Cameroon – Land Reorganisation : Government’s Explanations To Parliamentarians

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A special plenary sitting took place in the National Assembly on July 5, 2021 on the legal, socio-economic and political aspects of land reorganisation.

By Cameroon Tribune

The Minister of Land Tenure, Survey and State Property, Henri Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development, Georges Elanga Obam, Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Marie-Therese Abena Ondoa and the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Justice, Jean De Dieu Momo during a special plenary sitting in the National Assembly on July 5, 2021 explained what government was doing to address the teething problems related to land use in the country. The plenary sitting was organised within the context of the process of drawing up a modern and inclusive land reform in the country.

Concerning access to land through direct registration to people born after August 5, 1974 who according to Law No. 76/165 of 27 April 1976 on conditions for obtaining land cannot own land through direct registration, the answer was precise. Minister Eyebe Ayissi said they can own land in case the application is filed by customary communities and parents with the right to include their children in joint ownership for land and property effectively developed before August 5, 1974. Equally, such people can acquire and own land through direct registration in case they have inheritance documents that the land belonged to their parents before enactment of the 1975 law. They can also own land through concession.

As to the teething problem of access to land by women and youths, the Minister stated that there was no law that prohibited these categories of people from access to land as all Cameroonians have the right to property. He said women and youths are encouraged to get access to land through concessions. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family as well as other associations fighting for the rights of women and youths have to intensify advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns.

Internally displaced persons on their part, can have access to land through concessions. Government is making efforts so that internally displaced persons can have temporary access to land in their host communities, while the State through Ministry of Land Tenure has embarked on securing the lands and property of internally displaced people in their places of origin. The Ministers also explained government’s efforts in compensating people who have been displaced from their lands that have to be used by the State or other users. They also explained the process of resettling displaced people from their lands and the costs of land registration.

The land reform law being drawn up, Minister Eyebe Ayissi said, focuses on five key areas. They include the modernisation of the law and updating the legal and regulatory frameworks on State property, surveys and land procedures, modernisation and rationalisation of fiscal procedures applicable to land, State property and surveys, rationalisation of the process on access to land, rationalisation and mastery property and land litigations and, finally the consolidation of the land rights of customary communities.

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