Blog

Land Experts Validates Initiative to Advance the NELGA Project 

Stakeholders in land governance have endorsed the process of establishing a five-year strategic plan (2023–2027) for the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). The validation session on Zoom on August 11th, 2022, highlighted the road map for implementing the strategic plan to drive NELGA’s operations and ensure sustainability.

Joan Kagwanja, the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) coordinator, UNECA, noted that NELGA’s accomplishments are indeed significant. We must build on these accomplishments and ensure clarity in administrative and programmatic actions within the network. She encouraged stakeholders to continue to support the expert team in developing the NELGA road map in developing systems that intersect and influence land policy formulation and implementation.

The gaps and challenges identified in terms of the strategic destination of NELGA will be addressed in the NELGA Strategy & Business Plan 2023- 2027, Communication and Visibility Strategy, Monitoring & Evaluation Framework 2023-2027 & Resource mobilisation strategy, which are set to be validated in 2022. Stakeholders at the meeting include NELGA coordinators, the ALPC, GIZ African Union Strengthening Advisory Capacity for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) Program, and other land governance experts.

East Africa Establish Regional Steering Committee on AU Land Agenda  

Partner States (PS) from the East Africa region established a Regional Steering Committee (RSC) at the end of a three-day meeting of the Regional Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Terrestrial Ecosystem on July 28. The RSC will oversee and coordinate the implementation of the AU Declaration on land and provide policy and technical guidance to the PS and East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat on the overall implementation of the AU land agenda. While endorsing the terms of reference for the RSC, Members at the meeting applauded the milestone as an important step and timely for land policy development, review and implementation, especially as some PS are yet to enact comprehensive land policies. The RSC will support technical working groups that will oversee implementation efforts in the region to address capacities and best practices to enhance land reforms in the region.

The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), charged with the custodian role on the AU land agenda, provided technical support in setting up the RSC in coordination with the EAC secretariat. Joan Kagwanja, the ALPC Coordinator, also commended the TWG’s commitment to the ECA-EAC partnership and the establishment of a multi-sectoral coordination platform at national and regional levels for the PS to share experience, and information, lesson learned and best practices in land policy formulation and implementation.

Jean Baptiste Havugimana, Director of Productive Sectors (DPS), EAC Secretariat, stressed the need for Partner States to cooperate in implementing the AU land agenda. He shared insights on the progress made in the EAC region on land governance while stressing the importance of operationalizing the regional land platform by the end of 2022 as it is a crucial directive by the 8th Sectoral Council on Environment and Natural Resources Management.

On capacity development, the PS called on the EAC Secretariat and ALPC to build the capacity of the PS on the AU declaration. They also requested the full engagement of existing Centers of Excellence (CoE) in knowledge sharing that forms the basis for policy review and development, especially as the Centers of Excellence have sectoral knowledge. This will ensure mutual learning and understanding of expectations and support their policies’ alignment with the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa.

Moving forward, the PS agreed to hold the first meeting for the RSC in August to discuss the capacity development road map and the coordination role of the RSC to assume leadership.

Partner States Experts’, drawn from ministries and institutions responsible for EAC affairs, land policies development, land use planning and administration, and environment and natural resources management from Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda, attended the meeting.

NELGA Knowledge Exchange – Understanding the Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa

The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) is a joint programme of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The ALPC is leading the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa, which is anchored on the Framework and Guidelines on land policy in Africa (F&G.) It facilitates stakeholders in the land sector to achieve the continental aspirations that ‘equitable access to land, secure land tenure rights, gender equity, improved governance in the land sector and reduction of land-related conflicts’, are fundamental aspirations of the African people, as together, they pave the way to secure livelihoods and prosperity.

Over the last ten years, the ALPC remained committed to facilitating improved land policy terrain in Africa by working with partners to develop guidelines and frameworks to address emerging land-related challenges for the continent’s socio-economic growth. Through research, advocacy, capacity development, technical support and advisory services among others, the ALPC supports the AU Member states in meeting their development priority areas as captured in the Agenda 2063 and SDGs.

In meeting its mandate, the ALPC, in partnership with the Member States, CSOs, Academia and other stakeholders, has developed several tools at the continental level. Endorsed by the AU, these tools in the form of guidelines, frameworks and principles provide the necessary benchmark for land governance to thrive in Africa. To ensure these tools reach the intended users, the ALPC now plans to hold several virtual webinars under its NELGA Exchange Platform (NEX)  to share the contents and experiences and progress in applying these tools. Among the tools lined up for dissemination are the AU-endorsed guidelines, including:

  • Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa
  • Guidelines on Land Ethnicity and Conflict in Africa
  • Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land-based Investments in Africa

Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa

This edition of the next NELGA Exchange Platform (NEX) will focus on the Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa. Simultaneously, the other Guidelines will be covered in subsequent Webinars.  

The Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance in Africa are meant to facilitate the development and review of curricula to ensure that university graduates and land professionals are better skilled in addressing Africa’s land governance challenges. In particular, it is envisaged that the guidelines will contribute to land professionals being better trained to understand traditional land governance systems through which over 80% of Africa’s land is managed and the political dimensions of land governance that influence Africa’s ability to find solutions to underlying and emerging land governance issues. It is envisaged that the guidelines will offer insights for curricula that further equip students with knowledge of these issues as well as others outlined in the Guidelines.

The Webinar

The webinar is in response to Universities’, Institutions of Higher Learning and other stakeholders’ request to the ALPC to expound on the content of these guidelines and how best they could be mainstreamed in the curricula/research on land and related fields in Africa. The Webinar is open to all stakeholders interested in capacity development in the African land sector, particularly the researchers and scholars within universities/research institutions.

This edition of the NEX aims to provide an overview of the Curricula Guidelines and share experiences/progress in implementing similar actions.

Jimmy’s Success Story – NELGA Alumni

“Attending the NELGA course on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa has shaped my career” – Jimmy Ochom, a land rights advocate, shared his experience in the NELGA program.

Three significant actions have influenced me in my career.

As a child who grew up in Ntinda, Uganda, my career path was first influenced by my secondary school, Busoga College, which taught me to live independently and think outside the box for innovative solutions to the country’s problems. This is solely attributed to the school culture and enabling environment it provides.

The second influence was my father, the late David Onyoin Okalebo. He believed that education was the key to my success. By the time he died, he was the CEO of the Teso Private Sector Foundation. He took his time to teach me how NGOs operate. From that background, when I realised NGOs could support my human rights interests, I ensured that for every internship and clerkship, it was from organisations that supported my areas of interest. 

The third influence was my passion for land rights. My first job as a Legal Officer at the Uganda Land Alliance shaped my career; the organisation advocated for the realisation of land rights for the vulnerable. I loved what I did. I saw the impact of my work through access to land justice in beneficiaries’ lives. This passion led me to explore opportunities to foster land rights, including attaining a Master’s in Laws (LLM-Laws).

These three influences impacted my knowledge and opened doors for me, including being selected for the 2018 NELGA short Course on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa organised by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. This was a turning point in my career as a land rights expert. The course enabled me to understand several things that drive land governance. I learned the intersection between land rights, climate change, food systems, agriculture, legal empowerment, and politics and how these influence the growth of countries’ economies. I have used and grown this knowledge, and I have taken younger lawyers whom I am also empowering and steering their careers toward land governance. Attending the NELGA course on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa has shaped my career. It has exposed me to all regional, national, and global platforms where I have been able to champion the fight for land rights in my country and globally. I could appreciate the intersection between law, legal empowerment, land rights, food security, climate justice, and agriculture and how these challenges need to be understood to support the growth of economies. The course gave me a grasp on the analysis of land policies, food systems policies, agriculture policies, legal empowerment policies, etc.

The training has influenced my work. I do advocacy and influencing, especially in government, and my learnings have made me more confident in the land space.

The training boosted my confidence that I remain on the right path on land rights. Many people always associate lawyers with private and corporate spaces with little to no support for community rights for something as simple as simplifying legal interpretations for the community. I currently provide legal interpretation for laws associated with communal land rights and equip citizens with knowledge about land laws and policies, to stand up for any injustices, especially for women, youth and the vulnerable.

NELGA, DAAD Announce Second Summer School on Land Governance in Ghana

In February 2019, NELGA held its scholarship holders’ first summer school and research development workshop in Ghana. Hosted by NELGA Anglophone West Africa (AWA) node under Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the workshop sets the stage for NELGADAAD-scholarship holders to meet experts in land governance, learn and share ideas and network among NELGA scholars and trainers. The first edition of the summer school provided the platform for in-house training on different tools for research data collection and analysis.

Following the success of the 2019 edition,  NELGA AWA will organize a second summer school in 2022 to provide further assistance to scholarship holders in personal branding, mentorship and entrepreneurship, which are essential for preparing scholarship holders for the job market. The aim of the summer school is also to allow the NELGA-DAAD scholarship holders to present and discuss their research work, methodological design and preliminary results in a constructive atmosphere. Candidates will receive feedback from external experts, fellow candidates and supervisors. KNUST will compile the experiences of alumni from which current scholarship holders can learn and benefit. At the end of the summer school, a platform will be created and sustained where fellows and alumni will interact and receive regular information and updates on land governance issues, job vacancies, scholarship opportunities for further training and other career development prospects.

