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Measures to Improve Access to Land Resources and Related Benefits in Uganda Rexford A. Ahene Senior Technical Advisor Land Component Private Sector Competitiveness.

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Presentation on theme: "Measures to Improve Access to Land Resources and Related Benefits in Uganda Rexford A. Ahene Senior Technical Advisor Land Component Private Sector Competitiveness."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measures to Improve Access to Land Resources and Related Benefits in Uganda Rexford A. Ahene Senior Technical Advisor Land Component Private Sector Competitiveness Project II

2 Uganda: Population 28.3 million; Surface areas 24.3 million sq. km.

3 Outline: Identify principal land access concerns in Uganda Evaluate the impact of some practical interim steps taken to minimize these concerns Outline long term measures currently underway to improve access

4 Access from whose perspective? From a land governance perspective; Physical infrastructure for inclusive land administration Legal framework that assures security of tenure for all legal land holders Processes that facilitate efficient land transactions (titling, transfers, etc.) Institutions that assure fair and equitable enforcement of contracts. From a land market and/or private sector perspective; Availability of suitable land and land use information Security of ownership and/or property rights Time saving land use and/or development procedures Consistent treatment of all competitors (level playing field) Secure expectation of benefits from investment

5 Impediments to access: inadequate property information, difficulty identifying legitimate owners, obstacles to registering property rights bureaucratic procedures corrupt and unfair pricing.

6 Dominant Land Tenure Regimes in Uganda Green = Customary (50%) Beige = Mailo (28%) Blue = Native Freehold (22%)

7 Uganda: History of efforts to enhance formal access to land in Uganda Colonial Intervention 1900 – 1940 Buganda Agreement 1900 Ankole Agreement 1902 Tororo Agreement 1903 Creation of Lands and Survey and appointment of Chief Surveyor 1901 First Mailo title registered on 2 nd Jan Survey School established in 1910 Registration of Titles Ordinance passed in 1924 By 1940, the Land Registration System was already clogged by too many claims of paper acres.

8 Tenure and Access Concerns Customary tenure areas: Lineage group membership restrictions Communal ownership with usufructuary rights Land rights allocated specific to function or group Trans-generational rights to land protected Transmission designed to keep land resources within the community, lineage and family.

9 Customary tenure areas ….. Traditional framework has been weakened but remains remarkably adaptive to changing circumstances. Increasing overall insecurity (59% in the 2008 Acholi and Lango study) Frequency of disputes due to obscure boundary demarcations (34%) Competition due to economic pressure (land scarcity 15%) Moving rapidly towards privatized ownership (62% Teso region) Increases inequality for women, children and other vulnerable groups

10 Tenure and Access Concerns Mailo tenure areas: Feudal tenure system superimposed over the existing customary tenure system by the British colonial administration from Original customary land owners became statutory occupants or Kibanja holders (tenants recognized as bonafide occupants) by the 1998 Land Act. Landlords ( Bibanja holders ) cannot utilize land without evicting tenants. Eviction of tenants require payment of compensation to all lawful or bonafide occupants. A kibanja holder has the option of purchasing land to become a landlord

11 Mailo tenure areas ….. Impact on land access: With the protection provided by the law, kibanja holders have no incentive to become landlords. The tenure system effectively blocks large tracts of prime land from entering the market Land owners cannot effectively utilize their land without evictions System impedes orderly planning and development. Land Act Amendments – designed to protect tenants from forced evictions

12 To support the de-facto evolution of transferable private rights in land. Involves the creation of a legal and institutional framework for: Expansion of clearly defined private/community property rights Ability to freely assign rights of ownership Right to transfer some or all rights through private contracts to other persons (by sale, lease, inheritance, etc.) Focus attention of owners on finding the most profitable investment opportunities for their properties Incentive to achieve higher economic and social returns from better land stewardship.

13 Long legacy of neglect; Near total neglect due to civil unrest from and political uncertainty 1980 – Lack of Adequate Personnel Lack of Adequate Financial Resources Limited storage space and mutilation of records.

14 Shortcomings of the Kampala Mailo Registry before rehabilitation: Mutilated Title CertificatesRemnants of a cadastral index map

15 Some preliminary interventions Studies Carried Out between 1990 and 2004: Report on the Land Registration Procedure and the Land Registry 1990 Rehabilitation and Development of Land Survey and Registration 1990 Base for a Land Information System in Uganda – Swede Survey (1996) Design and Development of GIS including Uganda Spatial Data Infrastructure 2001 Review of the Status of LIS – 2003 Detailed Plan for LIS Design, Development and Implementation in Uganda 2004 Digital Mapping Initiatives Kampala Mapping Project (Digital mapping with cadastral capability) 1994 CAMPUS Project : Mapping from satellite images, 1995 – 1997 Records Reorganization – (USAID/ GoU / KCC), 2002 – 2003

16 Shortcomings of the Land Registration systems present Only 18% of land owners have registered title or certificate. Most land holders in Uganda have no documentary evidence of their property rights. Registry business processes fails to provide the economy of information needed to make informed decisions. Existing records storage and management system is archaic, manually managed and in very bad shape. Search and verification of claims is slow and prone to errors Service delivery is slow, corrupt and unreliable. Impact: The entire process make land risky as collateral security for loans and a barrier to investments.

