Kenya’s Minister of Lands, Mr. Amos Kimunya, today formalised a joint declaration with the Land Sector Development Partners Coordination Group of donor governments and aid agencies, to streamline and harmonise all land related activities under the leadership of the Ministry.
The Joint Declaration acknowledges that secure land rights are critical for increasing productive investments in urban and rural Kenya and advocates improvement in the security of tenure especially for the poor, women and HIV/AIDS affected people. It commits the Ministry and development partners to working together on a National Land Policy Formulation process which involves all relevant stakeholders. The Declaration also calls for implementation of the action plan resulting from the recommendations made in 2002 by the “Commission of Inquiry into the Land Law Systems of Kenya” (also known as the “Njonjo report”).
The Group of development partners on their part committed to ensuring that new agreements between them and Kenya are consistent with the country’s national development and poverty reduction priorities and the forthcoming Land Policy. This harmonisation of partners’ programmes and joint funding agreements should result in more effective use of development aid to address Kenya’s key priorities in the land sector.
The Land Sector Development Coordination Group membership consists of the Embassies of Belgium, Finland, Italy and the European Union, Canada’s International Development Research Center (DRC), Germany’s agency for technical cooperation GTZ-STDP, Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Swedish International Development Cooperation, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It also includes multilateral organizations, namely, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank and UN-HABITAT.
The agreement was formalizedby Minister Kimunya and Mr. Lars Reutersward of UN-HABITAT, currently the chair of the Land Sector Development Partners Coordination Group. Also present at the ceremony were the Assistant Minister, Mr. Orwa Ojode; the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Kiriinya Mukira; members of the Ministry and representatives of the Development Partners Group. The Joint Declaration provides a good basis for building an overall country level harmonisation agreement that is still being developed.