Against these backgrounds, the summer school will discuss different concepts, theories and epistemological approaches with supervisors, external experts and researchers;  Introduce scholars to time management; Introduce scholars to the art of writing successful research thesis and getting published;  Prepare scholarship holders for the job market; and Foster collaboration and networking among scholars, KNUST, and alumni.

Click here to view the course content, trainers, schedule, assessment and other information.

For more information, contact: Patrick.Opoku@giz.de

Academia-Industry in Land Governance Forum: Showcasing Opportunities to Bridge Research and Capacity Gaps to Achieve Agenda 2063

The first day of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) North Africa series of workshops and conferences on The Academia-Industry collaboration in land governance: an emerging opportunity from profit-making to innovation which took place on June 27 in Rabat, Morocco, concluded with a plenary session on research-industry best practices in strengthening academia-industry relationships while meeting industry needs for Africa’s development.

The goal of the session was to discuss, share and disseminate the achieved knowledge for NELGA North Africa and contribute to the capacity development of partners in various domains that have direct linkage with land governance, land policies, and géoinformation technologies. It also includes how this knowledge can make its way into policy and land market spaces. All speakers agreed that land governance efforts are key to achieving the SDGs and African Union Agenda 2063 as land is linked to most development interventions and the academic support needs to be scaled up if sustainable development is to be achieved.

“A well-functioning land market together with high security of land ownership will lead to stronger economic development for Morocco, the North Africa region, and the continent” explains Prof Abdelaziz El Hraiki, Director of IAV Hassan II. He emphasised that essential collaboration with academia can address serious challenges thrown up by land tenure systems which can guarantee sustainable land resources management. The academia provides research insights which are captured in comprehensive frameworks. These frameworks are essential for sustainable development as they focus on best practices and research achievement which can be scaled and adapted to meet the unique needs of AU member states.

Joan Kagwanja, the Chief of UNECA’s African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), agreed with Prof El Hraiki and urged greater collaboration between academia and industry to bridge capacity, research and advisory gaps. The academia trains the policymakers, land professionals, decision-making authorities and other actors. It provides the necessary analysis that forms the basis of the evidence used to develop legal and institutional frameworks. “We identify a real gap between industry and the university. At ALPC, one of the ways we work to close the gaps is by looking at the land curricula across the continent. We have developed an AU endorsed guideline to close these gaps,” explains Kagwanja in addressing best practices for bridging knowledge gaps. She calls for better integration of research efforts within existing land development mechanisms.

In addition to highlighting the role of research in supporting the development of legal frameworks, Kagwanja spoke at length about the creation of the ALPC and the role of the African Union Commission and Africa Development Bank in meeting the AU Land Agenda. The AU Agenda 2063 and the SDG targets call for sustainable land governance. Without an enabling land environment, the continent will not be able to meet its development targets, especially around poverty, zero hunger, gender equity, climate and others, which affect the way resources are managed. Land governance remains a political, economic, health, conflict and development challenge that impacts other economic growth areas. Addressing land governance promotes sustainable development for the continent, she concluded.

NELGA is a program of the ALPC. The ALPC, created through a tripartite partnership of the UNECA, AUC and AFDB is involved in many projects that demonstrate the relationship between academia and research with policy and market spaces, including through NELGA. One of such spaces is the bi-annual Conference on Land Policy in Africa which brings together land stakeholders from across Africa and the globe to discuss new trends, opportunities and resolutions toward sustainable land governance and development in Africa.

Central Africa Validates Research on Cameroon, Chad, CAR Cross-border Conflict

On 28 June 2022, NELGA Central Africa brought together experts on land issues from several Central African countries for a validation workshop on its research on evaluating the triggers and solutions to cross-border conflicts between Cameroon, Chad and CAR through the land lens.

These experts met to enrich the project document on land conflicts between farmers and herders on the three borders of Cameroon, Chad and CAR for validation. The workshop was attended by 20 people who made suggestions on different parts of the document through plenary and group discussions. Professor Tchawa Paul, the coordinator of NELGA CA, who took part in the workshop, hoped that donors interested in the issue would be open to discussions with a view to funding the effective implementation of this project.

In 2021, NELGA Central Africa embarked on baseline research to find lasting solutions to conflicts between farmers and herders along the Cameroon, Chad and CAR borders.

For years, conflicts between farmers and herders in the Sahelian regions have occurred repeatedly. Farmers and herders need spaces that offer appropriate resources to expand their agricultural activities but with the contribution of climate change resources are dwindling and conflicts ensue from the struggle over limited resources which has a huge impact on women who are the primary users of land in rural-border areas.

Although there are innovative practices in finding peaceful resolutions of land conflicts without recourse to the laws, however, these peace terms do not stand the test of time and end up with the destruction of property, loss of life and internally displaced persons.

The meeting provided the opportunity to review and arrive at a consensus on the research and proposed solutions to the land conflict based on the frameworks and guidelines of the African Union thereby looking at sustainable solutions to the management of cross-border land conflicts between Cameroon, Chad and CAR.

NELGA Central-Africa Awards the Best PHD and Master theses on Land Tenure

On Friday 17 June 2022, the NELGA-Central Africa piloted by the University of Yaoundé I and placed under the coordination of Professor Tchawa Paul rewarded the best in the framework of the first edition 2021-2022 of the competition for the best PHD and Master theses on land tenure in Central Africa.

This activity was part of the work plan implemented under the partnership agreement signed between NELGA-Central Africa and GIZ for the implementation of an African Union project on land governance in Africa. The competition registered forty-six applications from Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Gabon and even Senegal; eleven applicants were female. The applications were then analysed by a scientific committee made up of six university professors including geographers, sociologists and jurists. This committee analyses the candidatures based on a set of criteria among which the scientific approach, the originality of the contribution to land governance, the interdisciplinary character and the gender approach.

In front of the fifty or so participants gathered in person and remotely to experience this event, the Coordinator of the NELGA-Central Africa published the names of the six winners. Three were from the PhD theses and the other three were from the master thesis.

The winners were the following.

The PHD thesis are:

  • Mr. Kengne Fotso Fabrice of the University of Dschang
  • Mr. Bonguem François Engelbert of the University of Yaoundé 2
  • Mr. Ndjounguep Juscar of the University of Yaoundé 1

These students won with the respective averages of 15.6, 15.3 and 15.1 over 20. For the Master theses, the three winners were:

  • Mrs Safiatou Saïdou of the University of Maroua with an average of 15.3 over 20
  • Mrs Agwese Lucy Christiane of the Catholic University of Central Africa with an average of13.8 over 20
  • Mr Bubala Wilondja Isaac of the Higher Institute of Rural Development whose average was 13.3 over 20.

This first edition of the 2021-2022 prize-giving ceremony for the best PhD and Master theses was enhanced by the presence of eminent personalities; among them, were the Secretary-General of the Cameroonian Ministry of Lands, Cadastre and Land Affairs (MINDCAF), the Representative of the National Coordinator of the Network of Parliamentarians (REPAR), the Representative of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), members of the Scientific Committee, and representatives of civil society organisations.

The themes on which the winning students worked were as follows:

  • Forestry legislation and securing land rights: the case of Cameroon and Gabon
  • Land rights of indigenous peoples in Cameroon
  • Participatory mapping: A tool for dialogue and conflict prevention in the communities of Nguti, South-West region of Cameroon
  • Socio-cultural determinants and women’s access to land in Maroua: between traditions and social changes
  • Gender and the fight against land inequalities in Central Africa: the case of Cameroon
  • Effectiveness and relevance of innovations promoted by non-state actors in securing land in South Kivu in Eastern DRC.

In presenting the winners with their provisional cheques, Professor Tchawa Paul congratulated them on their work and called on the non-winning candidates not to be discouraged, but rather to prepare for the next edition. He also invited the students present at the ceremony to stay connected to the NELGA-Central Africa website and even to join the NELGA research WhatsApp group in order not to miss any news in the future.

Moroccan Government, NELGA North Africa Hosts Series of Meetings to Improve Land Academia-Industry Collaboration

From June 27 to 29, 2022, land experts from across Africa will meet in Rabat, Morocco under the invitation of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forest, H.E Mohammed Sadiki and NEGA North Africa node, to improve the research-policy synergy in the country and Africa.

This event brings together national, regional, and international experts to build a concrete framework of collaboration between academia and industry in the domain of land policy and land governance. The meeting discussion goes beyond analysing the traditional challenges to an effective academia-industry relationship but also addresses new issues such as developing efficient dialogue and communication platforms which transform research into marketable products.

The three-day event will address the following themes:

  • Academia-industry interaction strategy on land policy and land governance,
  • Actor’s point of view on land tenure management strategies: what is land governance?
  • Land tenure systems and land rights issues regarding women, young people, and the community,
  • Regulatory, Institutional, and technical considerations of Land Governance Policy and
  • The integration of Géo-ICT in land policy and land governance.

