Ethiopia—Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2014-2019

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Ethiopia

Solutions: Economic Growth

While still one of the poorest countries in the world, Ethiopia has made major advances in reducing poverty levels and increasing agricultural production in recent years. However, the pace of progress is constrained by inefficiencies in the rural land sector, including weak documentation and management of land rights.

The Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT) programme, funded by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), is raising incomes for the rural poor and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia and enhancing economic growth through second-level land certification and improved rural land administration. The programme team works with the government of Ethiopia to improve land tenure security for farmers and boost their productivity, especially among women.

Sample Activities

  • Implement a second-level land certification process to register 14 million parcels of rural land, with 70 percent of holders being women, either jointly or individually.
  • Establish a rural land administration system to sustain the certification process and ensure security of land holdings for farmers.
  • Increase access to credit and improve policies and institutions to enhance opportunities for rental lands and land service providers.
  • Promote investment by farmers such as planting trees and using improved seeds and agricultural practices.

Select Results

  • Established system for regularising land ownership and identified and registered 5.5 million land parcels, providing greater security of tenure and social stability, as well as encouraging investment.
  • Ensured that nearly 90 percent of land certificates now include the name of a woman.
  • Enabled 5,000 farmers to take advantage of individual loans, totaling $5 million, as a result of holding their second-level land certificate.
  • Introduced a network of 300 land rental service providers, who have facilitated more than 7,000 formal land rental transactions in rural areas.
  • Advanced implementation of the new Rural Land Administration System to record post-registration land transactions.
  • Produced land policy reports, including gender and social inclusion research, to allow government stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions on land governance.


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