UGB Land Management Students Gain Practical Knowledge on Pedagogical Field Trip
On April 12 and 13, 2023, Master’s Students in Land Governance and Land Management from the Université Gaston Berger in Senegal embarked on a pedagogical field excursion in the country under the supervision of Professor Samba Traoré. The excursion, which was supplementary to the student’s professional training, spanned two days and two locations. The itinerary included visits to the Ross-Bethio-based SAED delegation in Dagana and the Bokhol community.
The excursion aimed to disseminate theoretical and practical knowledge regarding land governance, including its issues and proposed solutions. The specific objectives consisted of a pedagogical component and a scientific component, both of which were pursued to ensure the smooth operation of the educational excursion on land.
The first stop was the Ross-Bethio-based SAED delegation in Dagana. The heads of the local SAED welcomed the group. They presented the instruments used for land management and the objectives, functions, roles, and policies for land management and spatial planning in support of eleven regional municipalities.
The second visit was to the municipal town hall of Bokhol. The mayor and his associates described the municipal issues and the difficulties it faces vis-à-vis its neighbours, notably those associated with the delimitation and division of different land bases. As residents of the communes of Bokhol, Gaya and Dagana have customary rights to land in other communes, which is regarded as the primary source of conflict within these communities. To preserve these relationships, the mayor permits other municipalities to exploit BOKHOL’s properties, even though this violates Law No. 64-46 of 17 June 1964.
During the visit, the team could comprehend the significance of SAED’s land management methods in the Senegal River Valley region. They also grasped the society’s relationship with territorial collectivities and populations and the procedure for utilising its services.
Students expanded their knowledge of land management in the Senegal River Valley. They learned about the difficulties faced by the populations, particularly in the Bokhol region, where water is scarce for agriculture during the off-season in the djieri, where most of the commune’s land is situated. Aside from this, no land office addresses challenges associated with local land management.
The educational field excursion was essential for the enhancement of theoretical knowledge in the field of land governance and territorial administration. The purpose of the excursion was to prepare the students for professional life, particularly in land management administration and related services. The excursion provided students with the practical knowledge and operational skills necessary to improve land and resource management in the country. The pedagogical field excursion was required and essential for the student’s professional development. The trip provided students with an in-depth comprehension of land management in the Senegal River Valley and the difficulties faced by the local population. Students could comprehend the working methods of SAED and their significance in land management, spatial planning, and the relationship between territorial collectivities and populations as a result of this excursion. Students could apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations and acquire practical knowledge and operational skills through this expedition. The knowledge gained on the trip will unquestionably contribute to improving the country’s land governance and territorial management. Students left with a deeper comprehension of the challenges and opportunities in the field of land management.
Sub-Regional Seminar Empowers Doctoral Students in Francophone West Africa to Improve Land Governance
From 28 to 29 April 2023, the Network of Excellence on Land Governance, Francophone West Africa (NELGA-AOF) node, hosted a sub-regional seminar for doctoral candidates working in the land administration and policy space. The seminars, held at the Résidences Mamoune hotel in Dakar, Senegal, were intended to satisfy the needs of human and institutional capacity building needs to improve land governance actions at national and regional levels.
The training had in attendance university instructors who are members of the NELGA-AOF Network, technical and financial partners, and doctoral students. Speakers at the opening ceremony included the NELGA Centre Coordinator, the Doctoral School Director, the GIZ representative, and the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences Director at the Université Gaston Berger (UGB).
Among several sessions, the seminar featured a roundtable discussion on land governance challenges in Africa, including land insecurity, conflicts, rising inequalities, and substantial foreign investment. The session also addressed the motivations and alternatives for land reform, including redistributive reform, land tenure reform, and land administration reform.
Two doctoral commissions were presented at the seminar, with most of their work focusing on presenting research findings. The instructors provided feedback on the work’s content and style and provided advisory support towards enhancing the doctoral students’ work.
