The Liberia Land Authority or LAA in partnership with the World Bank launches the Liberia Land Administrative Project (LLAP) aimed at addressing land disputes across the country.
Speaking recently during the official launch, the Chairman of the LAA, Dr. Cecil T.O. Brandy, lauds the World Bank for being a very supportive partner of Liberia’s land reform programs.
He recalls that in 2006, the Government of Liberia mandated the Governance Commission or GC to investigate issues regarding land rights and tenure here, and to recommend actions that would address problems of land tenure.
As a consequence of this, a Land Steering Committee (LSC) was established under the leadership of former GC Chair Dr. Amos C. Sawyer. Dr. Brandy says the committee identified the need for the GC to reach out to wider population to hear gather views on land property rights, given that land policy was one of the issues addressed in the poverty reduction strategy carved by the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and subsequently embbeded in her government’s agenda for transformation.
The LLA boss says the World Bank-funded Land Rights Registration Project started in 2009 and ended in 2013, saying the project provided support for the legal review and analysis on land laws and statues for conducting assessments and studies of statutory and customary land issue to facilitate policy development.
According to him, initial studies, including public consultation were also supported by the World Bank and stakeholders like the Norwegian Refuge Council (NRC) USAID, SIDA and the Government of Liberia, which led to crafting a platform for broad support to the land sector.
Dr. Brandy further explains that the World Bank’s support to the LAA started in 2014, which culminated into the grant financing of the LLAP, adding that the project has four components that demonstrate national ownership.
For his part, the Officer-In-Charge of the World Bank, Sekou Kamara, says the new Liberia Land Authority requires financial and technical support to achieve land tenure security, which he stresses, is important for economic development, poverty reduction, shared prosperity, food security, responsible land based investment as well as necessary to reducing land disputes – factor that contributes to civil crisis.
“The World Bank will support the Government of Liberia to this end, through funding the Liberia Land Administrative Project and ensuring that land administrative services are accessible to everyone, including women, and customary formal and informal land rights holders in rural and urban areas”, Mr Kamara promises.
He says the LAA project is financeed by a US$7 Million International Development Association (IDA) grant after it was approved by the World Bank on September 28, 2017, and subsequently made effective on March 22, 2018.
He adds that the project development objective is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Liberia Land Authority and establish a land administration system in the country.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne