FAO in Kenya

Kenya unveils the National Land Information Management System

The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta speaking during the unveiling

Nairobi Kenya: The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta launched the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS) under the initiative of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Union.

From 2018, the initiative embarked on a comprehensive programme to digitize all the land records in the country and establish the land management system.

“Land issues have been a dominant theme in Kenyan politics for the last century. Today, Kenya boasts of some of the most progressive pieces of land-related legislation in Africa, with one of the highest Gini coefficients for land inequality on the continent,” said the President during the launch.

The main components of the programme are: digitization of all land records including mutations, digitization of maps and integration of textual and spatial data, survey/ re-survey and updating of all survey and settlement records including creation of original cadastral records where necessary, digitization of registration and its integration with the land records maintenance system as well as development of core Geospatial Information System (GIS) and capacity building.

“The Lands sector plays a pivotal role in Kenya’s socio-economic development, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, Vision 2030 and the ‘Big 4’ Agenda. The system being launched today will provide a standardized and integrated online platform to enable Kenyans to access land registration services seamlessly,” said Farida Karoney, the Cabinet Secretary to the Ministry Lands and Physical Planning.

The digitization process

Complete details of the parcel of land from the original owner, period of ownership, year of purchase to number of transactions to the current status of land, the revenue officials need to collect as well as the image of the land/property.

For records on land availability, a fresh survey of lands was conducted and every parcel of land counted and details noted. The digitization process began. Digitization of land records ensured requisite details - map of the land, mutation and photo ID, among others – a step towards conclusive ownership.

“Technology and digital information systems play a fundamental role in achieving food and nutrition security by identifying and monitoring land and natural resources use; and provide adequate information and data for policy and legal solutions, infrastructural development, resource allocation and conflict resolution,” said the FAO Representative to Kenya Carla Mucavi.

Importance of digitizing the land services

The digitization initiative is to improve service delivery and enhance ease of doing business by addressing various challenges in the land sector. This include inconsistency on land records and ownership documents, increased land disputes due to the opaque nature of keeping land records, increased cases of fraud, forgery and corruption, lengthy and indeterminate transactions turnaround time among other challenges.

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution as well as the various land laws call for a complete overhaul on land administration, coordination and better services to the people of Kenya.

“Good land governance contributes to employment and job creation; food and nutrition security; efficient natural resources management and mitigation of conflicts. The EU support to the NLIMS and the digitization of lands records will be an important step in achieving a transformative future in the lands sector in Kenya,” said  Deputy Amb. Katrin Hagemann: Chargée d’affaires European Union Delegation to Kenya  

Background of Land issues in Kenya

Land ownership remains a politically sensitive, socially and culturally complex issue in Kenya. Since independence, it has been dogged by disputes over ownership, use and access and thus no guarantee of security of tenure to the people of Kenya.

Several studies and attempts to redress the grievances have documented numerous cases of dispossession of land through fraudulent transactions and corruption. The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report (TJRC, 2013) established that a close link exists between land injustices and ethnic violence in Kenya.

Article 67 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 establishes the National Land Commission (NLC) with the role of initiating investigations either on its own initiative or on complaint, into present or historical land injustices and recommending appropriate redress. The commission is also mandated to monitor and have overall oversight on land use planning throughout the country.

For more information


Lydia Limbe

Communication Specialist,

FAO Kenya.

email: [email protected]