The purpose of the Ethiopia Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) program is to expand and extend two previously successful projects—Ethiopia Strengthening Land Tenure and Land Administration Program (ELTAP) implemented in 2005-2008 and Ethiopia Strengthening Land Administration Program (ELAP) implemented in 2008-2013 – financed by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ethiopia Mission and implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and six regional states with technical assistance provided by Tetra Tech ARD. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights; encourage efficient land transactions; build capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery and pilot cadastral surveying and certification methodologies to recognize and document rural land use rights.
During the reporting period, LAND made considerable progress on most project components.
Under Component 1 (Improved legal and policy frameworks at national and local levels)
LAND supported a national experts workshop in March 2015 where draft amendments to the Federal Land Administration and Land Use (LALU) Proclamation No. 456/2005 were presented and discussed. The workshop participants recommended that the draft is reviewed by representatives of regional land administration bureaus and universities for feedback and comment. In response to this request, LAND organized a ten-day workshop in April 2015 in Adama where 20 experts from regional land administration and justice bureaus and from universities participated. Comments and technical inputs from the experts were incorporated into the draft amendments and used to produce explanatory notes that were submitted to senior management in the MOA for approval. The consultant hired to prepare a draft the Somali National State Region (NRS) Pastoral Lands Administration and Use Regulation and LAND’s Property Rights Lawyer presented the draft to land administration and justice bureau experts and several officials and regional parliamentarians at a workshop held in Jigjiga in April 2015. The Consultant improved the draft with the inputs obtained from the workshop. The regional rural development bureau conducted another workshop where members of communities and elders participated and the feedback was used to improve the draft regulations further. The draft was finalized in May 2015 and submitted to the regional bureau in June 2015.
Haramaya, Debub and Mekelle Universities submitted first drafts of land law training manuals they were commissioned to prepare by LAND for their respective regional states on which LAND technical specialists gave their comments. Bahir Dar University has not yet submitted its draft. The first draft report on the assessment of the implementation of rural land laws in the Amhara NRS by Bahir Dar University was received which is being reviewed by LAND’s technical specialists.
Under Component 2 (Strengthened capacity in national, regional, and local land administration and use planning)
On May 6, 2015, LAND experts presented the conclusions of three thematic papers to senior management of the Ministry of Agriculture, MOA chaired by His Excellency Ato Tefera Derbew. The message focused on the adverse consequences of lack of an overarching national land use policy and the urgent need for its formulation. The presentations were favorably received and H.E. the Minister instructed the Director of the Land Administration and Use Directorate (LAUD) to prepare a policy brief and a decision memo on a recommendation for the next steps. Accordingly, LAND provided assistance to LAUD in the preparation of a 10-page policy brief.
The consultant hired to provide technical assistance to EMA prepared a needs assessment report and started drafting a project proposal that enable EMA to establish full coverage of the geodetic network in the country with CORS.
Under Component 3 (Strengthened capacity of Ethiopian universities to engage in policy analysis and research related to land tenure and train land administration and land use professionals)
The M.Sc. training program for government land administration staff is progressing as planned. Both batches (2014/2015 and 2015/2016 entry) of 42 trainees each are currently enrolled at ILA/BDU since June 2015. A LAND team will visit Bahir Dar University in July to monitor the academic activities and assess the performance of the Secretariat of ETHIOLANDNET (ILA/BDU).
LAND received the Michigan State University (MSU) revised draft research report on demand for land administration professionals. A validation workshop was held in 23-24 June 2015 with the participation of key stakeholders. The MSU research team presented the findings of the study with sufficient details and useful comments and information were received that would enrich the final report. LAND expects the MSU team to formally submit the final report in the next quarter.
Regarding the Competitive Research Grant Program, six grantees that received approval from both Tetra Tech ARD and USAID/Ethiopia Mission were given orientation on the terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement with a primary focus on the “Mandatory Standard Provisions (MSP) and Required as Applicable Standard Provisions (RAASPS). All invited representatives attended the workshop with active participation and contribution. Subsequently, LAND released funds to the grantees according to the USAID procedures of grant administration.
Under Component 4 (Strengthened community land rights in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to facilitate market linkages and economic growth)
LAND completed an inventory of lands allocated for cropping and grazing enclosures (kalos) in the Borana zone, which included data on the holdings that are above one hectare in 10 woredas of the Borana zone. Similar data collection activity is underway in five pastoral woredas of the Guji zone and will be completed in the next quarter. LAND’s technical team reviewed the report submitted by Haramaya University entitled “Customary Land Administration and Natural Resource Management in the Pastoral Areas of the Oromia Regional State” and sent its comments and suggestions for substantial improvements to the University. The report contains useful information on the three pastoral groups located in East Shewa, West Hararghe, and Bale zones. It documents the customary practices and institutions used to administer and manage the rangelands and other natural resources.Work on demarcation and mapping for registration and certification of pastoral lands was halted because an agreement could not be reached with the Oromia NRS on the unit of land to be registered. LAND is preparing a position paper on this issue for discussion with the Oromia Regional Pastoral Advisory Committee. This paper will be presented at the validation workshop of the IPAS/HU study findings.
Consultation Meetings were held from April 30 – May 1, 2015, with the Afar NRS officials and stakeholders. The objective was to establish a common understanding on the process of certifying pastoral land use rights in the region. The meeting that was held in the Afar NRS capital (Semera) was jointly initiated by the Afar government, the Land Administration and Use Directorate (LAUD) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and the LAND Project. The attendance was impressive and included the cabinet members of the regional state, including the President, Vice President, Regional Bureau heads and deputy heads, staff members and officials from the federal MOA, a member of the Afar Pastoralists Council, LAND project leaders and experts, and a Senior Policy Advisor of the USAID/Ethiopia Mission. Reactions from the participants indicated that the discussions were indeed valuable and provided new insights on issues of pastoral land use rights in the region. The Afar NRS government selected Amibara and Chifra woredas for piloting pastoral land certification. A LAND technical team visited both sites in June 2015 to discuss with woreda officials and community elders the planned interventions that would commence with a rapid situation appraisal in the next quarter. The responses observed from participants of the two woredas were overwhelmingly positive.