The purpose of the Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) project 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. These projects helped strengthen rural land tenure security and women’s land use rights, encouraged efficient land transactions, built capacity of federal and regional land administration agencies to improve service delivery, and piloted 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)
LAND provided technical and financial assistance to amend Federal Proclamation No. 456/2005. The draft was presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR) senior management, which gave its comments. The draft will be enriched by incorporating these comments and submitted to MoANR for presenting it to the Council of Ministers.
LAND hired a consultant to prepare a training manual on land and property expropriation, valuation and compensation. The manual was finalized and used to train 36 federal and regional experts of rural and urban Land Administration and Land Use (LALU) agencies on July 4-8, 2016.
LAND hired a consultant to draft the Afar Pastoral Communal Lands Registration and Management Regulation. The first draft will be reviewed at a consultative workshop in October 2016.
LAND subcontractor, the Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise, delivered the final draft of the Afar National Regional State Pastoral Communal Land Expropriation, Valuation and Compensation guidelines after incorporating the comments given to it by LAND. But the draft still lacks satisfactory methods of valuing pastoral communal lands when they are expropriated for public purpose. LAND suggested the draft be presented to Afar National Regional State (NRS) bureau officials and experts who have stakes in land expropriation, valuation and compensation to get better feedback and comments before holding consultations with community members. The consultation with the officials and experts will commence in October 2016.
Progress has been made since the June 2016 official announcement by the Ethiopian Prime Minister to formulate a comprehensive national land use policy and an integrated national land use plan. LAND closely worked with MoANR and the Prime Minister’s Office and other stakeholders to implement this decision. LAND is supporting both activities. Three consultants with expertise in rural land use planning, urban planning and natural resources management were recruited to flesh out the important issues that need to be dealt with in drafting the comprehensive national land use policy. They are expected to complete their work at the end of October 2016, following which drafting of the policy would commence.
A roadmap document (RMD) which will guide the land use planning process is being prepared by a consultant. The RMD is expected to outline the scope, key steps and resources (financial and human) required to prepare the plan. The consultant presented his first draft at a stakeholders’ meeting held on September 22, 2016. The consultant is expected to submit the final RMD in October 2016 after addressing concerns and comments shared by the participants.
Under Component 2 (Strengthened capacity in national, regional, and local land administration and use planning)
The consultant engaged by LAND assisted Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) to resolve telecommunication and power supply issues that hampered proper functioning of the Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) and trained 16 EMA and four Information Network Security Agency (INSA) staff in installing, operating and maintaining CORS. He also submitted the final proposal on the expansion of geodetic network of the country based on CORS Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). LAND will organize a one-day stakeholder workshop in the first quarter of FY 2017 to discuss the proposal and the way forward.
Upon the request of LAUD/MoANR, LAND engaged a consultant to support Land Administration and Use Directorate (LAUD) in revising the existing local level participatory land use planning manual. As the former consultant did not deliver as per the agreement, LAND hired another consultant who reviewed different versions of the manual and previous comments made. The consultant produced and submitted the draft revised document based on previous comments at a consultative workshop held on August 6-7, 2016 in Adama, Oromia NRS. The consultant is expected to finalize the manual in the next quarter.
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 (ILA/BDU) summer M.Sc. program have completed their course work and submitted their theses to their respective advisors for review. The defense of the theses had to be delayed because of the stressful situation caused by the political unrest in Bahir Dar and other parts of the country. The students are expected to complete the process as soon as the situation is normalized. The second group of 41 candidates have completed course work and are developing thesis proposals in consultation with their respective LALU agencies and advisors through correspondence. They are expected to defend their theses by the end of quarter 4 of 2017.
Closure letters were issued on August 11, 2016 to all institutions that were awarded grants under the LAND Research grant scheme. The grantees, with the exception of BDU, have completed their research activities and conducted validation workshops.
The 2016 Ethiopian Annual Land Conference to be organized by ETHIOLANDNET is facing uncertainties, again, on account of the civil unrest prevailing in the Bahir Dar area. It is postponed indefinitely until the situation is regularized.
Regarding promotion of Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET), LAND continues to collaborate with Responsive and Innovative Land Administration Project (REILA) in updating the curriculum with the aim of offering certificate courses in land administration in one well established ATVET in each region.
Under Component 4 (Strengthened community land rights in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas to facilitate market linkages and economic growth)
LAND held separate discussions with professionals in the area of pastoralism and leader of a civic organization (pastoral association) to explore opportunities to deal with the impasse with the in certifying communal pastoral landholdings in Borana. It was agreed that a compromise suggestion would be to register as one pastoral landholding the area under 3-4 kebeles, depending on their size. LAND held a joint meeting with the pastoral association leader and Oromia Bureau of Rural Land and Environmental Protection (OBRLEP)’s Deputy Head. It was agreed that this proposal be discussed during October 2016 with all the stakeholders, including zonal and woreda government representatives as well as community leaders and try it in one woreda in Borana.
In Afar, the process of pastoral land registration and certification had been going well until the Afar EPLAUA indicated that the agency will allocate, only 34% of the total Chifra woreda to be registered as pastoral landholdings as per the region’s land use plan. LAND technical staff explained that while the land use plan is for the future, what should be registered and certified is current communal pastoral landholdings. If government wishes to alter the use of land, it can do so in consultation with the landholders and upon paying the appropriate compensation in accordance with the law.