The event will also discuss challenges; addressing questions of how to develop land policy strategies, establish land governance paradigms, and promote research programs that encourage knowledge sharing by creating awareness among researchers about pitching research in the right environment to create greater impact.

It is expected that the meeting will address the main demands of industry towards implementing research-based responses to land policy development while reinforcing knowledge sharing and technology transfer as essential in creating a comprehensive set of best practices and marketable products. It is also expected that the meeting will establish a reference guide on land governance expertise which enables the collaborative framework between academia and the government.

To register, click here: Meeting Registration – Zoom

Academics Push for National Research Agendas on Land Governance in Africa

The Knowledge Exchange Workshop (KEW) held on June 21, 2022, in Entebbe, was an opportunity for NELGA partners and land stakeholders to discuss and demonstrate the usefulness of research as a tool to support the formulation and implementation of land policies.

The session examined knowledge-to-policy-uptake in Senegal and Cameroon by outlining how such uptakes on land governance issues can be improved on a national and continental level. The session also featured case studies from Benin and Burkina Faso, elaborating an implementation model of the government policy on the sedentarisation of agro-pastoralist communities.

The discussions highlighted the importance of cooperation between research and parliamentarian bodies to explore linkages in formulating land-related policies and laws. The vision of this research is to inform legislation, but in Burkina Faso, there are difficulties in establishing contacts and spaces for discussion between academic institutions and the parliamentarian body.

The academic community in Benin is well organised and as such, the process for successful collaboration between research and policy/legitimacy Land Tenure Concerns Inventory has been developed. Academics in Benin are trying to improve the research aspect based on the needs expressed in the platform by CSOs and policy; by – among other things – condensing hundreds of pages of research into policy briefs, making it easier for the research to be available and used as a tool for communication with the policymakers.   Seeing how pertinent research is in this context it is important to take stock of available knowledge and support its vulgarization and dissemination in the context of diagnostic studies. It is also important to strengthen multi-stakeholder platforms as a tool for elaborating on research agendas amongst stakeholders. One of the ways this can be accomplished is by strengthening NELGA as a platform of engagement and collaboration between policy and science across Africa.

This discussion highlights the relevance of research as a tool to support the implementation of land policies and reflects on approaches to establishing policy-science dialogue platforms at national levels. The session features case studies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cameroon examining knowledge-to-policy-uptake, from the continental to the national level. It outlines how such uptakes on land governance issues can be improved on a continental level and how this level interacts with the national level.

NELGA Holds Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Secure land rights – learning, collaboration, and practice

While significant global land tenure security achievements have been made over recent years, numerous challenges still remain. Advanced land management systems require a high standard of technical and administrative capacity, particularly as digital approaches are mainstreamed. Linking practical approaches and research in land management to policy often requires a combination of context-specific, holistic and cost-efficient solutions.

As a response to the above challenges, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commissioned GIZ in November 2015 to implement two global programmes on land governance, namely the “Global Programme on Responsible Land Policy” (GPRLP, hereafter called the Global Programme) and “Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa” (SLGA).  

The Global Programme aims to improve access to land as a central precondition for poverty reduction and improving food security in rural areas, focusing on women and marginalised groups in selected countries. It currently implements activities in Benin, Ethiopia, Laos, Madagascar, Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire, focusing on:

  1. improving procedures to secure land tenure rights of the rural population;
  2. strengthening civil society;
  3. cooperation with the private sector.

“Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa” (SLGA) focuses on strengthening institutional and human capacities for better land policies in African countries. The programme operates on a continental level through regional hubs and in the African Union member states. It collaborates closely with the African Land Policy Center (ALPC) and offers scholarships and exchanges via DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Objectives of the Knowledge Exchange Workshop 2022

After 6.5 years of implementation in various countries, the two land governance programmes have supported a wide range of development options, adopted practical land rights formalisation approaches and incorporated them into policies. In addition, the creation of scientific networks has already proven to support the topic of land governance in training and research.

With several years of implementation still ahead, this is an ideal moment for the two global programmes to join hands, share successful experiences and lessons learnt, and define new ways forward in land tenure jointly with national partners in target countries. With a focus on South-South Exchanges, the programmes would like to make available increased knowledge and experiences across technical fora and networks. Thereby creating an opportunity to strengthen the topic of land tenure in a broader, more sustainable, and institutionalised manner. 
 

In this Knowledge and Exchange Workshop, the organisers aims to:

  • Reflect on responsible land policy development and implementation in partner  countries based on scientific/expert input and policy advice; 
  • Share experiences, successes and challenges with a broader audience; 
  • Generate orientations for partner countries for future implementation and beyond; 
  • Strengthen the network of land experts and foster regional exchange; and
  • Foster learning across countries and organisations for new land approaches.

The Knowledge Exchange Workshop will focus on four thematic areas, which are:

  1. Sustainable integration of fit-for-purpose (FFP) approaches into government procedures and policy for upscaling;
  2. Bridging gaps: demand-driven research for informed land tenure policy making;
  3. Fostering suitable frameworks for responsible land investments; 
  4. From Reach to Benefit and Empower – Gender Transformative Approaches in Theory and Practice.

The content will include a range of sharing and discussions formats such as:

  • Exchange of experiences to foster mutual learning and inspiration;
  • Expert / scientific inputs on successful approaches;
  • Presentations of good practices in target countries; 
  • Round tables/panel discussions, parallel sessions with results sharing;
  • Multi-stakeholder exchange and policy dialogue;
  • An excursion at the beginning of the KEW to appreciate the Ugandan experiences; 
  • Specific exchange format dedicated to participating Civil Society Organisations.

Les Meilleures Thèses et Mémoires sur le Foncier en Afrique Centrale Récompensées

En 2021, dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des activités du projet “Renforcer les capacités de Conseil en Gouvernance foncière en Afrique”, le pôle d’Excellence NELGA a lancé un concours des meilleures thèses de Doctorat et mémoire de Master sur la question foncière en Afrique centrale. Il s’agissait pour toute personne ayant rédigé une thèse ou un mémoire récent sur la question, de la soumettre dans le cadre du concours. Pour les thèses, 13 candidatures dont celle d’une femme ont été reçues par le comité d’organisation contre 33 candidatures dont celle de 10 femmes pour les mémoires. Le comité scientifique ayant planché sur la sélection des meilleures candidatures était fort de 06 personnes. Sur la base de critères intégrant les aspects de genre, le Comité, dans le cadre de différentes séances de travail, a apprécié les différentes candidatures et rendu sa copie.  

Pour la publication des résultats et la remise des prix aux meilleurs candidats et candidates, une cérémonie est prévue le 17 juin 2022 à l’AUF, 14 :00 à 16 :00 (UTC+1). Cette cérémonie en même temps qu’elle marque la première édition (2021 – 2022) de ce genre d’évènement permettra de célébrer l’excellence académique et scientifique en Afrique centrale sur les questions foncières.  

Vous pouvez participer à la cérémonie en cliquant sur le lien ci-après: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_NmY5MGViMzItODNiZS00NDczLThiYmMtODc2MTI3NWQxODJh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%225bbab28c-def3-4604-8822-5e707da8dba8%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%222b0af0bc-9114-49d2-ba12-e8bda0eaf348%22%7d

Celina’s Success Story – NELGA Scholar

Celina Kafute Awala, a Lecturer and a single mother of four, pursuing a Doctorate of Spatial Science with a sponsorship from DAAD at NUST shares her experiences with NELGA and the DAAD program.

I was born on 01 June 1981 and raised in the small village of Onamanape in the then Ombalantu district, in northern Namibia closer to Namibia-Angola borders. My father was a seasonal worker in Walvis Bay and my mother was a housewife and subsistence farmer. My parents did not have any formal education, however, my mother through the Roman Catholic church, learnt how to read the bible and eventually started preaching and taught other people catechisms for baptism which led them to be given national documents. I am the lastborn of seven from my mother and my father, however, my father was a polygamist, so we were 16 altogether from our two mothers. Growing up, our house was a happy place and I pretty happy childhood.

My early education was pretty memorable. I attended my primary education at Onembaba Combined School. Even though the school was far from home and there was no clock in our house, my mother would wake me up at dawn to get to school and arrive most times before my teachers. I loved school. It was a place where I met my friends, played a lot and shared meals. After school, I looked after our goats, again another place for interaction and play. I attended secondary school at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School, outside Windhoek, the capital city. This was a life-changing experience, from village to boarding school, especially with English and Afrikaans that were mostly used for communication in the hostel and at school. However, I eventually caught up. This is where I learnt about responsibility, being on my own, and survival.  

Upon completing high school in 2000, I applied for electrical engineering at the then Polytechnic of Namibia (now Namibia University of Science and Technology, NUST), however, I failed the mathematics entry test. On the last day of registration, without much information on the options, as I browsed through the prospectus, I stumbled on Land Management, specifically Land Measuring, and I thought it was practical like engineering and so I registered.

