Uganda has undertaken a series of ambitious legal and policy reforms with regard to land rights and resource governance since 1995. Tenure security is recognised as crucial to human existence and inextricably linked to psycho-social wellbeing, livelihoods, health, gender equalities, preventing and addressing conflict and displacement. Improved land tenure security is also an essential factor for robust and sustainable development, to foster investment in infrastructure and the productive sectors including agriculture and the extractive industries.
Currently, the land holding in Uganda is characterised by multiple land tenure systems (freehold, mailo, leasehold and customary land) and multiple land rights and claims for the same land holding. Less than 20% of the land is titled and over 80% is under customary tenure system. To ensure that land ownership facilitates development, Government has embarked on systematic land demarcation and survey of the entire country. Other land tenure issues include; the presence of outdated legislations and limited implementation of land policies; gaps in the integration of customary land and statutory institutions; multiple and overlapping claims to the same plots of land; inadequate funds for land administration inadequate security of land ownership and insecure land–related investments; inadequate dispute resolution mechanisms; increasing land evictions on registered land and customary land; unregistered land rights in areas of interest to the extractive industry and, shortage of competent personnel and resources for decentralized land management in districts. Among other emerging issues include the increasing food and energy insecurity, monitoring risks and opportunities for large-scale land-based investments, land conflicts, climate change and disasters.
As the challenges are enormous and the capacity of land stakeholders limited, the Global Land Tool Network engages in Uganda to strengthen the capacity of change agents to scale up pro-poor land interventions in order to contribute to the achievement of tenure security for all. This is done through four strategic interventions:
- Supporting the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development in the implementation and tracking of the National Land Policy.
- Strengthening the capacity of partners and other land actors in Uganda to promote and implement appropriate land tools and approaches that are pro-poor, gender responsive, effective and sustainable.
- Improving food security and land tenure security in partnership with IFAD.
- Strengthening the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs) in partnership with FAO and other partners