Ethiopia—Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2013-2021

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 Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), raised incomes for rural poor and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia and enhanced economic growth through second-level land certification and improved rural land administration. The team worked 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 secure land holdings for farmers.
  • Increase access to credit and improve 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 and system for regularising land ownership and demarcated 9.2 million parcels.
  • Ensured that nearly 90 percent of land certificates include women.
  • Enabled 7,300 farmers to take out loans using their second-level land certificates, totaling $7.6 million.
  • Introduced a network of 400 land rental service providers, who facilitated 10,800 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.
  • Published the Inclusive Land Registration and Critical Role of Social Development Officers Guide.
  • Launched a Knowledge Hub to share lessons learned.


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