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‘Priority should be given to land management’

US: Land is at the centre of reconstruction in a developing economy and human existence, said former executive director of IMF Festus Mogae while imploring global players like the World Bank to give due cognisance and priority to the management and development of land.

In his keynote address at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Mogae said land was a finite factor of production and a source of livelihood to a majority of third world economy. It also signifies cultural identity, communities and that of a nation and is a source of socioeconomic sustenance of these entities. The historical, cultural, social, political, economic and physical environment have influenced and contributed to the implementation of land use and land management frameworks, practices and frameworks in all the countries.

Mogae, who is also the former President of the Botswana, was of the opinion that the objectives of land management should be to resolve the broad categories of challenges, including inaccessible and inefficient administrative structures, unreliable land information, inadequately recommended processes and procedures, inadequately recognised property rights and respect for those rights. African culture typically excludes women from ownership of land. There are several realities around each of these topical issues and the way each of them is handled has direct bearing on access to land and of course towards poverty alleviation.

A number of initiatives have been taken at country, regional and continent levels in Africa to address these issues more systematically and to develop transparent land governance s systems. Among the initiatives, the joint programme of land reform and development by the African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) and the Africa Development Bank is significant. Through their guidelines, several changes are being brought in land policy, land laws, land registry, opening land to women and ensuring rights to those who will put land to good use.

Source: Our Correspondent

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