The francophone West Africa NELGA Hub was launched at a meeting held between 3-7 December 2018 hosted by the NELGA Node, Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal. The launch was followed by a three-day training that brought together academics, trainers and other relevant stakeholders in the land sector for a joint interactive learning on innovative concepts, tools and practices in land governance.
In support of this important initiative, the African Land Policy Centre, the UN-Habitat Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) have teamed up with support from GIZ to organize the learning exchange and capacity development week on innovative concepts, tools and practices in land governance: addressing gender-based land tenure disparities and promoting transparency.
At the launch, officials working in land governance, academia as well as other stakeholders and partners in the land sector attended.
Senegal’s Université Gaston de Berger de Saint-Louis (UGB was officially selected to host the hub for francophone west Africa, in addition to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, which focuses on coordinating anglophone West Africa in August 2018.
This Centre, costing two hundred and thirty thousand (230,000) euros has been financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and German Development Cooperation through the GIZ.
Activities of the Center will include the set-up of a master’s degree program on land resources governance, the hosting of students from the sub-region for research and training purposes, and the collaboration and exchange of knowledge and research findings amongst academicians, researchers, students, professionals etc.
Receiving NELGA partners in his Office, in connection with the event in August 2018, the Rector and President of the University Assembly, Professor Oumane Thiare, expressed his appreciation for the choice to designate the Gaston Berger University as host to the Centre of Excellence and affirmed that quality human resources would be made available to support the NELGA Program in its endeavors. He believes that the UGB already has the experience to pilot this kind of program, since a structure of this kind, the African Center of Excellence in Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Technology Communication (CEA MITIC) is hosted by the university.
To the questions raised by the Rector regarding the sustainability and the construction of premises to house the Centre of Excellence, those in charge responded that after the test phase, donors will be approached to discuss the feasibility of these proposals.
Present in the meeting were his collaborators from of the African Union Commission (AUC), the KWAME NKRUMAH University in Accra, GHANA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ALPC) and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ).