Addis Land audit far behind schedule

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The Addis Ababa Land Holding Registration and Information Agency had plans to audit nearly 600,000 parcels in the city by 2022. However, in the last three years only 160,000 parcels have been audited.
Some of the reasons for the slow performance include poor coordination by the Land Management Document and Authentication Office, the Land Banking Compensation Payment Office and the Plan Office.
Out of the 20 Woredas in the city, the Bureau has audited 53,000 parcels. Land holding certificates have been given to individuals and entities but over 33,000 parcels are still undergoing disputes because of lack of information.
The Agency has 800 staff to complete the audit; however sources told Capital that this number should be doubled.
Currently giving out land holding certificates takes more than one year. The goal was for this to take two weeks. Auditing one district has taken more than eight months, the goal is for this to be accomplished in less than three months.
“Apart from the poor coordination of the work, we don’t have the necessary labor and beyond that there is high turnover of the staff due to the low salary. The city administration has studied a new strategy to retain workers, however nothing has been applied so far,” a source said.
“We have less than four years to audit the entire Addis Ababa region, and to retake land that is occupied illegally, but with the way things are going it could take over 10 years. So far we have only covered 20 of the 117 Woredas of the city,” a source said.
During the current land auditing, the Agency set a tolerance limit from three up to 14 percent for the land between 250 square meters and 3,500 square meters. If the person holds more land than the tolerance limit the administration will take the land and use it for lease auctions or other development work.
The pervious proclamation of the city stated that all land that is held after May 2005 will be dealt with in the new land lease policy.
The growing population and limited land supply has challenged the land market in Addis which recently fetched up from 10,000 up to 350,000 birr for the purchase of one square meter of land.
The City Administration of Addis Ababa is concerned about the development of an adequate drainage system, the renovation of slum areas, and the construction of modern roads and infrastructure. For this reason, the land board favors projects which promote social service investment or have welfare benefits, such as those in health and education.
At present, acquiring land is an arduous process and lease prices, particularly within Addis Ababa, are expensive. Government officials respond that the price is set by auction and investors are welcome, even encouraged, to set up their project outside the capital. This has only led investors to shop around for land just outside the Addis regional administration.