Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia: Options for strengthening land administration

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Over the coming decades, land policy and administration, for urban as well as rural areas, will be critical for Ethiopia’s development. The vast majority of people making up the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s (FDRE) predominantly agricultural economy live in rural areas. There, land continues to be a key household asset and functions as a safety net. High tenure security will be critical to provide the incentive to invest in land. Tenure security will increase productivity and encourage transfer of land to its most effective use, thus contributing to the growth and transformation of the agricultural as well as the transition to more urbanization and industrialization. Secure tenure also will reduce encroachment and unsustainable resource use that are leading to erosion and permanent loss of soil fertility. Access to land is also one of the most important factors for industrial growth. In addition, the ability of local, particularly urban, governments to pursue land-use planning including for promoting urbanization and industrialization and to draw on land to generate public revenue are pillars of administrative decentralization that are closely linked to transparency and good governance. Finally, land policies and administration can contribute significantly to the objectives of promoting gender equality and protecting vulnerable groups in Ethiopia.