The seminar concluded with several recommendations, including the need for formative and complementary doctorates to increase competitiveness. Participants suggested mobilising additional resources to organise frequent doctorate student exchanges with other countries through the NELGA network. It was also recommended that doctoral students should reexamine their subjects and evaluate analyses of poorly-formulated issues. In addition, they were instructed to pay close attention to the use of concepts and to present their research results using pre-defined templates.
The sub-regional training seminar for land-related doctoral students was a success, providing an opportunity for capacity development and information exchange. The participant recommendations and follow-up actions will unquestionably improve land administration in Francophone West Africa and beyond.
Find the detailed report here.
NELGA-SA Partners’ Assembly Establishes Governance Board for Project Success
The 2nd NELGA-SA Partners’ Assembly was held on May 19th, 2023, to discuss the work plan and governance structure of the NELGA-SA project. The meeting brought together representatives from different institutions within the NELGA-SA network.
The meeting updated the work plan and reviewed the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Governance Board’s structure and functions. The Governance Board’s composition, functions, and ex-officio members were agreed upon, with the coordinator tasked with calling for the inaugural meeting of NELGA-SA governance board members by the first week of June 2023.
Five non-NUST representatives were endorsed to serve on the Governance Board, ensuring diverse perspectives, effective decision-making, and sustainable land governance in Southern Africa. Establishing the Governance Board is a significant milestone towards achieving the project’s objectives, which aim to promote land governance in Southern Africa for sustainable development.
The assembly was fruitful, and crucial decisions were made regarding the project’s governance structure and responsibilities. Establishing the Governance Board, which will ensure strategic direction, efficient decision-making, and sustainable land governance in Southern Africa, has set the NELGA-SA project up for success.
NELGA Publish Research Studies for Young Researchers to Tackle Land Governance Challenges in Francophone West Africa
The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Francophone West Africa (NELGA) has launched a tremendous research opportunity for young researchers in the field of land governance in Africa. This program, led by Gaston Berger University, has funded research studies that have led to the publication of five (5) articles on land in West Africa. This initiative aims to help improve training and curricula on land governance in Africa and promote research focused on land issues. The results have made it possible to address critical issues relating to land tenures in West Africa, such as the protection of the rights of local populations in forestry in Burkina Faso, land conflicts in Mali, gender and land in Senegal, the geohistory of urban land governance in Côte d’Ivoire, and vulnerability and access to land in Diama.
The NELGA initiative is a welcome development for researchers in the field of land governance, as it provides a platform for young researchers to engage in research that contributes to the discourse on land governance in Africa. The program is designed to provide funding for research, as well as technical support and guidance to ensure that the research produced is of high quality and meets international standards.
The research studies funded by NELGA have already made significant contributions to the field of land governance in West Africa. For example, the study on the protection of the rights of local populations in forestry in Burkina Faso sheds light on the challenges local communities face in managing forest resources. The study identifies the need for greater participation of local communities in decision-making processes related to forest management, as well as the importance of recognizing and protecting the rights of local communities in forest management.
Similarly, the study on land conflicts in Mali highlights the country’s complexity of land tenure systems, particularly in the Kayes region, where descendants of former slaves and masters have competing claims to land. The study emphasizes the need for a more comprehensive approach to resolving land conflicts that consider the historical, social, and economic factors at play.
The study on gender and land in Senegal is another important contribution to the field, as it highlights the challenges faced by women in accessing and owning land, particularly in rural areas. The study identifies the need for greater efforts to promote gender equality in land governance, including recognising women’s rights to land and providing support for women to acquire and manage land.
The study on the geohistory of urban land governance in Côte d’Ivoire provides insights into the processes and factors that have contributed to urban sprawl in the city of Bouaké. The study emphasizes the importance of taking a long-term perspective on urban development and the need for effective urban planning and governance to ensure sustainable and equitable development.
