Part of LDGI's mission is to improve livelihoods through positively impacting the land reforms implementation process. Towards this end, the Institute convened a National Stakeholders Consultative Forum on 26th November, 2014 to bring together players in the land sector with the aim of addressing emerging issues currently affecting the reforms process. The forum provided a platform to contribute to the discussion on the enactment of pending legislation, promote stakeholder goodwill and support implementation.
The forum was attended by top land sector leadership with Cabinet Secretary to the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development, Charity Ngilu, and National Land Commission Chair, Dr. Mohammed Swazuri appearing together for the first time in public since the recent signing of their agreement on working together. The Embassy of Sweden was also in attendance in support of the land reforms agenda. The stakeholders were pooled from the Elders representing all regions of the country under the National Council of Elders, the Private Sector, Research and Training Institutions, State Agencies, Professional Associations, National and County Governments' representation, Faith-Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations and Development Partners.
LDGI Executive Director, Mwenda Makathimo, introduced the Institute to the participants, and its role as a link between the different tiers of stakeholders in the sector. LDGI Chair, Ibrahim Mwathane in his opening remarks appreciated that while the land sector has made numerous gains in recent years with enactment of new laws and establishment of new institutions, there is still a lot to be done with regard to pending legislation. He further highlighted the need for land sector actors to support the new institutions and cultivate political goodwill for continued implementation of reforms. National Land Commission Chair, Dr. Mohammed Swazuri thanked the Government for continued support of the reforms process and highlighted some of the gains under the Commission thus far, which included working together with the Ministry in the titling program (following their agreement), County Land Management Boards to be in place by the end of the year and law on historical injustices that is currently being formulated. Lands Ministry Cabinet Secretary, Charity Ngilu, gave a progress on the Ministry's programs, with regard to the ongoing titling and clean-up of registries, and digitization of land records. The Cabinet Secretary also called on stakeholders in the sector to support development of mechanisms to reduce land disputes in court.
The second session involved the different sectors giving challenges they face with regard to service delivery, implementation of the Constitution and the land laws, administration of land as a resource and other particular issues. The different sector also gave comments on the recommendations to resolve these challenges.
Moving forward, the stakeholders resolved to work on developing clear frameworks that will guide the process of regular stakeholder consultative forums, more to be done with regard to research on land, addressing gaps in the land laws, computerization and digitization of lands records and participation of all players in the sector.
The Institute will forward the recommendations emanating from this forum to the Ministry of Lands and subsequently share it with the stakeholders and begin work on setting up frameworks for regular consultative forums.