Heads of State and Government of the African Union have adopted a new set of policy guidelines to ensure that landless people, women, youth, displaced people and other vulnerable groups have equitable access to land.
In a joint declaration adopted at their 13th Ordinary Session 1-3 July 2009, the African leaders said that they resolved to “ensure that land laws provide for equitable access to land and related resources among all land users including the youth and other landless and vulnerable groups such as displaced persons.” They also said they will “strengthen security of land tenure for women, which merits special attention”.
“The adoption by African leaders of the Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa is a landmark decision that reflects the critical role of land in African development,” said Mohamed el Sioufi, the Director of UN-HABITAT’s Shelter Branch.
The endorsement also marks the successful accomplishment of the road map set out by the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank Land Policy Consortium in 2006.
Today, African governments are more conscious and prepared than ever before, to take the lead in the development of land policy that serves their national development goals.
UN-HABITAT has worked closely with the Pan African Land Policy Framework and Guidelines Initiative, which is being led by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank, in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities and other partners.
The initiative aims to develop a framework and guidelines for land policy and land reform in Africa, with clear benchmarks and indicators for its implementation.
UN-HABITAT will continue working with the Consortium towards effective implementation of the Framework and Guidelines, including tracking progress on land policy development and implementation.