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Government Welcomes ULA's New Strategy for Managing Land Conflicts
Mr. Richard Muganzi, ULA¡¯s Director of Programs presenting the draft document of Uganda¡¯s NES.

Government has welcomed Uganda Land Alliance's National Engagement Strategy (NES) as a new mechanism to tackling land injustices in the country.

Speaking at the opening of the two days stakeholders' workshop on the NES in Jinja on June 7, the outgoing State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Sam Engola said, government will support the NES strategy to further improve tenure security in Uganda.

The meeting, which was organized by Uganda Land Alliance with funding from the International Land Coalition (ILC) brought together over 50 participants from Uganda, Africa and beyond.


The NES is about giving birth to a multi-stakeholder national level forum that brings together land actors on a regular basis in tackling, arguably, the most socially emotive, culturally sensitive, politically volatile, and economically central issue in the lives of most people in Uganda.
Critical to note in this approach is the bottom-up approach where, land injustices are shared at local, regional level and then transferred to the national debate or forum for policy and legal considerations.

ULA and other land actors believe that such a coherent strategy is needed to provide a sense of public dialogue and national collaboration between the government and the citizenry by encouraging more regular consultations towards sustainable, equitable and optimal use of land and land-based resources for needed economic development and transformation of society in Uganda.
Minister Engola said unlawful land evictions will easily be prevented by this new approach. He added that land in Uganda is underutilized because of the use of poor technology and poor infrastructure.

In reference to the above, 5-11% of agricultural output is lost due to land disputes, according to the 6th edition of the World Bank's Economic update for Uganda. The September 2015 update adds that 20% of Uganda's land is formally registered, 6.5% of households engaged in agriculture are affected by land disputes.

Hon Engola said that government welcomes the idea of sensitizing land owners to put the resource [land] to productive use. He said that any idea that supports the fight against land injustices is welcome.
Mr. Edmond M. Owor, the Executive Director of ULA said this is a new programme approach that will see the Alliance partner with the rest of the non-state actors both within and outside Uganda to realize positive impact on the access, use and control over land.
"ULA is ready to implement this new strategy," Mr. Owor said, adding that Uganda's perennial land injustices require unique solutions, this [NES] being one of them.

ILC's Network Coordinator, Ms. Annalisa Mauro said, Uganda's land conflicts are similar to those of Malawi and Cameroon where a similar strategy is being deployed.

Once implemented and supported by all land actors, the NES will provide answers to the land question in Uganda.
"ILC is ready to support the strategy in Uganda,"she said.

Going forward, participants unanimously agreed that they will be partners of ULA and government in the implementation process of the NES Uganda.

The workshop was organized under the theme; Promote people centred land governance in Uganda.

By ULA's Communications Department
Posted 12th, June 2016
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