I enjoyed land measuring, which was my introduction to land surveying. After one year, I got a National Certificate and then continued to a Diploma in Land Management 2003, and a BTech Land Management, specialisation Land Information Systems in 2006, subsequently. After finishing my undergraduate studies, I worked at Geo Business Solutions cc as a junior GIS consultant responsible for cadastral data capturing and updates. In February 2007, I started a new position at the National Planning Commission (Central Bureau of Statistics) as a GIS Data Analyst responsible for spatial data analysis, geodatabase management, Metadata creation and supervision.

I do enjoy school and building my knowledge in land information space especially as the information environment keeps evolving. In 2008, I applied and was awarded an Erasmus Mundus Lot 10 scholarship to further my studies at the Faculty of Geoinformation and Earth Observation Sciences (ITC), University of Twente, in the Netherlands where I graduated with a Master of Science in Governance and Spatial Information Management in March 2010. I worked in other private firms but in December 2010, I got a job at the Directorate of Survey and Mapping in the then Ministry of Land Reform as a Cartographer responsible for cartographic products quality control, georeferencing, mapping, and supervision. This was a game-changer as I was in the government space contributing to the decisions on land information systems. During my work at the directorate of Survey and Mapping, I was involved in the Coastal Sensitivity Mapping and Electoral Mapping projects. Both projects were important for their use of geographical information systems in managing resources and decision-making processes.

However, the pull to be a teacher was strong and in July 2014 I started work as a lecturer of land administration at NUST responsible for courses such as land policies and institutions, land tenure management, Governance and Spatial information Management and later coordination of Work Integrated Learning. I found teaching interesting as I can relate my work experience to my lessons. I also needed to be an expert in my field. I decided to apply for a PhD to help meet that dream, for my students, my colleagues, and most especially for me. I am currently pursuing a Doctorate of Spatial Science with NUST with sponsorship from DAAD under the NELGA program. The scholarship experience is overwhelming, always meeting and interacting with people from different backgrounds and exchanging knowledge. Through this scholarship, I got an opportunity to attend a summer school in Frankfurt, Germany in 2018, after which I was taken up as an assistant tutor from 2019 to date. My research interests are public sector geoinformation management, land tenure management and governance.

At the beginning of my scholarship, I had little knowledge of research, I struggled a lot in conceptualising ideas, however, due to many events organised under the DAAD/NELGA scholarship programme, my understanding of many general land administration concepts has improved.

It has not been easy combining my academic aspirations and my being a mum of four beautiful children. However, I enjoy the challenges that comes with providing for them and meeting my academic needs. I count myself blessed and cherish all the experiences and opportunities.

After the completion of my study, I would like to start a programme to train young Namibians in research methodologies as we lack local capacity in this area. It is believed that decision-makers do not read journal articles but the information I get, I try to pass on in my classes and in the form of opinion pieces in the local newspapers as it can reach the local community in different capacities. I also want to see the improvement, implementation and use of spatial data in decision making at the lower levels of public administration.

  1. https://www.namibian.com.na/6215611/archive-read/Geospatial-Data-Sharing-Crucial-for-Digital-Transformation
  2. https://www.namibian.com.na/188867/archive-read/Towards-a-Spatially-Enabled-Namibia

Martie’s Success Story – NELGA Alumni

Martie Mushaukwa is a 2017 NELGA-DAAD Scholarship Alum with the Namibia University of Science and Technology. In his words, he shares his story on how NELGA’s support helped achieve his career goals.

I was born in the northeast part of Namibia in the Zambezi Region, in a small settlement known as Lusese, where I grew up with my brothers and sisters, raised by my father and stepmother. As a child, I only wished to be a better person which was supported by my father and his push for his kids to get a better education and succeed through hard work. At a young age, all I knew was to pass my classes, courses or exams. I could not understand how others failed class tests or homework that is until I got to high school, where my activeness in social life became more meaningful.

After completing high school, I was not sure what I wanted to study. I ended up enrolling for a degree in education at the University of Namibia.  Within a short period of time, I realized that the career path I was about to take was not what I had imagined. I decided not to enrol in any field of study and devoted the whole year to getting better career guidance. The following year I settled for a career in real estate. This led to my enrollment for a Diploma in Land Valuation and Estate Management at The Polytechnic of Namibia (now transformed into Namibia University of Science and Technology, NUST). In 2013, I decided to further my studies by pursuing a Bachelor of Property Studies (Honours) at the same university. Upon graduation, I decided to further my studies in my field and In 2017, I was awarded a DAAD Scholarship through the NELGA programme to further my studies toward a Master of Spatial Science at NUST.

My experience with DAAD and NELGA was great. It enhanced my professional career, in the sense that after I obtained my master’s degree, I became more attractive as a job candidate and more knowledgeable in my field of specialization. I am thankful to the DAAD and NELGA for the scholarship as it has made my education and career goals easier to achieve.  With this scholarship, I became a better researcher and analyst in my field of specialization. These endear me to my contemporaries in my field of work.

Since graduating, I have been working for an agricultural bank, where I am at the forefront of developing, implementing, and guiding the real estate valuation function within the organization, thus providing an overall framework for valuation approaches and practice. Hence, I have become one of the key leading professionals in the field of Real Estate, engaging in real estate matters and contributing to vital decision making at a high level.

Twenty-Two Students are the First to be Enrolled in the new NELGA Land Governance Masters at UGB

The course aims to address land governance peculiarities in the region for social development

In 2021, twenty-two students from across Africa made history as the first set of people to be enrolled in the new Master’s Degree program on Land Governance and Territorial Management at Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis (UGB ) in Senegal. The Master’s program introduced with the help of NELGA provides a platform to develop adequate human and technical capacities to support the development and implementation of land policies in Africa. The students are subject to an interactive and interdisciplinary pedagogy regime with continuous personal follow-up of the Masters’ leaders.

Prof Ibrahim Diallo, Coordinator of NELGA Francophone West Africa and Professor of Public Law at UGB expressed his delight at the new academic program welcomed by the

academic and professional world at the sub-regional and continental levels. The course considers the region’s peculiarities and the AU endorsed Guidelines for the Development of  Curricula on Land Governance in Africa, “West Africa’s diversity in terms of language, colonial history, political regimes and stages of economic development has resulted in pluralistic land tenure regimes. The Master’s program attempts to address such land governance issues in West Africa and offers vocational education, articulating theoretical and practical training in land governance and land management,” articulates Prof. Diallo.

The academic program provides NELGA-DAAD scholarships to the enrolled student. It ends with a mandatory internship that concretizes the orientation of the master towards professional practice with practical experiences on topics such as land systems, land legislation, domains, spatial planning, land market, land information systems, territorial cooperation and planning, environment and climate change, impact studies, land conflicts and others. The program prepares students for the employment market post-graduation as the internship facilitates the positioning and placement of young people in the public or private sector. “This academic program is an asset to the region and the continent as it integrates a review of the past and possibilities for the future by investing in the young people of today with key knowledge useful for the economic and social development of the continent,” explains Prof. Diallo.

Land Stakeholders in Senegal Plan to Address Parliamentarians on Land Reforms

Land governance stakeholders in Dakar will meet policymakers to discuss reforms needed in the land sector based on current trends in the country. The meeting on May 12 to 14, 2022, is convened by the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA), a Francophone West Africa node that Gaston Berger University hosts. It is a follow-up meeting to a sensitization workshop held in October 2020 and calls for land reforms that promote local governance and territorial development.

The 2020 workshop initiated a dialogue between policymakers and academics on the challenges of land governance and the revival of land reform in Senegal, especially in promoting local governance and territorial development through the creation of the High Council of Territorial Communities and the recognition of new rights to citizens. These new rights coincided with the recent expansion of the powers of the National Assembly to monitor government action and evaluate public policies. At the end of the 2020 workshop, critical land governance issues that concern parliamentarians were identified, including policy and legal actions to address climate change, large-scale agricultural investments, and land conflicts. Similarly, commitments were made by the Network of Parliamentarians for the Environment in Senegal (REPES) to advocate in parliament to revive land reform processes. The meeting designed a roadmap in respect of the commitments made at the workshop.

This 2022 sensitization meeting aims to follow up on the road map and commitments made by the parliamentarians, especially in the face of the emerging issues faced by the land space since 2020. Such as the amendments to Decree 72-12 88, the Orientation Law on Sustainable Development of Territories (LOADT), and an increase in the development of land projects in Senegal as these laws and processes impact citizens’ rights to property, resources and freedoms. The 2-day workshop will feature participants from NELGA-UGB academics, REPES members, HCCT members, local elected officials, civil society, the private sector and parliamentarians. The meeting is expected to conclude with the design of a new road map to identify the next series of actions towards land governance in Senegal.

Find the concept note below.

Central Africa Land Rights Webinar on Land Expropriation Held

French-speaking African countries are carrying out major development projects such as hydroelectric schemes, various communication and energy structures and other structures for their citizens’ benefit. To carry out these projects, many states need land. This is done through various mechanisms, including expropriation where necessary. However, these lands come at a price as states are sometimes forced to evict families living in the coveted areas.

