The second Steering Committee Meeting for the AU-ECA-AfDB African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) for 2018 was held at the African Union headquarters on 09 November 2018.
Chairing the meeting, Mr. Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of the Directorate of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), AUC noted the critical role played by ALPC in coordinating the implementation of the AU Agenda on Land, noting that “it is easy for AUC to report to AU organs on progress made, because the ALPC provides timely reports and updates to the Commission.” He encouraged Members and observers support and collaborate with ALPC, given its role in coordinating efforts and reporting on progress made in implementing the AU Agenda on Land Issues and Challenges.
On his part, Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director of the Regional Integration and Trade, ECA, who co-chaired the meeting noted that in hosting the ALPC, ECA has demonstrable support to the AU land agenda. “land has critical linkages to key strategic interventions geared toward enabling the business environment in support of private sector engagement which is critical for Africa’s economic transformation. Successful land governance is a core part to advancing regional value chains and the AfCFTA” ,
The Steering Committee examined progress in implementing Committee decisions and the 2018 ALPC Work Plan, including fund utilization and commended the ALPC for the improved rate of implementation in spite of facing capacity challenges associated with low human capacity. In this regard, the Committee recognized the need to build human, financial and institutional capacity of ALPC to effectively support RECs and member states in the implementation and monitoring of the AU agenda on land in Africa.
The Steering Committee Meeting examined and approved the ALPC work plan for 2019, commending the synergies being build with the ECA work on enhancing private sector investments in agriculture through enhanced business enabling environment. The Steering Committee also took note of progress made towards finalization of the ALPC 5-year Strategy and Business Plan and approved its implementation period of 2019-2023.
To provide guidance to ALPC, the Steering Committee Meeting reflected and deliberated on emerging issues and challenges, calling for explicit and deliberate efforts by AU member states to allocate adequate resources to initiatives at continental, REC and country levels to improve land governance. The ALPC was commended for continuously seeking opportunities for synergies with partners and key stakeholders in mobilizing resources to support implementation of the AU Declaration on land and ensuring that ALPC effectively coordinates land initiatives among various partners at continental level.
The Steering Committee Meeting was attended by members representing AUC, ECA, AfDB, NEPAD-NPCA Agency, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO) and the Civil Society Platform (CSP) established to support the AU Agenda on Land. It was also attended by observer members from SDC, IFAD, FAO and UN-Habitat. With a view to save resources, the next Steering Committee will take place in April/May 2019 in a virtual format, to be followed by a regular meeting to be held back-to-back with the Conference on Land policy in Africa that is scheduled for 4-8 November 2019 in Abidjan, hosted by the African Development Bank.
The Steering Committee was preceded by an experts meeting of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA), an implementing partners meeting and a development partners meeting which took place earlier in the week.