NEW YORK, March 10th, 2023
The ongoing digitization of title deeds and other lands documents is being viewed as a sure way of increasing the rights of women and improving food security.
During a high-level side event at the ongoing UN Commission on the Status of Women, Kenya’s Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru said that the digitization of land titles will involve more women in ownership.
While giving the keynote address at a side event organized by Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday night (Kenyan time) in New York, the CS said the Government will conduct sensitization programmes to accompany the digitization exercise.
“To ensure active involvement of women in this process, My Ministry in collaboration with FAO has scheduled land clinics and digitization awareness campaigns targeting women and the marginalized groups,” said the CS.
The digitization of land titles in Kenya is going hand in hand with the creation of Ardhisasa, a portal for managing Kenya’s land information.
In future all transactions will be digital and when using the Ardhisasa portal, no man can unilaterally dispose of property in which spousal consent is required without her approval.
CS Njeru said the digitization process land records is meant to actualize Article 60 of the Constitution of Kenya which outlines equitable access to Security of land Rights, Sustainable and productive management of land resources and transparent and cost-effective administration of land.
“Having seen what Ardhisasa has done on management of land records in Nairobi County and partially in Murang’a, it is an assurance that Digitization is the way to go,” said CS Njeru.
The National Land Information Management System (NLIMS)- Ardhisasa, noted the CS, shall help create a land bank for use by the Government, increase land tenure security and increase revenue.
He said digitization will also be used to solve the problem of loss or theft of records and ensure ease of tackling applications among others.
“In Ardhisasa, land owners are registered with identification documents which enables analysis of ownership by gender,” said Njeru adding that no transfer can be processed without the provision on the spousal content.
Data from Kenya Demographic and Health survey 2022 indicated that only 3 percent of women own land alone, while 20 percent own land jointly with their spouses or partner while only 7 percent of women own Agricultural land and thus the need to involve women in land digitization.
He said the Kenya Government was ready to work and share experiences about the digitization exercise with any development partner or country.
“As a Government, we are ready and willing to work with key development partners to ensure that this process is successful. It is my hope that our engagement here, will go a long way towards strengthening our digitization journey,” said the CS.
The side event will also provide a forum to discuss the ways in which inclusive interventions involving multiple stakeholders can work to tackle the barriers to rural women’s digital inclusion.
Kenya is playing a prominent role in the CSW67 with the Government participating in several high-level side events.
Kenya’s participation in the summit builds on the country’s track record of playing influential roles in the affairs of the UN system including the leading part it played in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).