Land tenure security remains a critical issue in Liberia’s post-conflict state and is widely recognized as a potential catalyst for further civil disturbances if not dealt with proactively. In its 2008 final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) stated that land disputes are a threat to national peace, and if the issue is not addressed, there is a strong likelihood of a return to violence.
In 2010, the Liberian government created the Land Policy and Institutional Support Project (LPIS), designed to overhaul the current deed-recording process as well as provide the public with greater clarity and understanding of property rights. In the summer of 2010, LPIS chose Thomson Reuters OpenTitle to secure the country’s land records in a digital format.
Since then, the Government sector of our Tax & Accounting business has been working with groups such as the Liberia Land Commission, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help protect the existing property information and make that information more transparent and accessible.
At a recent Thomson Reuters Newsmaker interview President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf discussed press freedoms, governance transparency, education, trade and investment and land reforms.
Reuters presenter, Axel Threlfall, led the discussion with President Sirleaf and explored the lasting impact of the civil unrest that occurred from 1989 to 1996 and from 1999 to 2003 and how, in her second term, she intends to deliver stability, security and growth.
Under President Sirleaf, Liberia has instigated a land reform and institution modernization project. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), has supported this effort through the Liberian Land Policy and Institutional Support project and we are a technology partner of MCC and USAID in connection with the Liberian government’s land reform project.
A leader in providing integrated property tax and land administration software for governments worldwide, Thomson Reuters presented two papers at the recent Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, highlighting how 21st Century land information management software is helping to bring an end to generations of conflict over land ownership.
During the conference, representatives from governments, civil society, academia, the private sector, and the development community discussed issues of concern to land practitioners and policy makers worldwide. Throughout the three-day event, papers were presented on key topics including:
- land as a key development issue,
- implementing good land governance, and
- how civil society can contribute to making good land governance a reality.
The papers presented show how Liberia and Cape Town are solving land management issues and introducing innovative software solutions to help improve their economies.
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