17 Shortcomings of the land market Land management and real estate professions are not well established. Absence of reliable land information makes land transactions difficult, risky and prone to principal-agent problems Financial intermediaries (Banks and mortgage finance institutions) are forced to assume higher than competitive risk Land market information gap creates distortions that makes it impossible to efficiently assess market risk. Contributes to an unregulated market environment susceptible to graft and criminal activities.

18 Difficulty using land as collateral High volume of undocumented land holders limit access to credit and is a hindrance to enterprise growth. Financial institutions face high lending risk and high loan administration cost due to poor quality collateral. 20% average borrowing cost for small and medium firms 2-4.7% for land mostly foreign firms Collateral insecurity contributes to a culture that does not penalize non payment of loans The absence of a reliable cadastre makes it difficult to establish clear property rights or to exploit the full collateral value of land

19 Framework for land sector reforms: Measures to Improve Access The Land Sector Strategic Plan (LSSP) To implement the provisions of the Land Act 2008 A New National Land Policy; Resolve the land use impasse between registered Mailo tenure owners and lawful bona fide occupants; Improve access for private investments in progressive agriculture and urban development. Modernize and decentralize the Land Registration system Develop and Land Information System to support the land market Two focal LSSP activities with direct impact on land access A new National land Policy (2003) Private Sector Competitiveness Project II ( effective 2005)

20 1. Land Policy measures to improve access to land Goal: To develop a modern Land Registration system, supported by an integrated, spatially referenced land information system to serve the needs of a fast growing economy. Guiding principles To re-examine, secure and clarify the land tenure system To instill confidence in land as an asset able to contribute competitively to development. Encourage access and investments as a tool for reducing poverty Ensure equity and justice in access and management of land as an important human right Develop and sustain mechanisms for efficient, transparent and participatory land governance.

21 2. Land Component of the Private Sector Competitiveness Project (5 year project currently at mid-term) Core objectives: To comprehensively restore the integrity of Ugandas Land Registration system To modernize and enhance the ability of the land sector to deliver services commensurate with the need of the economy To establish a modern Land Information System and Land Records Archiving system for posterity To develop the institutional capacity and human capital required to ensure inclusive access, equity and social justice. To decentralize land services closer to the people Goal: To eliminate land-based constraints to Ugandas private sector competitiveness, thereby encourage investment and alleviate poverty.

22 Principal sub-components of the Land Project? Rehabilitation and modernization of a 21 Land Registry offices Construction and Establishment of: Land Information System and an LIS Center Storage and Archival Center for Land Records Rehabilitation and Reopening of the School of Surveying and Land management. Up-dating of Un-surveyed Mailo inheritance subdivision titles, including legal aid for adjudication and possible use of systematic demarcation in customary tenure areas.

23 Other PSCP II Land Services Delivery Improvement Activities : Re-establishment of the National Geodetic Control framework and Harmonization of overlapping surveys, including and Geo- referencing. Systematic Adjudication, Demarcation, Surveying and Registration of Customary Land Rights Piloting methodology completed in 2 Districts (av. 16,000 titles issued) Comprehensive Inventory of all Government Land Training and Human Resource Development for the Land Sector Public Education, Mass Sensitization and communication program for policies, laws and activities of the project

24 Land Registry Modernization: Interim Records Rehabilitation and Basic Computerization Multi-phased activity: Interim Records Rehabilitation and Preliminary Design of the Land Information System Strategy for Securing Land Records since November 2006 Interim Training of Land Registrars and Records Officers started in Kampala as part of Mailo and Leasehold Registry decongestion exercises in 2007 Standardization in the collection and processing of land information; Speed up the processes of first registration of title; Decrease the cost and space required for storing land records; Prevent unnecessary duplication; enhance security of records; Simplify the preparation of "disaster" copies of registers; Facilitate accesses to land-related data and improve their distribution;


26 Interim records rehabilitation and basic computerization

27 Archival preservation

28 Impact of rehabilitation on service delivery ( monthly average) ItemType of TransactionWith Rehabilitation Average Time required to complete Av. Time required before Rehab. 1. New title Certificates1,2371 day3 weeks 2. Land Transfers1, day3 months 3. Mortgage of Land days2-3 months 4. Mutations / Subdivisions days1 year 5. Caveats ( Withdrawn)75 ( 28)1 day /1 day2-3 days 6. Probate / Administration841 weekSometimes 1 month 7. All Other transactions days

29 Land transactions recorded 1999 – Kampala Leasehold and Mailo Registry average 4,500 transactions /month since 2006.

30 Design and Development - Uganda Land Information System Multi-phased activity focusing on Information for land administration; i.e. information on land rights, land use and land valuation. Phase I: Preliminary Design of the Land Information System Strategy for Securing of Land Records completed October, 2007 Phase II: Detailed Design, Installation and Pilot Implementation to start June, program will train and pilot LIS in 6 Districts with the highest volume of land transactions over two years. Phase III: LIS Roll-out and Cadastral Information Decentralization to include 8-16 more districts over years (to 2018).