The Africa Land Policy Centre (ALPC), through NELGA, held a knowledge exchange Webinar on compensation mechanisms in Central Africa, especially Cameroon, on privately owned land taken by the government for the benefit of public use. The Webinar held on March 30, 2022, explored land expropriation and compensation mechanisms. The Webinar was hosted by NELGA Central Africa node with the support GIZ’s Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) program. It featured Prof Paul Tchawa, Commissioner Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection, Cameroon as its key speaker. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of ALPC, at the Webinar explained that the Central Africa region is a resource-rich investment area for Africa, especially in the regional integration of trade and investments. She emphasised the importance of exploring diverse large-scale land-based investment partnerships (LSLBI) before government expropriation, especially in line with the African Union principles and guidelines as endorsed by the AUC.

Prof Tchawa and the ensuing discussion called for participatory and applied solutions toward integrated development that leaves no one behind. They also called for stakeholders to learn from good practices as key to improving compensation processes, especially in humanising the process through resettlement plans while not compromising development objectives.

University of Yaoundé 1 Launch Review of its Curriculum on Land Tenure and Management

From April 12 – 15, under the chairmanship of Prof. Tchawa, Coordinator of the NELGA network on land governance for Central Africa, and with the financial support of NELGA through DAAD, the University of Yaounde 1 launched several review topics on land tenure for its existing Master’s program on Land Governance at the school. Content and courses reviewed include, cartography, information system and remote sensing applied to the sustainable management of territories.

Nearly 30 experts were gathered from across Cameroon. They discussed and shared their experience to update the curriculum of the Master programme which was originally established in 2009 and not reviewed since.

The review process applied the “Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa” established by the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC). Through a preliminary analysis of the existing curriculum areas of improvement were identified, such as attention to the needs of marginalized groups, and preparing students to analyse conflicts related to land issues. The workshop produced a syllabus of the revised Master curriculum with descriptions of the modules, which will be used in the further progress to implement this updated curriculum.

Prof. Tchawa explained that it was timely and necessary to periodically review courses to ensure it aligns with current issues faced in the land space. He called on the participants to give their best in order to propose specialised content for the course on land management. The workshop documented the revised content for further review by management.

Échange de connaissances NELGA sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique I Focus- Afrique centrale

NELGA Knowledge Exchange on Land Governance in Africa I Focus- Central Africa

Depuis quelques décennies déjà et ce, à la faveur de la pleine réalisation des objectifs de développement durable, des pays de l’Afrique francophone en général et le Cameroun en particulier se sont lancés dans la réalisation de grands projets (aménagements hydro-électriques, nouvelles villes, diverses infrastructures de communication et de transport d’énergie, etc.). Pour réaliser ces grands projets, les Etats ont besoin de terres. Pour les avoir, les Etats sont parfois obligés de procéder à l’éviction de familles qui occupent des espaces convoités ; ceci passe par divers mécanismes donnant lieu aux indemnisations et aux expropriations le cas échéant.  

S’il est vrai que les expropriations pour cause d’utilité publique et les indemnisations qui y sont connexes obéissent à des règles préétablies, leur application n’est pas aussi simple car elles sont susceptibles de redessiner les cartes sociales, d’impacter durablement et parfois négativement des vies et être de ce fait une source de tension et de conflits. Au regard de la pratique qui a cours dans nos différents Etats, quel diagnostic est-il possible de faire de l’ensemble du processus d’expropriation et d’indemnisation ? Quelles solutions si elles étaient appliquées pourraient permettre de rendre ce processus plus crédible dans un contexte où le développement de nos pays demeure impératif ?

Le présent exposé qui sera fait par le Professeur TCHAWA Paul nous aidera à explorer la question de fond en comble et d’analyser ensemble :

  • Les différentes facettes de cette réalité dans les pays de l’Afrique francophone avec ses causes et ses conséquences ;
  • Les solutions appliquées/envisageables dans un contexte de véritable développement intégré qui prend en compte tous les aspects y compris sociaux ;
  • Les bonnes pratiques susceptibles d’améliorer la gouvernance du processus d’expropriations et d’indemnisations en contexte de grands projets ;
  • Les pistes à cours et à long termes permettant d’humaniser ce processus (notamment à travers l’identification de (i) meilleurs modèles pour la réinstallation des familles déguerpis et de (ii) réforme de textes) tout en ne compromettant pas les objectifs de développement. 

Animé par le professeur Paul Tchawa avec le soutien de l’ALPC et de l’Université de Yaoundé 1, au Cameroun, le NEX fournit une plate-forme d’engagement pour discuter des défis auxquels sont confrontés les pays africains Français face à l’expropriation par l’état des terres sans possibilité d’indemnisation qui déclenche un conflit foncier. Le webinaire vise à identifier les bonnes pratiques et à discuter des solutions possibles pour le développement intégré parmi les parties prenantes et ainsi réduire ce genre d’appropriation.

Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous pour vous inscrire à la webinaire

Lien: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqcu-gqjIiHNOKQzFI2x9OhPLxI5XPEzSF

Retrouvez ci-joint la note conceptuelle pour plus de détails.

Pour toute information ou demande de renseignements, veuillez contacter Bouopda Serge, serge.bouopda@giz.de ou Jennifer Aghaji, Jennifer.aghaji@un.org.

‘Access to Information is Mandatory under Ghana’s New Land Act’ States Paga Customary Land Secretariat, Ghana

The Coordinator of the Paga Customary Land Secretariat in Ghana, Madam Belinda Dantera, has specified that the 2020 Land Act of Ghana makes it mandatory to give out information to the public on requested land transactions. She was unaware that access to information applied to land transactions until she attended NELGA’s sensitization workshop on the 2022 Land Act held on February 2nd, 2022. The NELGA workshop organized by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with funding from the German Development Cooperation through the Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) programme brought together traditional authorities, coordinators and representatives of selected Customary Land Secretariats on a sensitization workshop on Ghana’s New Land Act (Act 1036) of 2020.

At the workshop, Prof. John Bugri, NELGA’s Project Coordinator for anglophone West Africa, called for a land governance system whereby everybody in the land governance space operates in a transparent and accountable manner to the benefit of the people they serve. This was mainly in reference to Article 267 of the 1992 Constitution and in consideration of the new law, which adds a new criminal dynamic for defaulters to its provisions. Prof.  Bugri urged coordinators of Customary Land Secretariats to keep quarterly records of land transactions in their jurisdictions and make these records accessible to their subjects to ensure accountability and transparency in land governance.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Elias Kuusaana of Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies emphasized that the 1992 constitution prescribes the framework for compulsory acquisition in Ghana. Still, the National land policy of 1999 requires that compulsory land acquisition is conducted with utmost circumspection. Amidst the persisting challenges, the Land Act 2020 (Act 1036) has come to deal with mandatory acquisition and compensation problems.

The workshop created the much-needed awareness and education on the new land governance regime in the country and improved upon implementing the new land legislation. The participants were encouraged to step down the knowledge gained from the training to their colleagues. This will ensure improved land governance in the country that stands the chance of minimizing land disputes and litigations. Participants were drawn from the Northern, Northeast, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.

To read the full report, click here.

Background

A major factor in achieving socio-economic development is a substantial land governance system that can deliver secured land rights to all segments of society. Unfortunately, having secured land rights is not the experience for many land rights holders in developing countries. In Ghana, many land rights holders and land users experience challenges accessing land. In cases where access is secured, protecting rights to the land remains a challenge. Ghana operates a dual land tenure system. There are the state system and the customary system. The state system administers about 20% of the total land in Ghana, while the customary system, managed by several traditional leaders, administers the remaining 80%. This land tenure arrangement is spelt out in different land legislation, indicating that land users in Ghana could acquire land from either the state or traditional leaders. While traditional leaders have their mandate in land administration defined both in law and custom, their role is limited to granting various rights and interests in the land they oversee. Traditional Leaders do not have the mandate to determine and approve land uses, nor do they manage the registration of rights and interest in land. Those functions are reserved for state agencies to perform. This means that one can negotiate and conclude an agreement for a parcel of land with a traditional leader. However, the state can only grant approval for the type of use and registration of the land. The interlinkages between the functions of the state and those of traditional leaders make it necessary to coordinate land administration services between the two systems. Such coordination would build a stronger land tenure system that delivers secured land rights. Unfortunately, there is limited coordination between the state and the customary land tenure system, resulting in many challenges and threats to land tenure security. The passing of the new Land Act, 2020, ACT 1036, is considered by many, as an opportunity to address the challenges in the land sector in Ghana. This is because the new legislation is believed to contain provisions that address many of the contemporary issues in the land sector and; attempt to establish the needed coordination between the state and the customary systems in promoting sound land governance practices. The passing of the new legislation is indeed a significant milestone in Ghana’s history of land governance. However, having good legislation alone is not enough.

Nancy’s Success Story – NELGA ALUMNI

Nancy Kankam is a 2017 NELGA-DAAD scholarship holder at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). She shares her story on how NELGA support amplified her career goals

“Growing up with four sisters, I had a strong desire to be great in the future”, Nancy recalls, though she wasn’t sure what that entailed. However, she did know that education was the way to greatness, so she took it very seriously. Fortunately, her family also valued education and provided her with the best opportunities possible from elementary to secondary school.

