During the 3rd quarter of this year, academics in the East African sub-region gathered in Kampala, Uganda, to exchange country experiences, ideas, and research findings. The 10th Eastern Africa Land Administration Network (EALAN) was held between 23rd to 25 July 2018, under the theme “Promoting Responsible Land Administration in East Africa and the Great Lakes Regions.” The network is devoted to providing a platform for academics and partners engaged in education, research and training pertaining to land administration to exchange ideas, experiences, and knowledge.
As it aligns with its own objectives, the African Land Policy Center through its Network of Excellence on Land Governance (NELGA) has been sponsoring the EALAN’s conferences in collaboration with the German Cooperation (GIZ) through its SLGA program and ADLAND (Advancing Collaborative Research in Responsible and Smart Land Management in and for Africa) as well as other partners such as the World Bank. The event which brought together over 30participants featured a total of 13 papers focusing on various aspects of land governance in the region.
Some of the country-specific papers dealt with topics such as an implementation of the National Land Information System (Uganda), technological and resource deficiencies in Land Administration (Tanzania), implementation of open tenure, strengthening customary land rights (Uganda) and application of web features services for updating cadastral databases.
Panel discussions were also held on pertinent topics such as “advocating and implementing the fit-for-purpose framework in the country context, as well as strengthening women’s land rights on customary tenure.
Moreover, an overview of pro-poor land tools for promoting responsible land administration was also highlighted by one of the presentations.
Various country experiences were shared through the presentations made by various academics from the region’s member universities including Ardhi University, University of Juba, University of Makerere, University of Nairobi, UEA (Bukavu), INES-Ruhengeri- Rwanda, Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia).
Moreover, representatives from the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) and the Ethiopian Federal Urban and Rural Authority made valuable contributions to the discussions.
The network participants also noted that in order to use the platform for policy dialogue, the network should facilitate the participation of policymakers and government officials working in land ministries. EALAN’s membership also includes Kenya Polytechnic University, National University of Rwanda, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) based in Nairobi, Kenya and University of Burundi.
EALAN has also established partnerships with several institutions outside the region such as the United Nations University’s School for Land Administration Studies at ITC (under the auspices of the University of Twente, Faculty ITC and the Netherlands Kadaster) as well as the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden. (Nuffic, UN-Habitat/ GLTN (Global Land Tool Network) also participated).
After considering its request for membership, the general assembly of the Network’s Secretariat has approved the membership of the Institute for Land Administration, (ODA) Bultum University from Ethiopia.