Finally, the study on vulnerability and access to land at the level of the Commune of Diama identifies the factors that contribute to vulnerability and landlessness among communities in the region. The study highlights the importance of addressing structural inequalities in land governance, including the need for land tenure reforms and providing support for vulnerable communities to access and manage land.
Furthermore, the coordination of the scientific committee composed of Prof Ibrahima Diallo, Prof Amadou Kah, and Prof Samba Traores a testament to the quality and diversity of expertise involved in the initiative. This diversity of perspectives is essential in addressing the complex and multifaceted challenges faced by African countries in the field of land governance.
The research can be found here.
In conclusion, the NELGA initiative is a welcome development for young researchers in Africa’s land governance field. The program’s focus on promoting research, improving training and curricula, and building capacity is a step in the right direction towards addressing the complex challenges facing African countries in the field of land governance. The publication of the five articles on land in West Africa is a testament to the quality and relevance of the research produced under the NELGA initiative, and it is hoped that this initiative will continue to provide a platform for young researchers to engage in research that contributes to the discourse on land governance in Africa.
Registration Open: NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum on Responsible Land Investments in Africa
The NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum is an essential platform that brings together experts, policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders in Africa’s land governance field. Its primary objective is to facilitate sharing of information, ideas, and best practices pertinent to African land administration. With land as a limited resource that significantly affects sustainable development, it is imperative to conduct a webinar on the topic of responsible governance of land investments in Africa.
The Responsible Governance of Investment in Land (RGIL) project in Ethiopia, Laos, and Uganda, funded by GIZ, will be the focus of this edition of the NEX. The seminar aims to promote the responsible use of land resources, which can potentially result in Africa’s economic and social transformation. The webinar will identify best practices regarding “what works,” emphasising techniques for minimising negative and maximising positive outcomes and measures to ensure that land investments are transparent, inclusive, and participatory.
The importance of secure land rights has been increasingly recognised by the international community. Several international initiatives and guidelines have been implemented to improve land policy. However, responsible land governance has been challenging to implement, leading to the need for worldwide discussions. The NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum contributes significantly to promoting sustainable land management, equitable access to land, and inclusive management of the continent’s land resources.
The webinar will address critical questions on existing principles and guidelines on responsible investments in land, how these principles/guidelines can be incorporated into relevant academic curricula development/review, and how different communities can be engaged in practising these principles.
Kindly contact us to be part of the webinar.
Find more information, click here.
NELGA Publishes Three New Good Practises to Empower Young Land Governance Researchers
The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) is committed to furthering transparent, efficient, and equitable land governance practices across the continent. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is by supporting young academics and researchers through a variety of programmes and initiatives. Today, we are pleased to share three additional best practices that we have developed to increase the efficacy of our work in this area.
The NELGA Summer School Programme
Through our Summer School Programme, which is designed to provide them with this opportunity, young researchers will have the chance to extend their knowledge and skills in land governance and related subjects. Participants will have access to a variety of classes and seminars designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to conduct high-level research and analysis. This programme has already supported the education of hundreds of young researchers, and we look forward to continuing to assist the next generation of experts in land governance. (Link)
The Utilisation of Digital Tools in Educational Settings
Prospective young researchers must have access to the most advanced tools and technology to aid them in their academic studies in this day and age. As a result, we have established a collection of digital tools and services that can aid researchers in conducting research, analysing data, and disseminating their findings. (Link)
Assistance options for Upcoming Researchers.
At NELGA, we understand that each young researcher confronts a unique set of requirements and challenges. As a result, we offer researchers a vast array of support services to assist them in overcoming obstacles and attaining their goals. These programmes provide access to research facilities and resources, mentoring and guidance opportunities, funding opportunities, and networking events. (Link)
We are ecstatic to share these innovative best practices with our network. We sincerely hope that they will inspire many younger scholars to pursue academic and professional careers in land governance and related fields in Africa.
