Government desires a land system that recognises rights of all land holders without leaving anyone behind. The fit- for- purpose land administration in Zambia comes a time when Government is working towards securing land rights for its people through the national land titling programme.
Speaking at a Fit for Purpose International Conference, held in Lusaka recently, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Jean Kapata was quick to mention that the constitution promotes securing land for lawful land holders and a transparent effective and efficient administration of land.
Therefore, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was implementing the National Land Titling Programme (NLTP)aimed at promoting internal security by ensuring tenure security and sustainable use of land resources. It also aims to increase the investment in the country thereby contributing to social economic development.
However, there is a concern in some quarters that the land administration system in the country is considered a one size fit all system which is not suitable for administration in the case of customary tenure. There is recognition of the need to design systems that are fit for purpose which would improve incrementally as certain conditions are met.
Zambia with the support of NUFFIC held a fit for purpose land administration conference to share knowledge on experiences regarding different forms of land documentation in Zambia, Namibia and Rwanda. It is envisioned that the shared knowledge would help professionals think of how to make land administration fit for purpose.
Hence a fit for purpose approach has been adopted for the development of land administration. This approach was developed in close cooperation with UN-Habitat, The World Bank, the Global land tool network and the international federation of surveyors.
The Fit for Purpose to Land Administration is seen as a game changer for developing countries like Zambia. It is hoped that it will offer a viable practical solution to provide security of tenure for a quick and affordable and enable control of the use of all land.
This approach provides new, innovative and pragmatic countries where current land administration solutions are not delivering. These solutions provided are directly aligned with country specific needs of land tenure and can be upgraded when economic opportunities or social requirements arise.
Fit for purpose promotes simplification and allows for workflows, institutional settings and co management between traditional authorities and government.
These arrangements allow for sharing and standardisation. It’s important for the implementation of information as fit for purpose in land administration approaches opens many future perspectives. One of them is maintenance of the spatial and administrative data.
It should be noted that people to land relations is dynamic. The Fit for purpose land administration is highly participatory and can be implemented quickly and will provide security of tenure for all. Most importantly, the Fit for purpose approach can start quickly using a low risk entry point that requires minim preparatory work. The implementation of the fit for purpose approach calls for professionals to take the initiative and ensure a legal foundation as a prerequisite as change is developed.
Chief Chamuka of the Lenje speaking people in Chisamba District of Central province informed the conference that his chiefdom had embarked on a robust program to secure land rights for women using the fit for purpose approach. The chiefdom was working with Government and other cooperating partners to implement the fit for purpose model by using tools such as the parcel set and the social tenure domain model to develop site plans and certificates of title to secure land tenure
The Chief appealed to government to invest in the fit for purpose land administration to ensure land is documented and secure its tenure.