Norway has supported the establishment of a property register in Kosovo over several years, by helping to build up a new agency, the Kosovo Cadastral Agency (KCA), because the sector in its entirety was attended by Serbs until the war in year 2000.
The last years, the Norwegian assistance has concentrated on bringing in place a modern property register. A functioning property register is necessary for social and economic development in Kosovo: It helps to secure investments in real estate, facilitates foreign investment, allows for loans secured by real estate and is essential for sustainable land management. The interest rate on mortgage loans in Kosovo is still approximately 13%, compared with 3-4% elsewhere in the Eurozone, partly because of the quality of the property register. Moreover, clear and secure property rights are essential for social stability between Albanians and the different ethnic groups in Kosovo.
Businesses and citizens in Kosovo have totally been lacking addresses. Norway has helped with bringing in place a modern address system including a digital address map linked to an address register, and with signalization of road names and house numbers.
Norway has undertaken to finance the development of a modern IT-based solution for property registration. In 2014 the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated a grant of 8 million Norwegian kroner to ensure sustainability in the IT systems at KCA. The Norwegian Mapping Authority has also focused on building skills and capacity within and outside of KCA, so that the IT solutions are sustainable when aid from Norway is phased out.
The IT solution provides better security, ensures uniform registration in all municipalities, and reduces corruption by ensuring that all changes are logged with reference to the person who made the change in the registry. The IT-system works towards a central database and thus establishing a connection for municipalities and users via the Internet. The roll out of the centralized, web based IT system to all municipalities. was completed by mid 2015, A KCA geoportal is developed and in operation.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority has also been supporting a new address system for Kosovo ensuring that all citizens and businesses have a unique road address. Legislation is adopted, as well as norms and standards for naming of roads, address numbering and signalization. It has been made a database of the roads identifying all segments of the road network. All entrances are identified, localized with geographic coordinates and assigned an address number. Most of the municipalities have completed the naming of streets and roads.
The final component of the address project is signalization of road names and entrance numbers, which started early 2014. The Government of Norway has allocated a total of 9,7 million Norwegian kroner towards installation of street name signs, which by the end of 2015 covered about 50 % of the municipalities in Kosovo.
The address project is expected to finish in 2018.