By Our Correspondent

In New York

IGAD has established a land governance unit whose role  is to improve the performance of  land administration functions in the IGAD region and enabling the implementation of cross border initiatives that have a bearing on land, Uganda’s minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development Ms. Judith Nabakooba has stated .

Nabakooba explained that the IGAD- Land Governance Unit is intended to support Member States to improve efficiency and effectiveness of land administration systems – especially the computerization of land administration records and systems to make them more responsive to the needs and demands of the citizens and business clients.

The IGAD region comprises of seven Member States ;Uganda , Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

The strategy of using technology for land administration , Nabakooba argued ,will help to reduce the time required for land transactions, minimize cases of corruption, increase accountability and most importantly strengthen women’s land tenure security through increased access to the land records.

Nabakooba was speaking in New York ,the United States of America on the side lines of  the two week long UN women conference.

“IGAD has been at the fore front of supporting Member States to address gender inefficiencies in Land Administration processes both at policy and at programme level; the endorsement of the IGAD Women’s Land Rights Agenda (to which I personally participated in signing in July 2021) is a big step towards this direction,” she stated .

Nabakooba added , “I am aware that all the IGAD Member states developed their country specific Women’s Lands Commitments and developed action plans for implementing the agenda. As Member states, having the Agenda and action plans is just a step towards addressing the gender inequalities on Land. More importantly, we need to resource the IGAD Women’s Land Rights Agenda for the realisation of Gender equality in Land Administration.”

In the IGAD Region,  Nabakooba told the  delegates that  Uganda has been a champion of gender and equity budgeting and therefore the women’s Land Rights Agenda and action plan should be allocated resources.

She called for the support of development partners towards the implementation of the Member States Women’s Land Rights Agenda and Action plans as well as the IGAD Women’s Land Rights Agenda.

Three Member States of IGAD which include Uganda, Kenya  and Ethiopia, have embarked on the digitalisation of their respective land systems  and Nabakooba was  optimistic that more support will be extended to all Member States to set up digitalised gender sensitive Land information systems to promote regional convergence and coherency for sustainable and inclusive regional development.

The minister emphasised that the developed  land information systems should facilitate the collection and retrieval of gender and sex disaggregated data on land ownership, land transfer, land conflicts among others to help the marginalised groups especially women easily access accurate land information .

The system must be inclusive to add the component should be expanded to include the data from Customary Land Registration which is the biggest tenure in most of our countries.  In Uganda, we have embarked on the registration of Customary Land tenure system and all our pilots show that women ownership is progressively increasing.

Editor ;

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