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Unlocking communal land for growth

From the left, Ambassador Raul Fuentes Milani of the European Union Delegation, Ms. Esther Lusepani, Deputy PS in the Ministry of Land Reform and Resettlement, German Ambassador Onno Hückmann, Mrs. Lidwina N. Shapwa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Hon Alpheus G. !Naruseb, Minister of Lands and Resettlement, and Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu, the CEO of Agribank.

From the left, Ambassador Raul Fuentes Milani of the European Union Delegation, Ms. Esther Lusepani, Deputy PS in the Ministry of Land Reform and Resettlement, German Ambassador Onno Hückmann, Mrs. Lidwina N. Shapwa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Hon Alpheus G. !Naruseb, Minister of Lands and Resettlement, and Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu, the CEO of Agribank.

In a landmark agreement concluded last week, the European Union and Germany have agreed to support an aggressive programme of communal land development through two leading German development agencies.
The Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Hon Alpheus G. !Naruseb, the German Ambassador, Mr. Onno Hückmann, assisted by the Ambassador of the European Union to Namibia, Mr. Raul Fuentes Milani launched the Programme for Communal Land Development to be implemented through the KfW Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Important pillars of the programme will be to provide infrastructure investments and to improve access to advisory farming services to increase productivity and market-orientation, thus advancing the integration of communal areas into the mainstream economy. By the end of the programme more than 700,000 ha should have benefited from investments to enhance agricultural production. The programme runs for five years. Total investment will reach about N$500 million.

Initially the programme will focus on land rights and tenure through land rights registration and long-term leaseholds in communal areas. To date about 48% of customary land rights have been registered.
The programme further supports the development of a harmonised land-use framework through integrated regional land use planning. The first such plan was completed for the Karas region and is now serving as a pilot for other districts. Currently the integrated regional land use plans in the Hardap and Kavango regions are being finalised. Furthermore Zambezi Integrated Regional Land Use Planning is at present being developed and the Otjozondjupa region is to start shortly.
The programme support the land based economic development of the targeted areas, and commonly include the provision of water, land husbandry and marketing investments.

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