The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) has enhanced the capacity of senior staff of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat to facilitate the integration of land governance issues in programmes, especially those of the productive sector. The capacity-building workshop on implementing the AU Declaration on Land was held on 16 -17 August 2022, in Kampala, Uganda, under the auspices of a joint ALPC-EAC project which was endorsed by the EAC Council of Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources Management.
Emphasising the cross-cutting nature of land, ALPC Coordinator, Ms Joan Kagwanja, applauded the EAC secretariat’s participation at the senior level in the workshop, noting that capacities gained to integrate land governance issues in programmes will significantly advance EAC interventions in support of achieving objectives related to agriculture and food security; environment and natural resources; tourism and wildlife management; energy, infrastructural and industrial development; gender and women empowerment, among others. She further commended recent efforts and commitment to engage with the Partner States and establish a steering committee that will oversee the implementation of a road map, the first activity of which is the operationalisation of a platform for the exchange of knowledge and best practices among partner states. This is what is envisaged in the AU Declaration on Land.
This workshop draws on a recently validated capacity assessment study report conducted with the technical support of ALPC, which identified the need to enhance the capacity of the EAC Secretariat to better address land issues within EAC programmes. The assessment also noted a gap in knowledge platforms that would facilitate the exchange of best practices among Partner States, and identify emerging issues in order to design frameworks/mechanisms to address land issues, especially those that are transboundary in nature. The assessment also emphasised the role of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa in bridging these gaps. Capacity building modules touched on how to address land governance issues such as securing land rights for all land users, promoting responsible land based investments, preventing and addressing land and ethnic-based conflicts, improving women’s access to land/securing their land rights, and the central role of land use planning, effective land administration and information systems, the role of communication, among others.