NELGA and Cameroon Land-Related Institutions Join Forces to Enhance Land Governance Capacity
A significant obstacle in Africa has been the lack of human and institutional capacity to implement sustainable land policies. This has impacted numerous land administration and management facets, including surveying, land use planning, land titling, and cadaster. The insufficient quality of academic programmes in African universities and institutions of higher education is one of the primary causes of this issue. In addition, most nations lack the capacity for applied research, monitoring, and evaluation and the data required for effective land policy implementation.
The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) established the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) to address these issues. NELGA is a partnership between African universities and research institutions that have demonstrated leadership in land governance education, training, and research. The NELGA seeks to improve land governance training opportunities and curricula, promote demand-driven research on land policy issues, connect scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks, and generate data and information for monitoring and evaluating land policy reforms.
To ensure better coordination of NELGA across the continent, a lead university has been chosen for each AU region; these universities are known as “regional nodes.” The University of Yaoundé 1 has been chosen to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of NELGA activities in Central Africa.
In October 2022, a workshop on evaluation and planning was held in Douala, Cameroon, to assess the quantity and quality of land-related training and the institutional and human competencies of higher education institutions working on land issues. The workshop’s objective was to ensure that land governance is incorporated into land-related training courses and that practitioners and decision-makers have a deeper understanding of land governance.
During the workshop, it became apparent that land-related institutions were not significantly associated with or engaged in NELGA’s activities. To foster knowledge development and sharing, capacity development of land-related institutions, research-policy dialogue, improvement of decision-making processes based on research findings, and the overall improvement of land policy at the continental and national level, it was necessary to increase the involvement of land practitioners working in governmental and non-governmental institutions.
To accomplish this goal, a two-day workshop will be conducted in Yaounde on May 28 and 29, 2023. The workshop aims to bring together land-related institutions operating at the national level in Cameroon to share information about NELGA, collect their needs in capacity and institutional development, design relative focal points, explore means of collaboration from central to regional levels, explore means and axes of collaboration between these institutions and NELGA, and develop a working plan.
After the workshop, land-related institutions should thoroughly understand NELGA’s activities, goals, and vision on a national and regional scale. Their needs in terms of capacity-building and development will be gathered, and a strategy for their implementation will be implemented. The focal points will be identified, their duties and responsibilities will be clarified and consolidated, and an MOU draught will be available for review. Overall, it is anticipated that the workshop will increase the participation of land practitioners in NELGA’s activities, which will contribute to developing national and continental land policy.
Africa Land Insights: Data, Policy, Tools and Best Practices List (April 2023 Edition)
Land Insights: Data, Policy, Tools, and Best Practice series identifies available strategies and tools for comprehending, addressing and resolving land-related challenges in Africa. The series compiles information on available and upcoming tools to effectively manage and regulate land resources, manage data to inform policy decisions and share best practices to improve land outcomes.
The Assessment of Land Use Efficiencies of Ghanaian Cities: Case Study of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, study shows that land in Ghana cities that was either agricultural land or grassland has been converted to built-up land use/land cover, which is indeed a challenge for urban agriculture. M.S Aduah and Mantey develop guidelines to inform urban development in Ghana.
Climate Resilience – What can we learn from Pastoral Systems in Africa’s Drylands policy brief by Saverio Krätli, Christine Lottje, Friederike Mikulcak, Wiebke Förch, and Tobias Feldt identifies lessons learned from pastoralism which smallholder farmers in drylands can learn from to address the challenge of sustainably producing food in an increasingly unpredictable climate.
Felicity Addo, Amanda Palazzo, Petr Havlík, and Ansa Heyl policy brief on Securing Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems for The Gambia recommends the co-development of resilient food and land-use systems to help bridge the gap between demand for sustainable, healthy food and attainable food supply in The Gambia.
Food Security: Strengthening Africa’s Food Systems makes its way into Foresight Africa’s top priorities for the continent in 2023
Manuals and Frameworks
The Land Degradation Surveillance Framework Field Manual is a comprehensive method for assessing soil and land health, from the field to using new and advanced data analytics by Tor-G. Vågen and Leigh Ann Winowiecki
The Compendium of best practices for housing in Africa was produced by the Build Solid Ground project to document positive stories of change in the areas of adequate and affordable housing, including basic services, land tenure and slum upgrading.
