Minister of Lands Turad Senesie

The Sierra Leone Land Alliance has for the second time called on the government of Sierra Leone to ensure that urgent action is taken to reform the land system in the country.

They noted that without reforms of the land system, it will be very difficult to enhance economic development and peace in the country.

See press release for further details:

Press Release

Land Alliance Calls for Urgent Land Reforms.

Freetown, February 22, 2021 – The Sierra Leone Land Alliance (The Land Alliance) launched it’s second policy calling for urgent land reforms in Sierra Leone, at a press conference held at the Amnesty International office in Freetown today. Titled “The Urgency of Land Reforms in Sierra Leone” the paper argues that without reforms of the land system, it will be extremely difficult to enhance economic development and peace in the country.

Among the key recommendations, the Policy Paper calls for the establishment of the National Land Commission, the decentralization of land administration, the transformation and digitization of land management.

Director of Land Alliance, John Paul Bai said there is an urgent need for the new minister to prioritize the implementation of the Sierra Leone Land Policy including the setting up of the Land Commission which has already been formulated and approved by cabinet in 2015.

“The new minister of Lands, Dr. Turad Senessie, has a unique window of opportunity to make history by ensuring the enactment of the Land Policy into law. Such a law if done with the active engagement of citizens will resolve long-standing problems of land conflicts that have led to tension in communities and loss of lives and property.” Mr. John Paul Bai.

Mr. Paul Bai added that there is need for an institutional framework that will ensure there is fair access to the land and that national institutions are a-political. The goal of the new institutional framework should be to ensure that the land administration and management system, however structured, is organized, operated and maintained to:

       Protect and guarantee the security of all categories of tenure
       Keep all categories of land rights (whether individual, communal or public) clear and unambiguous
       Provide a robust framework for the marketability (transfer and transmission) of different species of land rights, in specific cultural and economic contexts
       Facilitate the sustainable regulation and management of all categories of land (public, private and community)
       Provide an accurate and easily accessible land information system.
       Avail socially acceptable mechanisms for the expeditious and cost-effective resolution of land disputes.

Amnesty International Sierra Leone Director, Solomon Sogbandi said land access is a human rights and livelihoods issue. He noted: “Citizens access to land is a rights and livelihood issue and government should ensure that this is done using human rights based approach and whole scale implementation of the 2015 National Land Policy.”

The policy brief concluded thus: “The level of political support for the proposals contained in the National Land Policy 2015 report, the Constitutional review Committee report 2016 and the medium term national development plan 2019-23 has been inadequate. The President has not publicly referred to the problems of illegally acquired land since the sacking of Dr. Denis Sandy nor has Parliament secured list of state land distributed to citizens by officials from the ministry. Successive Ministers of Lands since the release of the national land policy have spoken little of its contents. The President and the Speaker of Parliament need to give more attention to the recommendations of the policy particularly now as the management of the sector is in high focus. The new Minister for Lands, Dr Turad Senessie needs to give policy commitments and promise in tackling issues of the policy head on.”

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For more information, please contact:
John Paul Bai, Director Sierra Leone Land Alliance. T: +23276619 561. E: [email protected]

Who We Are:
The Sierra Leone Land Alliance (SLLA) is a membership-based alliance of civil society organizations and individuals, lobbying and advocating for land policies that address the land rights of the poor.  We do this through advocacy and movement building for fair land laws, policies and empowering rights holders for sustainable livelihoods in Sierra Leone.