After completing high school, Nancy was unsure what career path she wanted to take. The only thing she was certain of was her aptitude for numbers, which made her want to pursue a degree in business management. However, she had no idea that a watershed moment was on the horizon when she was admitted to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST)  Department of Planning to pursue a Bachelors of Science (BSc) in Human Settlement Planning. In her first semester of study, Nancy had a moment of regret for taking up the course. This changed during her second semester when she found herself thriving and enjoying her academic programme, especially as the programme exposed her to the design and application of solutions to society’s wicked problems.

After her graduation in 2016, she was awarded a DAAD scholarship through the NELGA programme to further her studies towards an MPhil Planning academic program at KNUST in 2017. She said, “My experience with DAAD and NELGA was fantastic, with ceaseless imprints in my professional life. I had the opportunity to attend the Land Governance Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and to conduct research for five months at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Munich, Germany. The research with TUM on “discourse on Women and Land Tenure in Ghana: Does a Matrilineal Land Tenure System Make a Difference for Women?” 11was recently published as a book chapter in Land Governance and Gender publication. Thanks to the DAAD – NELGA scholarship, I broadened my network and improved my knowledge and skills, particularly in research. “

As she relishes her experience, she also shares how this opportunity has impacted her career, “My bachelor’s degree in Human Settlement Planning, followed by a master’s degree in MPhil planning, formed the basis of my career in the development sector. They provided the foundation for me to conceptualize, design, initiate, implement, and share knowledge, actions, and policy recommendations for sustainable development in West Africa and Africa as a whole. Particularly, the opportunity provided by the DAAD – NELGA scholarship exposed me to topical global and regional issues in the development field and seasoned practitioners and researchers in the field. These experiences have shaped my perspectives and practice.”

Since graduating, Nancy has been working in the non-profit sector. She is keen on promoting research-policy linkages towards solving development problems. She applied lessons from the NELGA-DAAD program in the real-time post-graduation settings. In January 2022, she organized a brainstorm session among land stakeholders and DAAD alumni in Ghana to connect and communicate research to practice through a grant she had applied and secured through DAAD.   Nancy hopes to continue working in the development trajectory and be an influencer for a safe, inclusive, and sustainable society.

 11https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356737094_Discourse_on_women_and_land_tenure_in_Ghana_does_a_matrilineal_land_tenure_system_make_a_difference_for_women

Land Professionals in Africa To Publish Land Governance Experts Profile Reference Guide

At an extraordinary experts group meeting (EGM) held from February 14 to 17, 2022, in Rabat, Morocco, land governance experts in Africa agreed to publish a book that describes and defines the profile of the Land Governance Expert in Africa. The guide helps identify experts and their needs and strengthens their capacity to meet land governance challenges on the continent.

The meeting was convened by the Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II (IAV II) Morocco with support from AU -UNECA- AfDB African Land Policy Center (ALPC), under the Network of Excellence in Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) programme for North Africa. The EGM, under the theme, Professional Land Actors and Their Contributions To Economic And Social Development, brought together land professionals who highlighted their contributions and other needs towards creating resilient land governance for emerging economies. The EGM grounded their discussion using several Africa Union (AU ) endorsed guidelines. The experts called for the introduction and use of an African Land Tenure Career Reference System (ALTRS) to feature land experts profiles and roles in land governance in Africa.

ALPC Coordinator, Dr Joan Kagwanja, commended IAV for convening this large body of experts as a convergence point to reflect on the profile of land experts in Africa and to build capacity gaps of these land experts in providing technical assistance and support to their respective AU Member States. ALPC has developed several AU endorsed guidelines on what the land industry needs towards economic development. Land experts need to support introducing and using these guidelines through policies and frameworks to ensure responsible land governance in their regions.

Prof. Abdelaziz El Hraiki, Director IAV Hassan II, lauded the meeting theme and explained that the current land tenure systems in the region do not guarantee sustainable land governance. He called on national governments to bring in qualified experts, introduce academic structures to support governance processes and come up with solutions based on the needs of the region and constraints of the multiplicity of the land tenure system.

The meeting allowed various professionals such as surveyors, urbanistic and architects, notaries and land lawyers, chartered experts, sociologists and anthropologists, etc., to share their views about priorities in their land sectors, country and sectorial orientations, and recommendations of the land governance. A diagnosis of land governance expertise was discussed in order to establish the land expert profile guide.  The expertise reference guide will be shared in future for validation and endorsement.

Click below to read:

Reports from the Expert Meeting on February 14 and February 17, 2022

Frank’s Success Story – NELGA Alumni

Frank Mintah was a 2019 NELGA-DAAD scholarship holder at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He shares his story on the impact of the NELGA experience on a childhood dream.

Born and raised in Ghana’s Ashanti area, Frank grew up in an environment where he had many interactions with his family, community, and social systems. Born with an artistic flair,  Frank often listened to the radio and watched the news in his childhood days, exposing him to Ghana’s daily and rising social problems. As he got older, Frank became increasingly passionate about social change in Ghana and explained that “As I gained more knowledge and insight into these social phenomena through school, I became more passionate about the social and economic problems that affect the well-being of people. Though I was not sure how the process was going to be, I wanted to use my talent in art and design through a meaningful adventure to help resolve the critical problems of society.”

With a passion for knowledge, he got admitted into Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), NELGA’s West Africa node, to pursue a B.Sc in Human Settlement Planning in 2012. “I found this programme very relevant to my talent and passion for making an impact in society through planning for sustainable communities and land management, utilizing knowledge from a wide range of fields including social policy, economics and geography”, he says. Frank graduated in 2016 with a First-Class Honours and got the opportunity to work as a Teaching and Research Assistant at KNUST’s Department of Planning, project assistantships with the Kumasi Metropolitan Area’s Town and Country Planning Department at the Department of Transport.

Wanting to have more hands-on and regional experience on Africa’s land space, in 2017, he applied for a NELGA-DAAD scholarship to pursue an MPhil degree in Planning and Land Governance.

The NELGA-DAAD scholarship provides academic support to students to further their skills and knowledge in the land governance space in Africa. As future land policymakers and land practitioners, the scholarship supports the African Unions Land Agenda by bridging capacity gaps in land governance space towards the economic and social development of the continent.

 Like many of the scholarship recipients, he was excited to pursue his study.

“It gave me memories that will last for a lifetime. The programme offered the opportunity to complement my knowledge in land use planning with the governance arrangements that influence land-use decisions and land-use outcomes. Within my scholarship period, I also obtained the DAAD short-term research stay scholarship to undertake a research residency in Germany, at the Chair of Land Management, in the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The scholarship again allowed me to join international conferences, including the Conference on Land Policy in Africa in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and the Sustainable Development for Africa Seminar at TUM (Munich, Germany), among many other in-country research and networking events.  

Essentially, my experiences on the NELGA programme exposed me to critical issues related to land tenure security, land policy, land administration, gender and development, and environmental sustainability, at the local, national and international levels. I got a practical understanding of how social problems manifest in different forms in different places but are connected in several ways, which make intercultural learning and knowledge sharing very important in research and practice.”

After completing his Master’s in 2019, he worked with the Department of Planning (KNUST) as a Research and Project Assistant. Within that period, he engaged in various research activities and projects that relate to both land governance and national development. His research article on customary land governance and wetland management in Kumasi was published and he contributed a chapter on ‘ Discourse on women and land tenure in Ghana: Does a matrilineal land tenure system make a difference for women?’ to a book titled “Land Governance and Gender: The Tenure-Gender Nexus in Land Management and Land Policy” . In addition, he worked on national projects, including an assessment study of the Volta Lake Inland Water Transportation project, which aimed to accelerate socio-economic development for over 21 municipalities along the Volta Lake in Ghana.

NELGA mentorship, scholarship, opportunities and his personal desire for change inspired him to further his studies again. Currently, Frank is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Geography in the University of Bern, in Switzerland on Geography and Sustainable Development. As part of a broader Sustain-Forest Project, his research focuses on the governance arrangements that work for sustainable forest use and management in agricultural landscapes of West Africa, which the European Research Commission funds. He believes the knowledge and skills he gained through the NELGA program were extremely relevant to the research he is now undertaking.

Now getting closer to his career goal to be an international development expert focusing on natural resource governance, climate change, sustainable communities and sustainable development, he cites the DAAD and NELGA programme support as the crucial stepping stone that brought him closer to his aspiration. Having begun his PhD studies, he plans to utilize the international opportunities available to broaden his scope of knowledge and network, as well as contribute to policy formulation within the field of sustainable natural resources management and governance.

