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FYDP IMPLEMENTATION: Land sector, pillar of economic growth

FYDP IMPLEMENTATION: Land sector, pillar of economic growth

THE Development Vision 2025 outlines Tanzania’s development aspirations, with the land sector playing a central role.

It is envisaged that by 2025, Tanzania will have transformed into a middle-income country, characterised by high quality livelihood, peace, stability, unity and good governance.

Through her Vision 2025, which was developed in the late 1990s to guide economic and social development efforts, Tanzania envisages to have a well educated and learning society, a competitive economy capable of producing sustainable growth and shared benefits, and a diversified semi-industrialised economy with a substantial industrial sector.

The land sector is key towards attaining socio-economic transformation outlined in the Vision 2025, which is being implemented through various programmes including Long- Term Perspective Plan 2011/12 - 2025/26, whose execution was divided into three phases of the Five-Year National Development Plans.

Throughout the implementation of the Vision, the land sector has continued to grow and become a pillar and an enabling sector for investment and production in the agricultural, industrial, construction,livestock, fisheries, natural resources, energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, with Tanzania attaining middle-income status ahead of time.

This has significantly contributed to increasing employment for citizens, per capita income, government revenue and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in general.

All the three phases of the Five-Year National Development Plans have in one way or another considered the land sector as crucial for economic growth, hence the government has directed more efforts towards developing this key sector.

The first phase of the Five- Year National Development Plan 2011/12 - 2015/16, which had a theme of ‘unleashing growth potentials by de-bottlenecking binding constraints to growth,’ included resolving land crisis.

Notable successes were registered whereby the overall implementation reached approximately 60 per cent of the planned targets.

The Second Five-Year National Development Plan (2016/17 - 2020/21) focused on nurturing industrialisation for economic transformation and human development, all of which demanded enough land for investments.

This period witnessed tremendous achievements as well, notably the growth rate of production activities and improving access to social services.

The third and final Five- Year National Development Plan (2021/22 - 2025/26), themed; ‘realising competitiveness and industrialisation for human development’, looks to increase efficiency and productivity in manufacturing using the resources available including land in abundance within the country.

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Developments, Mr William Lukuvi, says that in order to continue to improve land sector services in the country, the ministry has been implementing a programme for planning, surveying and titling each piece of land.

The programme, he says, was being implemented in collaboration with planning authorities, the private sector and development partners.

Similarly, the minister says, his ministry has continued to prepare and supervise the implementation of guidelines for valuation and compensation, planning, surveying, formalisation, titling, land registration and construction of affordable quality houses.

According to Mr Lukuvi, land planning and surveying should focus more on town planning, control and management of land and town development in administrative areas, provision of land services and facilitate access to affordable plots and farms.

The Land Administration seeks to ensure that all land in the country is identified, planned, surveyed and titling with the aim of improving housing services, investment, secure tenure, increase government revenue and thus boost the GDP.

In achieving the goal, Minister Lukuvi says his ministry has continued to improve the provision of land sector services to the people by improving land offices in all 26 regions in the country.

The short-term establishment of regional land offices has enabled the provision of all services for planning and surveying, tenure, valuation, registration of title deeds and documents.

Citizens have been able to obtain title deeds on time, reduce travel costs to follow services and resolve disputes.

"With the establishment of these offices there has been an increase in services, for example, the survey of plots has increased from 222,849 in 2019/20 to 409,150 in May, 2021, while registration of title deeds has increased from 37,870 in 2019/20 to 56,390 May, 2021," says the minister.

In addition, he says, the ministry has continued to empower regional land offices by providing them with the necessary tools, financial resources, staff as well as the installation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems to increase efficiency in service delivery.

The minister points out further that the ministry is also continuing to implement the Formalisation and Housing Informal Housing Programme (2013-2020).

The aim of the programme is to ensure security of tenure and to facilitate access to land for essential social services and infrastructure in a participatory manner in compliance with Land Sector policies, laws, regulations and guidelines.

For example, Minister Lukuvi says, in the financial year 2020/21, the ministry promised to continue to coordinate the formalisation of housing activities to be implemented by the planning authorities in the country.

As of May 15, 2021, he says, the ministry in collaboration with the Planning Authorities has prepared 2,279 formalisation drawings with a total of 760,092 plots in various councils in the country and procedures for issuing title deeds were in various stages.

Thus, he explains, the ministry will continue to fulfill its responsibilities in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the Third Five-Year National Development Plan (2021/22 - 2025/26), among other directive documents, as well as laws, regulations and guidelines governing the land sector.

"My ministry will continue to carefully implement the issues contained in the documents and guidelines pertaining to the land sector from year to year to achieve the objectives intended by the government,” he says.

The ministry's focus is to reform service delivery closer to the people by strengthening and increasing use of ICT in the land sector, identifying land pieces in simple and participatory way; conducting tenure inspections; build strong land survey systems and supporting government revenue collection.

Minister Lukuvi further says that land is a major resource for society and its use is cross-cutting, thus development in various sectors in the country depends on land.

He argues that they would continue to identify, plan, survey and titling, the measures which are solutions to reduce land use conflicts.

He also said that the government would continue to recognise and verify investment in land to realise its contribution to the country's economy.

Over the next five years the ministry aims to survey approximately 37 per cent of land for investment, housing, trade and other land uses.

"This goal will be achieved by implementing various projects in the planning authorities in collaboration with Local Government Authorities and other stakeholders under the coordination of the Ministry," says the minister.

In order to achieve the goals of the Third Five-Year National Development Plan 2021 / 22- 2025/ 26 and the 2020-2025 CCM Manifesto, the minister says that the ministry in the next five years would implement various priority areas.

These areas include the identification, planning, surveying, titling of 2,500,000 urban plots and issuing of 2,600,000 customary land titles and the preparation of ambitious land use plans, urban development, geographical areas, islands, coastal zones and land allocation for investment.

Others are strengthening investment in low-cost housing construction, improving ICT land management system, harmonizing land management systems and development plans for other sectors in land use and encouraging the use of ICT in land surveying.

On Urban Planning, Housing and Human Settlement Development, the Plan's strategic direction will be to ensure land tenure security to economic agents and promote planned and serviced urban settlements with functioning town planning procedures.

Interventions in this section which include promoting and facilitating planning, surveying and titling of land parcels for investment and human settlement and preparing urban, islands and coastal development master plans will also address critical implications of rapid urban population growth on settlements.

Other interventions are to establish affordable housing schemes, upgrade and scale up an Integrated Land Management Information System, mainstream land management and planning systems in other sectoral development plans and promote the use of ICT in land surveying and titling.

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Author: FAUSTINE KAPAMA

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