African countries asked to implement creative land governance systems to maximize productivity

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Experts and policymakers have stressed the need to put in place innovative and good land governance policies to unlock Africa’s productive potential.

This came during the 5th edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA), which is underway from Nov. 21 to 24 at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

The high-level conference is organized biennially by the African Land Policy Center, which is a joint initiative of the AU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Experts and policymakers attending the conference underscored that if African countries create innovative and good land governance policies that promote equitable access to land and create an enabling environment for investments, it will unlock the productive potential of the continent.

Judith Nabakooba, Uganda’s minister of lands, housing and urban development, said during the occasion that there is a need for Africa to have good land governance policies that strengthen women’s rights to land to achieve fair and sustainable outcomes for all.

“Uganda understands the relation between land, trade and the wellbeing of the people. Effective land governance and management is the cornerstone of sustainable social justice,” a UNECA statement quoted Nabakooba as saying.

She said policies formulated should be visional and must integrate climate change issues and reform land justice systems.

Kanziemo Leontine, natural resources management advisor at the AfDB, said land governance and regulating access to and use of land is an enabler of accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement through contributing to the production of goods, unlocking agricultural potential, and promoting gender equality.

“The issue of good land governance becomes critical for the achievement of the AfCFTA,” Leontine said, adding that African governments should continue to invest in supporting women farmers.

The high-level conference is being held under the theme of “Promoting Sustainable Land Governance in Africa for Accelerating Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.”

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