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 continued to make significant progress across all project components.
Under Component 1 (Improved legal and policy frameworks at national and local levels)
Bahir Dar University and Hawassa Universities submitted the final version of their assessments on the implementation of land administration and land use (LALU) laws for Amhara and SNNP National Regional States (NRSs) respectively. Both universities conducted validation workshops on their findings during the reporting period. Some 45 participants drawn from regional councils (parliaments), representatives of zonal administrations, land administration and use offices as well as other relevant sectors took part in each workshop.
LAND subcontractor, the Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise, delivered the second draft of the Afar National Regional State pastoral communal land expropriation, valuation and compensation guidelines.
LAND has been advocating for an overarching and comprehensive national land use policy that provides a framework for a holistic, regulated, and integrated use of land to advance socio-economic development of the country.
The policy development process reached another milestone during the reporting period as the Prime Minister officially announced the country’s decision to develop a comprehensive national land use policy. The Prime Minister made the announcement at a high-level meeting held in his office on June 9, 2016. He said, “Land use policy is at the heart of all development endeavors that aim to bring about economic transformation. Our success in achieving the transformation depends on the effective use of our land according to its potential.” LAND will be responsible for developing the draft policy through a combination of in-house experts and independent consultants.
Under Component 2 (Strengthened capacity in national, regional, and local land administration and use planning)
LAND had engaged an Ethiopian consultant to provide the Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) with technical assistance to rehabilitate and make fully operational its Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS). The consultant assisted EMA to resolve telecommunication and power supply issues that hampered proper functioning of the CORS stations and trained 16 EMA and four Information Network Security Agency (INSA) staff in installing, operating and maintaining CORS.
The consultant has submitted the draft proposal on the expansion of geodetic network of the country based on CORS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) on short-, medium- and long-term plans. EMA expressed its satisfaction on the project proposal. The consultant is incorporating minor comments provided to him by LAND and EMA staff and writing a report on the progress on EMA’s capacity building program supported by LAND. Upon receiving the final document, LAND will organize a one-day stakeholder workshop to discuss the proposal and the way forward.
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 first batch of 41 students enrolled in the Institute of Land Administration of Bahir Dar University’s
(ILA/BDU) in the summer M.Sc. program have commenced their thesis research work in their respective regions. They are expected to graduate in October 2016. The second group of 42 students have completed their first session at the ILA/BDU in August 2015 and have taken home assignments that they will complete before their second and final summer session in June-August 2016.
The grantees selected under LAND’s competitive grant scheme made satisfactory progress towards completing field research. On the spot monitoring visits were conducted by LAND experts. The visits along with desk reviews have confirmed that data collection activities are completed and analysis and report writing is in progress. WLRC has already conducted validation workshop in Dessie on 22-23 May, 2016 with the participation of 60 stakeholders representing federal, regional and woreda land administration officials and experts from Amhara and Tigray regional states including two staff members from LAND. Grant closeout procedures were discussed with grantees at meetings held with the leadership and principal investigators of each grantee.
Preparation for the 2016 Ethiopian Annual Land Conference by ETHIOLANDNET is in progress. All of the research grantees have committed themselves to present papers from their findings.
Under Component 4 (Strengthened community land rights in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to facilitate market linkages and economic growth)
LAND organized a two-day meeting with the Afar Environmental Protection and Rural Land Administration and Use Agency (EPLAUA) staff on LAND’s Afar Action Plan and Formation of the Afar Regional Pastoral Advisory Committee (APAC) on May 11-12, 2016. LAND’’s presentations in the meeting included preparation of the Afar draft regulation for empowering community land governance; customary governance entities of pastoral landholdings; customary landholding boundaries to be demarcated, surveyed, registered and certified; public information and awareness (PIA) activities to be conducted in Chifra and Amibara woredas; key findings of the LAND Afar rapid assessment; and the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Afar Regional APAC.
During the same meeting, the Afar Regional Pastoral Advisory Committee (APAC) was established and orientation on APAC’s roles and functions was provided. The woreda APACs were also formed in the two pilot woredas, Chifra and Amibara, in early June 2016. Both the regional and woreda APACs will meet quarterly on a regular basis.
The LAND team held four meetings with representatives of all the 18 rural kebeles by splitting them into 4 groups to discuss their preferred unit of certification of pastoral landholdings.
LAND drafted the manual on adjudication, demarcation, surveying and registration and certification of pastoral communal landholdings after incorporating the comments given at a consultative meeting that was held from February 23-24, 2016 at Awash town.
As part of preparatory works for surveying, demarcation and registration of pastoral landholdings in Chifra and Amibara woredas of Afar region, LAND obtained Spot5, Wv012 and Google earth images. The google maps of both woredas have been downloaded, geo-referenced, and mosaics were made in required resolution.