 26 provinces, land actors, national and international organizations and other stakeholders. Mr Robert Lewis Lettington, Chief of UN-Habitat’s Land, Housing and Shelter Section, the main technical and financial partner of the programme delivered his opening remarks by congratulating the partnership between UN-Habitat and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and by highlighting the key milestones so far achieved.
The first day was dedicated to the presentation of the outline of the draft law. The second day was devoted to group works to allow participants to provide their elaborate inputs to the proposed draft land law and to collect comments, contributions, and suggestions from the stakeholders. The third day was devoted to plenary sessions for debates, dialogues and presentations of positions by different stakeholders to improve the current draft land law.
The participants welcomed the progressive nature of the draft land law, which reaffirms the DRC’s customary tenure system, the advocacy for equality of land rights for women, girls and young people, the strengthening of the recognition and supervision of the power of customary authorities over land, the prohibition of all forms of discrimination, particularly against indigenous pygmy peoples, the development of tools/mechanisms for mapping and demarcating community lands taking into account the specificity of each territory to secure land rights, and the strengthening of the legal and regulatory frameworks.

Participants at the national land law validation workshop – Customary leaders’ corner

At the end of the workshop, the participants validated the draft law. In closing, the National Minister of Land Affairs Aimé Sakombi Molendo, promised to bring the validated draft law before his colleagues in government.
The next steps will be to gather all the participants’ contributions and develop a final draft of the law. This work will be done by land experts who will meet in Zongo the week of May 30, 2022, before the draft will be going through a formal proceeding for its validation by the government. The Workshop is part of UN-Habitat’s Support to Land Reform Programme in DRC with support from the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI).