As enshrined in Zimbabwe’s constitution, the Government signed a $US 3.5bn global compensation agreement with former large-scale commercial farmers after a change in land ownership structure.

Land is also the cornerstone for sustainable economic development – there is a wealth of evidence that shows that secure access and use of land can increase food production, promote higher private investments (domestic and foreign) and hence fuel GDP growth and human development.

UNDP/European Union support focused on helping both the Government and the former commercial farmers to determine the value of the improvements made to the land – which is of paramount importance given the relevant clauses in the Constitution. In addition, we supported the development of a consensus-based compensation mechanism.

Importantly, however, the main objective of the project was to capacitate the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement in the management of the land sector as a prerequisite for the development of the agriculture- and other land-based economic sectors. The project helped install a survey control network in five centres in Harare, Mutare, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Gweru. To enhance the surveys in the country using the latest technologies: satellite, GPS and GIS. The project also supported the establishment of the Zimbabwe Land Commission.

As part of a forward-looking development agenda, EU/UNDP and Government are about to start implementing a successor project which will focus on piloting a comprehensive Land Governance and Administration framework in two districts: a topographical map reference system for the delimitation and registration of land holdings; a comprehensive geo-based database registering land parcels; and an efficient institutional mechanism "one stop shop" that delivers several land administration services to land beneficiaries.

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