(Ecofin Agency) - The Ivorian government announced it launched a large-scale project to reduce land conflicts in rural areas, by facilitating land title access to landowners and updating the existing rural land law.
The $116 million project, funded jointly by European Union (€41 million) and World Bank ($50 million), will include social and institutional components, with the goal to achieve a land policy that will prevent or cushion new rural land conflicts.
In an institutional framework, the project will enable Côte d'Ivoire to fully operationalize the Rural Land Agency (AFOR), a public body set up in September 2017 to facilitate the implementation of the rural land policy. It will also foster the creation of village land management committees capable of establishing a transparent local process for land registration and update the land register.
Meanwhile, at the social and community level, it will provide required information and assistance to landowners in rural areas to help them obtain land titles and secure assets obtained under customary law.
These steps are lauded by Pierre Laporte, World Bank’s operation director for Côte d'Ivoire, who said in a statement that these actions will “help Ivorian authorities develop a national and rationalized program for land tenure in rural areas to accelerate the registration process and ensure full enjoyment of property to beneficiaries”.
For the record, land conflicts are recurrent and sometimes deadly in the country’s rural areas where less than 2% of lands are registered.
In Yamoussoukro, this new project is a crucial step towards rural land law’s modernization and a means to ensure land tenure necessary for investments in the agricultural sector.