An Introductory Guide : To Responsible Land-Based Investment for Communities, Government And Investors, Achieving Responsible Land-Based Investments: A manual for communities, Incorporating Responsible Land-Based Investment Principles into Investor Policies, and Promoting and Facilitating and Regulating Responsible Land-Based Investment are diverse tools in support of land and its investments in Africa.
IFAD and FAO Technical guide on combining geospatial technology and participatory methods for securing tenure rights provides project designers and implementers orientation on combining participatory methods and geomatics technology to strengthen legitimate tenure rights in land-based investments.
Making way: developing national legal and policy frameworks for pastoral mobility handbook calls for the legal recognition and securing of pastoral mobility to safeguard and facilitate a continuous stream of economic and social benefits for pastoralists, countries, and the environment.
NELGA Open Calls for Application to its Research Fellowship and Staff Exchange Program
The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa has recently announced a fantastic opportunity for researchers and practitioners in the field of land governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA has announced the launch of a call for research funding and an exchange programme to support the study of land governance in Africa.
Researchers, practitioners, and professionals engaged in enhancing land governance in Africa are encouraged to respond. The program aims to fund studies that will eventually lead to evidence-based policies and interventions that encourage equitable access to land resources and environmentally responsible land use.
The initiative will provide funding to qualified researchers to continue their work on land governance research projects in Africa. Proposals can be submitted in English, French, or Portuguese. Scientists from any African nation are encouraged to join the programme.
Conversely, the goal of the staff exchange programme is to facilitate communication and skill-building amongst land governance practitioners and professionals in Africa. Some participants in this programme can spend time at an affiliated institution, where they can take advantage of the host organization’s expertise and gain insight into its methods.
NELGA’s regional hubs and African partner institutions will implement these two initiatives through the German Academic Exchange (DAAD). This request is part of NELGA’s larger initiative to fund the study and improvement of African land administration.
Visit the NELGA website and follow the application instructions provided there to be considered for the research funding and staff exchange programme.
Find the link to the Staff Exchange Program.
Find the link to the research fellowship in English and French.
From the Ground Up: How Land Governance Sensitization Workshops in East Africa are Empowering Educators to Create a Better Future for the Continent
The NELGA Eastern Africa Node, in collaboration with African Land Policy Centre, GIZ and EALAN Secretariat, organized a series of workshops to popularize the Guidelines for Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa. The workshops were held between 22nd – 27th of March 2023 in Kampala, Kigali, and Dar es Salaam. The workshops attracted representatives of University Management, University Accreditation Boards, Professional bodies and academic units in universities offering land governance programs in the three countries. A total of 55 participants attended the three workshops.
The workshops involved the presentation of the guidelines developed by the African Land Policy Centre for implementation by universities in Africa. The Guidelines were presented at the workshops by the Coordinator of the NELGA Eastern Africa Node on behalf of the African Land Policy Centre. Engaging discussion ensued, touching on content, relevance and adoption of the guidelines in developing curricula on land governance-related programs. Participants in the three sessions acknowledged that the workshops on Guidelines were timely as most universities were either on the verge of reviewing or developing their curricula. Key comments on the content pointed to the need to further de-colonize the curricula, tailor the curricula to land governance theories suiting the African context, re-imagining housing, rethink the status of women’s land rights, particularly in the context of Eastern Africa region and use the Guidelines to develop benchmark standards for land governance academic programs in Africa.
With regard to mainstreaming the Guidelines in existing or new degree programs in land governance, participants proposed the use of different modes, including informing the curricula through developing standalone subjects, electives, seminars or topics; incorporating the themes in Universities research agenda, and reconsidering the mode of delivery of the curricula that will not overwhelm the learners.