Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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mccIn Cape Verde, land rights are unclear and inefficient land-related processes can result in delayed or cancelled investments. The significant amount of time and money citizens, businesses and investors often have to spend just to clarify land parcel boundaries and register land rights are major deterrents to investing, which does not benefit the island nation's economy.

The Land Management for Investment Project-part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation's five-year, $66 million compact with Cape Verde-aims to reduce land transaction-related time and costs and make information about land parcel rights and boundaries more conclusive. The $17.3 million project will improve the legal, procedural and institutional environment by developing and installing a new computerized land administration system in national and municipal governments and clarifying parcel rights and boundaries on islands with high investment potential. An estimated 13,000 Cape Verdeans are expected to benefit from the project.

The Government of Cape Verde has already made an important contribution to the project's future results by financing the scanning and digitizing of record books that guarantee existing land property rights in Praia, the capital, and on the island of Sal. This will decrease the time it takes to register land rights and conduct other land-related transactions and contribute to a new more efficient system whereby all land information is integrated into one system. The government has also built an early software system to computerize transactions at the land registry offices on both islands.

MCC will fund the scanning and digitization of paper land rights records throughout the rest of the country and build a nationwide land information and transaction system. The initial computerization of the registries in Praia and Sal is a first step toward a new nationwide software system that will bring together legal, administrative and geographic information about land parcels. This process also will link the core land administration agencies so they can perform their work more quickly and with more complete and reliable data.

Photo courtesy of the Millenium Challange Corporation: Antonio Sergio Barbosa is pleasantly surprised with the speed of the new land record system.

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