MDF, in consortium with VNG-International and Kadaster International, has implemented the Land Administration Project in Benin with funding from the Netherlands Embassy. The project has been operating since 2018 and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2023.
The purpose of this project was to develop a model for developing a national land administration system in Benin. Less than 1% of the country's land is registered with a legal land title, which is costly for the majority of the population. For their land security, they depend on a mix of traditional/communal practices and various forms of registration by different municipalities of land ownership. In turn, insecurity and conflicts are the consequences: More than 75% of Benin tribunal cases are land related.
It is the objective of this project to develop a model, not only for land registration but also for transaction and mutation administration, which is sufficiently effective, cost-effective and reliable to enable the population, civil society, municipalities, the national administration, and all other parties in the country to embrace the new national cadaster system.
In the past four and a half years, we have achieved some remarkable results, including:
- Around 450.000 people's plots spread over 12 municipalities in Benin are registered in the National Cadaster of the national agency ANDF: e-Foncier Bénin. They can be consulted on the website: https://cadastre.andf.bj/accueil
- Owners, men, women, and groups have been able to control and adjust their land data before final registration.
- A plan to cover all of the 77 municipalities of Benin in the National Cadaster has been adopted by the authorities. There are positive indications that the necessary funding will be secured.
- The system for online data maintenance is now being tested in the first municipality. Once confirmed, we expect e-Foncier Bénin to handle land administration for the 12 municipalities. For the population this would mean a significant advantage of more transparency and security in land use. With an SMS service, they can access their data easily and cheaply.
- Local NGO’s in project intervention areas have been trained to educate vulnerable groups about their rights.
Currently, we are discussing a grant with the Dutch embassy in Benin that would allow us to assist the process until the national program is operational. By doing so, we will be able to further develop the system: assist the first municipalities in adopting the new system as their land data maintenance tool, strengthen the national agency for land administration (ANDF) to manage the new system and generate revenue from its services, propose further legislative and regulatory changes to protect citizens' rights, and involve civil society in lobbying and advocating for land access.