25 Aug 2016 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 25 AUG (NAMPA) The Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma on Wednesday launched preparations to host the second national land conference in Namibia.
The date of the conference is not yet set but the national event is planned to take place in November 2016 or early next year.
In 1990, the Namibian government initiated a land reform programme to bring about more equal distribution of agricultural land after years under the apartheid regime of the South African government.
The first land conference took place in June 1991 and was aimed at promoting economic growth, lowering income inequality and reducing poverty.
To this end, the ministry in an effort to make the land reform process more effective, undertook a process of reviewing, amending and consolidating various policies and legislation. In this respect, regional consultations took place to gather opinions on the consolidation of the
Agricultural Commercial Land Reform Act, Act No 6 of 1995 and amended the Communal Land Reform Act, Act No 5 of 2002 as amended into one Land Act. The Bill is expected to be tabled in the National Assembly in 2016.
Speaking at the launch, Nujoma said it is important to once again regroup and consult the Namibian nation on the direction the current land reform process should take.
This call is made to all stakeholders to review the progress made, challenges encountered and propose ways to expedite the land reform programme. As we start the discussions to the build-up to our second land conference, let us be mindful of the set land acquisition targets as premised on the year 2020 and also as juxtaposed to the current growing demand for agricultural land.
At this stage, government is ready to re-asses, discuss and map the way forward in terms of its mandate. This time, according to Nujoma, government will explore what has worked and what did not; what is currently not working; and what needs to be adjusted, fine-tuned or totally discarded in terms of the countrys land policy and legal framework.
Nujoma noted the ministry is planning to conduct regional consultations at grassroots level ahead of the conference to provide space for reflection to communities about their long history with the current land reform process.
The ministry will listen to the contributions made from all 14 regions that were obtained in methods executed in local languages.
We will not hide behind policies or legislation during these consultations but are open to dialogue as long as it contributes towards enhanced livelihoods for our people. This call is made to all stakeholders to review the progress made, challenges encountered and propose ways to expedite the land reform programme.