 

To read Frank’s research, click below:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S026483772100510X?via%3Dihub

 https://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/FullTextPDF/2021/20210485345.pdf (chapter 11)

North Africa Expert Meeting for Land Actors and their Commitments to Economic and Social Development Comes Up On February 14-17, 2022

NELGA North Africa (NA) hub located at the Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (IAV) will hold meetings that gather land professionals and highlight their contributions to the land development process of emergent economies. On February 14, 16 and 17, NELGA NA will hold a series of sessions with land experts such as surveyors, architects, notaries, chartered experts, experts in sociology and anthropology to share their visions, knowledge and expertise on land challenges in Africa. The activities aim to discuss: the priorities of land governance issues in NA, the roles of land actors and their commitment to enhance LG at the national level and in the region and to discuss the lacking capacities that needs to be further enhanced.

The sessions will allow various professionals to develop an expert profile reference document for land governance in Africa. Among other things, the reference document will provide a set of criteria to be considered a land expert in Africa in meeting contemporary land issues faced on the continent that is aligned with the AU land agenda.

Insight from Queen Mothers to Influence Implementation Headway on Ghana’s New Land Act

From February 2-4, 2022, Queen mothers, traditional leaders, and representatives of customary land secretariats will gather in Tamale, Ghana, to discuss Ghana’s Land Act (Act 1036) 2020 and review actions to improve the legislation implementation. The meeting organised by Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) through NELGA aims to create awareness and improved understanding among customary leaders on Ghana’s new land governance regime.  

The meeting will highlight the new laws influences on land administration and decision making among traditional leaders, ensuring traditional authorities, especially Queen Mothers, understand and carry out actions supporting the Land Act.

Ghana operates a dual land tenure system. There are the state system and the customary system. The state system administers about 20% of the total land in Ghana while the customary system, managed by several traditional leaders, administers the remaining 80%. This land tenure arrangement is clearly spelt out in different legislations on land, indicating that land users in Ghana could acquire land from either the state or traditional leaders. While traditional leaders have their mandate in land administration defined both in law and custom, their role is limited to the granting of various rights and interests in the land they oversee.

Traditional Leaders do not have the mandate to determine and approve land uses, nor do they manage the registration of rights and interest in land. Those functions are reserved for state agencies to perform. This means that one can negotiate and conclude an agreement for a parcel of land with a traditional leader. However, the approval for the type of use and registration of the land can only be granted by the state. The interlinkages between the functions of the state and those of traditional leaders make it necessary to have a coordination of land administration services between the two systems. Such coordination would build a stronger land tenure system that delivers secured land rights. Unfortunately, there is limited coordination between the state and the customary land tenure system, resulting in many challenges and threats to land tenure security.

The workshop will discuss both compulsory and customary land administration under the new Land Act [Act 1036] of 2020 with traditional leaders. Furthermore, to ensure a successful engagement with the traditional leaders during the meeting,  KNUST trained its research team on the MAXQDA qualitative analysis software for qualitative analysis. The research systems help scientists understand people and how social and cultural contexts influence decision-making, especially Queen Mothers regarding decisions on land within their jurisdiction. Subsequently, the research team intends to release a study that explores the role and involvement of queen mothers in the administration of land in Ghana. The study will provide informed context to queries around the participation of Queen Mothers in the administration of land and land-based decisions in four regions within mid-Ghana.

What Have NELGA Alumni Been Up To

The NELGA scholarship and fellowship programs graduate and train some of the most gifted land governance newbies and experts in Africa. The NELGA team recently reached out to some of them, keeping us updated on how NELGA’s support has influenced their personal lives and professional achievements.

George Tonderai Mudimu, a postdoctoral fellow at Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), South Africa

I had my first encounter with NELGA Southern Africa Node in February 2018. I was a research intern at the Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies (SMAIAS) and was nominated to attend the inaugural NELGA course in Land Governance and Corruption in Namibia. This course was quite useful for me for it delved into practical and theoretical issues on land governance, which was the focus of my doctoral research. Some of the key lessons I learnt from this course I utilized in my doctoral thesis write up as well as in my journal articles, more specifically my article on land leasing in post land reform Zimbabwe and on other land governance-related works.

My second and also crucial interface with NELGA was a few months later in July.  SMAIAS nominated me to attend the Scoping Study on Land Governance in Africa course. I networked with colleagues at the meeting and jointly we developed a research piece on equitable and sustainable land governance for Africa. The research piece was shared at both regional and continental levels.  This research piece has partly been instrumental to land governance in Africa and has been cited by a few academic works and policy briefs on land policy in Zimbabwe (over 100 downloads and citations). I am now seen as a resource expert and improved my activism on land reforms matters and have been invited to speak during online events on land governance more frequently.


Rebecca Justin Milamo, Assistant Lecturer at Ardhi University, Tanzania

After attaining my undergraduate degree in 2014, I worked with several real estate firms, public institutions as well as volunteering in a local professional association as an executive assistant. Through that, I realized that the industry has a lot of challenges but is also very exciting and promising. In Tanzania, real estate professional practice is still underdeveloped partly due to a limited number of highly skilled and qualified professionals (especially women) and institutions. Despite the prevalence of land governance-related problems, still, a large section of the population is ignorant of land issues. The problem is even much more pronounced amongst women, which in turn limit their access to land resources.

Thereafter, I was motivated to enhance my professional skills by pursuing further studies. Due to insufficient financial capacity, I searched for several scholarships and funding programs until I got the DAAD NELGA/SLGA in-country scholarship. Despite enabling me to attain my Masters’ degree, this scholarship has exposed me to different international conferences and workshops, cultures, expanded my network locally and internationally as well as enhanced my research and communication skills through various training and seminars.

It is through the NELGA scholarship program I have acquired the required qualifications that enabled me to join an academic institution (Ardhi University) as a tutor, researcher and consultant. This opportunity creates a good platform for sharing my knowledge and skills with other upcoming young stars who have an interest in land-related issues. It also enables me to use my expertise in researching and publishing to share or exchange the knowledge I have with the general public so as to address some of the land-related challenges being faced. Hence, I consider this to be the best way of giving back to the community.


Emmanuel Offei Akrofi, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geomatic Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana

I was engaged in NELGA Staff Exchange Programme to the Department of Land Administration of INES-RUHENGERI, Rwanda. I taught Introduction to Land Administration from February 18, 2020, through March 13, 2020 There were two streams A and B totalling 110 students, including second-year students who were re-writing the course. Besides, the normal teaching Dr. Tende Renz Tichafogwe, another volunteer for the staff exchange program from Cameroon, and I jointly organized seminars on Linkages between the Environment and Land Management and Research Methodology for the second-and third-year students of the Department.

Participation in the NELGA staff Exchange has been beneficial to me as an individual in several ways. It has broadened my knowledge and understanding of the complexities of land administration challenges facing Africa, particularly Rwanda and Ghana and some of the innovative ways these challenges are being tackled. Again, the need for adequate skilled manpower in all aspects of land administration and the need for African Universities to collaborate to improve this became evident. Consequently, a joint proposal between INES, KNUST and the other four Universities in Africa has been presented to the EU for sponsorship under Academic Mobility for Africa’s Development through the Academia-Industry Collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation (AMADIST).


Germain Muvunyi, Lecturer and Academic Researcher, Institute of Applied Sciences Ruhengeri (INES Ruhengeri) Rwanda

The Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) supported by the GIZ, gave me the chance to attend and present my research results at conferences in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda. My research interest includes Remote Sensing & GIS for Environment, Natural Resource Management, Land Administration and Management, LULC/Landscape characterization & climate change studies.  As a young scientist and researcher with a lot of dreams and aspirations, delivering a scientific talk and getting feedback or comments is hugely important for one’s career.  Selected programs were strongly compatible with my career interests.

These in hand with extensive interactions with fellow experts in the field of  Land Administration and Management from various countries, helped me to secure substantial working knowledge good enough to contribute to some Land administration interventions in Rwanda or  East Africa, with evidence-based satisfactory services accomplished with skills, efficiency and effectiveness. It was great to be able to discuss projects and practical examples outside of my day to day practice and sector, and then to consider how these scenarios might apply in my country.  As result, one of my articles was published as a chapter in the book titled: Responsible and Smart Land Management Interventions: An African Context.”


Valentina Nyame, Research Assistant and MPhil in Planning graduate, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana

As part of the NELGA programme, I was sponsored for a short-term research stay at the Chair of Land Management, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany. This offered a unique opportunity to interact with research, interact and network with experts across different countries on land governance in Africa. Specifically, the course on land management and tenure was insightful in exposing me to the land management practices in Germany and around the world as well as techniques in dealing with the varying interests on land. I was also able to work on collaborative research with the Chair of Land Management on land access among women in Ghana.

My experience with NELGA has been transformational for my career growth and development. Based on the knowledge and expertise I gained through the NELGA programme, I am currently employed as a research assistant on a project which assesses the effect of land governance on the socio-economic empowerment of gender in Ghana. I not only had an opportunity to pursue a masters program but I also gained a network of colleagues, experts and professionals that are working together to transform land governance in Africa.

Even as an Alumna, I continue to benefit from skill training programmes and several other opportunities for research and networking. I am happy to be part of NELGA and grateful for every opportunity I have been given. I will also like to encourage others, whether a student, graduate or professional, to take advantage of the opportunities provided by NELGA to make useful impacts in their countries.


