Second Land Conference long overdue: Kamwanya

08 Feb 2018 16:30pm
GOBABIS, 08 FEB (NAMPA) – The directive by President Hage Geingob to have the second land conference convened has been welcomed by political commentator, Ndumba Kamwanya.
Kamwanya however also expressed the need for proper monitoring of preparations leading up to the conference while speaking to Nampa on Thursday.
He said it would be an embarrassment to the country if the conference is to be postponed again on grounds of lack of consultation.
“The whole country is awaiting this conference and is eager to hear how it will address critical matters pertaining to land,” he said.
He noted that the conference is important not only to farmers, but also to those residing on urban land and people in informal settlements, as they all want to learn how the decisions of the conference would impact their lives.
President Hage Geingob on Thursday directed that the eagerly awaited second national Land Conference be convened this year without fail.
Geingob, who made the remarks when he addressed the opening of Cabinet for the year, noted that the conference should take place under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s office.
He said to ensure inclusivity, a high level committee chaired by the line minister and comprised of ministries and civil society, should be established.
Geingob also directed that extensive consultation, as undertaken last year by the line ministry, must be supplemented with input from subject matter experts and other important stakeholders who were not included in the first round of consultation.
“It is imperative that the format, objectives and outcomes of the conference be clearly defined from the onset, so as to guide preparations,” he said.
The conference, which was slated for the end of September 2017, was postponed by the president after various parties involved, among them the Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations Forum raised concerns about the insufficient time availed for consultations ahead of the conference.
The conference is expected to take stock of the achievements made since the first national land conference in 1991 and to establish what is needed to accelerate and improve the implementation of the recommendations made then.
The first land conference was aimed at promoting economic growth, lowering income inequality and reducing poverty.
Prior to that, in 1990, the Namibian Government had 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.