Stakeholders Unite to Establish Kampala’s Land Management Think Tank for a Sustainable Future

Land stakeholders in Kampala have taken a crucial step towards addressing the city’s pressing land management challenges by resolving to establish a dedicated Land Management Think Tank for Kampala. The decision was made during the recent Kampala City Land Administration and Management Conference 2023, held at the Mestil Hotel on Wednesday. The event was organized by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) under the theme “Challenges and Opportunities for Kampala Urban Renewal.”

Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), presented this innovative proposal to tackle the city’s land management issues. In her address, Kisaka emphasized the pivotal role that land plays in Kampala’s development and future. She stressed the significance of effectively managing this valuable asset, not only for the current generation but also for future ones.

“The primary goal we aim to achieve is the creation of the Land Management Think Tank. This think tank will guide us into the future, not just for our lifetimes but for our grandchildren and beyond,” Kisaka stated. She acknowledged the role of General Salim Saleh in highlighting to the KCCA management team the importance of effective land management as a key factor of production.

The proposed think tank will serve as a collaborative platform for experts and stakeholders to formulate policies and strategies that promote responsible land use. It will also address critical issues such as preventing illegal land grabs and safeguarding vital areas like wetlands, schools, and health facilities.

Kisaka’s proposal garnered substantial support from attendees, including government officials, city administrators, the Uganda Land Commission, and representatives from the Buganda Kingdom. Kabuye Kyofatogabye, the State Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, underscored the inextricable link between land and the creation of a livable city.

“Land is fundamental for infrastructure development, road networks, urban forests, and recreational parks. It is important to preserve land for educational institutions and promote vertical construction to protect agricultural land,” Kyofatogabye said. Henry Musasizi, the Minister of State for General Duties, raised important questions about land availability for expansion and recreational purposes, as well as their financial implications. He astutely pointed out that free land is no longer available, highlighting the need for careful planning and management.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago emphasized the necessity of protecting all public land entrusted to the government and voiced concerns about land distribution. He stated, “There is a challenge with land in schools, as land entrusted to the Uganda Land Commission is being leased to individuals. Institutions should operate with the highest level of trust, and leases should not be permitted in wetlands, schools, or health facilities.”

The Deputy Katikiro of the Buganda Kingdom, Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, stressed the importance of enhancing land management as a finite resource. He encouraged productive discussions and collaboration to benefit the city’s development and offered the Buganda Kingdom’s support by providing land. The Buganda Kingdom is one of the largest landowners in Kampala.

The establishment of a Land Management Think Tank marks a significant stride towards addressing Kampala’s land-related challenges and securing a brighter future for the city. As discussions continue, stakeholders are optimistic that this proposal will lead to concrete actions and policy changes, ultimately benefiting the residents, businesses, and visitors of Kampala City. The conference, the first of its kind, represents a pivotal moment in addressing Kampala’s land challenges and shaping a more promising future for the city through responsible land management and policy reform.