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Kenya’s Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development opens regional workshop on Transparency in Land Administration
Kenya’s Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Mariamu El Maawy, speaking during the official opening of regional Training of Trainers workshop in Transparency in Land Administration. 

October 6, 2015- The People of Africa are facing many challenges including poverty, food security and severe environmental degradation with serious consequences for our people, especially the poorest. Most of these challenges are directly related to land administration and transparency issues. Land administration and management systems in particular, are responsible for providing tenure security and access to land for all. In addition, these can provide accessible and equitable systems to mobilize land resources that ultimately assist in the alleviation of poverty,” said Kenya’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Mariamu El Maawy. Ms El Maawy spoke while opening a regional training of trainers’ workshop in transparency in land administration in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

“Transparency is therefore a critical component of a functioning land administration, in view of the scarcity of clear and credible information on land availability and transactions and the poor dissemination of public information on land rights and policy. The risk of corruption and inequalities are real in land allocation and management with consequences to the poor and vulnerable groups. I hope that this workshop will help participants identify regional priorities with regard to transparency in land administration. I wish to emphasize that this workshop is very timely and important,” she told participants attending the three-day workshop, which brings together 50 participants from 20 countries from English and French speaking countries in Africa.

El Maawy called upon the participants to identify strategies that would help take forward the agenda of fighting corruption and institutionalizing transparency in land administration in Africa.

El Maawy’s counterpart from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Leo Ntondo Lumuka, who also addressed the opening session of the workshop observed that over 50 per cent of their legal problems in the DR Congo can be attributed to land. “Civil wars planned in eastern DR Congo are as a result of conflict over land. Land is a resource that we must exploit with responsibility and transparency. We need to inform people about land issues. It is also important that transparency is exercised. Corruption is also an issue and DR Congo is not an exception. This workshop is a very important one. It is very important because I will be able to learn and go back with skills and knowledge which we can use to solve some of our land problems,” Lumuka said.

The workshop, jointly organized by UN Habitat/GLTN, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) and the Land Policy Initiative (LPI).  It is the first of such learning events involving Francophone and Anglophone African countries that will be implemented by UN-Habitat/GLTN and LPI in collaboration with other implementing partners. The event brings together more than 50 land stakeholders to discuss, share experiences and devise strategies to deal with land governance issues in their countries. It also aims at enhancing their understanding of land governance challenges, and strengthening their ability to address issues of corruption within the land sector.  

Speaking on behalf of the new Land and GLTN Unit leader, Oumar Sylla, outgoing Land and GLTN Unit leader, Dr. Clarissa Augustinus, said GLTN, as a partner of the LPI was glad to support the initiative. LPI and GLTN are currently implementing a capacity development project that aims to strengthen the capacity of the key land actors to develop and implement land policy for secure land rights, poverty reduction, enhanced productivity and economic growth in Africa. “Increasingly, in the last few years we have seen conflict over land increase. UN records show that this is going to continue over the next decades. Therefore the skills you get here will be useful in tackling some of these problems,” Dr. Clarissa added. Other speakers included Dr. Belay Demissie of LPI who said LPI has a capacity development component in its strategic plan that will increasingly be rolled out and implemented at regional and  country levels through a collaborative approach.  

The Director General RCMRD, Dr. Hussein O. Farah, welcomed the participants and thanked the partners, UN-Habitat/GLTN and UNECA/LPI for the support and partnership in organizing the workshop. He also thanked the participants for accepting to attend the workshop and wished them fruitful deliberations.

Kenya’s Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development opens regional workshop on Transparency in Land Administration

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