31 Land Information System – Cadastral Layer


33 Local access to reliable land information: Cadastral Information Branch Centers

34 Expected LIS and Benefits Standardization in the collection and processing of land information; Speed up first registration of customary land holdings; Decrease the cost and space required for storing land records; Prevent unnecessary duplication; enhance security of records; Simplify the preparation of "disaster" copies of registers; Facilitate accesses to land-related data and improve their distribution;

35 Pilot Systematic Demarcation A method of identifying, ascertaining, and recording of the existing land rights in the given administrative area The method is systematic – leaves no gaps (everybodys land is demarcated) Development of cost effective methodology, sensitization and community participation techniques. Tested Oct, June Full scale pilots by Private sector firms to start in July Expected Output: Mass adjudication with legal aid for conflict resolution, Demarcation, titling and registration of customary land rights.

36 Revision & Harmonization of Land Laws Contract to a local consulting Law Firm started July 3, 2007 for 10 months. Full scale review of all land related laws - currently on-going Process timed to benefit from the Land Policy reforms Purpose: 1. Revise and harmonize existing laws (including the Survey Act) with the new Land Act and other Legislative Framework 2. Draft new laws and regulations for LIS, Estate Agents, Government Land and Archiving of Land Records 3. Conduct public/stakeholder dialogue/consultation and workshops (target groups and national).

37 Reopening the School of Surveying Rehabilitation of 2 dormitories by Min. of Education completed in June 2006 Construction of new 3 Classroom Block is due to be completed in April, 2009 New modern survey and land management curriculum development, accreditation and business plan completed November, 2007 PSCP-II funding for capacity building, rehabilitation and retooling of the school is designed to support a modern problem-based Curriculum and Strategic Business Plan 148 students (52 Surveying, 20 Cartography, 40 Land Administration, 26 Physical Planning) admitted since October 2006.

38 Established 1910; Abandoned in 1995

39 Survey School refurbished and reopened in 2006

40 Public information messages

41 Public education posters

42 Expected long term benefits: 1. Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Dev. A reduction in the time required to register, collect and compile land information, and to search the land registry for property transactions. An improvement in the quality and consistency of land information available to support public and private investment decisions and planning functions. A reliable access to property information, efficient storage and maintenance of land information at a lower cost for the land sector. A faster and fully decentralized delivery of primary and secondary land services to the public.

43 Expected impact and land access: 2. Private investors and developers An enabling law regulating real estate agents which will formalize and institutionalize the role of such agencies in accessing and managing land and real property information in support of Ugandas development; An increase confidence in the real estate agents and mortgage finance organizations, private developers, brokers, etc.; Clearly enhanced role for brokers, agents and property insurance companies and surveying and land management professionals as service providers in the land market.

44 Expected impacts: 3. Banking and Financial Sector Improved access and ability to utilize the LIS to verify property information for handling mortgages, loans, credits, etc.; Better collateral security and efficiency in completing real estate transactions; Improved working relationship with the Land Registry, Banks and other financial intermediaries operating in the land market.

45 Expected impacts: 4. Municipal and District Councils Physical planning process and land use zoning requirements can be easily verified and enforced. Spatial data for managing local land developments integrated with socio economic data to inform local planning and development schemes. The creation of a fiscal cadastre containing valuation and property tax information, and other fees and taxes to enable equitable and efficient administration of taxes without duplication of data capture. The process from planning to property formation will be accelerated.

46 Overall Benefits of Improving Ugandas Land Access: To Be More Responsive to the needs of citizens and business clients Increase data access and transparency, and to eliminate fraudulent practices Introduce new land administration technologies Easy electronic exchange of data and Information Efficiency benefits include: Maximizing use of land asset as collateral for development, Lower transaction costs by avoiding duplication, fraud and illegal dealings, Lower investment risk and better public/private sector decision making Better custodianship of records Equitable and inclusive access to land information for all

47 Remaining Challenges: Existing data is incomplete and not easily accessible, Not up- to-date and lack documentation on their accuracy and reliability Fear of what lies in the future: Low leadership and staff support for land administration reforms, Fear of conversion to full computerization etc. - at cross-roads. Staff capacity limitations and inadequate technical skills Resistance to changes that support transparent service delivery.

48 Thank you.

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