Ovono Edzang Noël, Researcher, Department of Geography of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences (FLSH), Omar Bongo University (UOB), CERGEP Research Center, Gabon

Working with NELGA, I was able to carry out a national research study to assess the land governance framework in the country. Recommendation from the study was presented at the launch of the formulation of the National Agricultural Investment Plan, Food Security and Nutrition 2 (PNIASAN 2) in Gabon. Insights from the research will be added to Gabon’s National Agricultural Investment Plan. It is rewarding to see ones hard work and words, playing a key role in shaping the country land governance landscape thanks to NELGA support.


The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training, and research on land governance.

ECA Reviews its Work on Strengthening Africa’s Land Policy Sector in a Year of Challenges

The Economic Commission for Africa ECA’s overarching focus is to support member states in achieving sustainable development and Agenda 2063. One of which is through policy support and creating an enabling environment to increase private sector investment in agriculture, infrastructure, energy and services, and improve the business-enabling environment.  In delivering the above mandate, ECA’s Agriculture and Business Enabling Environment Section (ABEE) sector assists member States in formulating and implementing evidence-based policies to support their efforts to further enhance the private sector contribution to Africa’s transformation with a particular focus on agriculture and land-related policies.

The section presented its key results for the fourth quarter of 2021 and an outlook for 2022 at during the ECA’s Annual and Fourth Quarter (Q4) Accountability and Programme Review Meeting held from 14 to 17 December.

Joan Kagwanja, Section Chief for ABEE, stated, “For ABEE, the COVID-19 pandemic and political challenges in some countries of focus provided unfavourable circumstances in meeting targets. However, we feel confident that we are turning the corner. Our fourth-quarter performance shows we are on track towards improved land tenure and security in Africa, which contributes to the continent’s economic growth and transformation and in meeting Agenda 2030 and AU agenda 2063.”

Among the key achievements, the section:

  • Developed and validated five regional synthesis study reports on agro-poles development in Africa;
  • Validated the African regional overview report on food security and nutrition in Africa
  • Developed and reviewed four curricula for Jomo Kenyetta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya on land governance and resources management, which fosters the capacity of future land policymakers;
  • For the 2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa, held in collaboration with AUC, AfDB, ECA, and the Government of Rwanda, over 80 paper presentations in over 60 sessions garnered over 280 articles in the media and over 1.18k in social media engagement.

“Regardless of the virtual nature of the conference,  we had over 450 unique virtual participants for the opening ceremony alone,” said Kagwanja.

Other achievements include capacity building masterclasses on land governance in Africa, publishing the fifth edition of the Africa Journal on Land policy and Geospatial Sciences for 2021, and developing the assessment report on strengthening women’s land tenure security in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of these results were achieved while working in close partnership with COMESA, EAC, AfDB, DARBE and other development partners, including technical support to member states.

“It is expected that 2022 provides the opportunity improve the business enabling environment for attracting investments in the critical area of agriculture and land in Africa,” stated Kagwanja.

Closing Land Governance Research Gaps in Africa: NELGA Promotes Land Education, Knowledge and Culture at the 2021 Regional Land Policy Conference

For NELGA, the fourth Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) 2021 edition unwrapped inspiring and innovative ideas relating to land policy and its implementation in Africa. Held virtually from the 1st to  4th November 2021, CLPA was designed to accommodate critical sessions that showcased the continent’s progress in meeting the African Union land agenda. This includes the review of land administration frameworks, innovations, land management, and opportunities presented in academic research, action plans and data analysis for Africa.

With over 1,700 participants, the CLPA, which was organised by the Africa Land Policy Center (ALPC) with support of GIZ’s SLGA programme, provided the space for NELGA to contribute to the capacity development of land stakeholders in Africa. With the CLPA theme focus on Land governance for safeguarding art, culture and heritage towards the Africa We Want, the NELGA sessions aimed to provide land education, knowledge and research that is embedded in the evolving customary dynamics prevalent in the land space. Considering the hybrid nature of the CLPA, NELGA members from all over Africa had the opportunity to submit and present scientific papers to bridge research and policy gaps for land stakeholders. The session came fully loaded with ideas carefully analysed and approved by the CLPA scientific committee for presentation at the CLPA.

Besides individual NELGA members making paper presentations, land experts from NELGA teamed up to showcase innovation, best practice and progress to improve land systems in Africa in these three areas of work – Cultural dimensions in land research and training; Innovative actions towards meeting the African Union land agenda in Africa; and Analysis of land tenure systems in Northern Africa. These sessions ran between 1st and 3rd November and bridged knowledge gaps by presenting the findings from the comparative experience of NELGA nodes in bringing innovative solutions for sustainable land management via diverse cultural contexts in Africa. NELGA’s Programme Officer,  Dr. Desire Tchigankong, explains that the NELGA sessions educated landowners and practitioners on relevant knowledge and skills needed in securing livelihoods, economic growth, and sustainable development through the creative economy in both the rural and urban settings. These sessions, as he explained, would contribute to achieving sustainable growth while maintaining healthy land policies and cultural practices in Africa.

Africa needs more land professionals

Dr. Judy Kariuki, Economic Officer for the ALPC, spoke during the session,  Innovative actions towards meeting the African Union land agenda in Africa, on the progress the Network is making towards improving the academic land governance space in Africa. Reported progress includes the addition of land curricula at academic institutions that are framed within the principles of the AU land agenda. PhD programmes enrollment has increased and introduced in institutions which had no designated land themed programmes. Also, research now focuses on problem-solving rather than promotions which are gradually picking up within nodes and internalised in countries. Dr. Kariuki called for an increase in the number of land professionals in Africa and the introduction of African academic findings into curricula.

In line with other speakers, they recommend the regular uptake of curricula reviews and terrain assessment which takes into consideration new findings from industry experts and exposes land scholars to collaborative research and support continuous learning through a multidisciplinary approach to adequately prepare the land stakeholders and policymakers of the future for Africa.

Leverage on Innovation

“There continues to be poor understanding of how culture and heritage influences and transforms land administration systems. However, situations like the COVID-19 pandemic presented an environment to adopt new transformational approaches and leverage on technology to drive land themed campaigns, capacity development and a stronger understanding on how such themes influence the political economy of the land space in Africa,” explains Prof. Moeniba Isaacs, NELGA technical coordinator, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of Western Cape, South Africa at the masterclass on understanding how technology and innovation can improve land administration systems in diverse cultural context. She highlighted the evolution of technological innovations and synthesised them with land administration systems, bringing to light the positive result this would bring to both urban and rural communities in Africa. She explained that such innovation is characterised by what institutions and universities such as PLAAS present.

The session looked at universities as education providers and knowledge generators through research but are criticised for having a limited impact on society. For Innovation to be achieved in Universities offering land governance programs, major changes in institutional cultureare inevitable. Innovation requires collaboration with the private sector and government agencies to foster an enabling environment for innovative practices carried out by land programmes at higher institutions. This includes streamlining innovation in teaching and research, and Universities becoming systematic about scientific impact, budget for innovation and collaboration, and plan for intellectual asset management.

Land and North Africa

To improve the body of contemporary research work for policy reform on land governance in    Africa, the node embarked on a scoping study to gather baseline information on land systems in North Africa. The research provided data on capacity gaps and needs in creating an enabling environment for land reforms in Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt, and Sudan. The research findings launched in 2021 provide a foundation for curricula development in line with AU curricula guidelines on land governance in Africa.  The Scoping study was reviewed and provided context for the captured countries at the masterclass which was conveyed by the NELGA North Africa node under Prof. Moha El-Ayachi and featured  Nabila Zouhiri, Siraj Sair, Heba Allah Khalil, Sait El Azark, and Salwa Saidi as speakers.

NELGA North Africa Coordinator Prof. Moha explained during the masterclass that scoping study showcase the important role of capacity development to land management, “Capacity development is crucial to addressing land conflicts, cadastral development, urban planning, and land use strengthens the local economy. One of the ways NELGA closes these capacity gaps is by setting up  Masters degree programs on land management and building a partnership program with its North Africa member universities.” He also stressed the need for more training and research actions. In bridging this gap,  the node has set up at IAV Hassan II university a Capacity Building Centre (CBC) to build capacity gaps identified in the regional scoping study.

Call for Proposals for the 6th GIZ LandHub Meeting,6 – 7 December 2021

The preparations for the 6th GIZ LandHub Meeting are in full progress and the GIZ Land Governance Team kindly invites you to join this year´s digital LandHub from 6 – 7 December. The GIZ LandHub Meeting stands for long-term exchange of knowledge and experience within the international land community and is the perfect opportunity for you to get in touch with colleagues from the GIZ and other organizations.

We would like to give you the opportunity to actively contribute to the event. There are two options:

Organize a full 90-minute online session on December 6 from 11:00 to 12:30 (UTC+1)

Contribute a 25-minute online input on December 7 from 11:00 to 12:30 (UTC+1)

Under this year’s title “Alliances for Impact: What have we achieved together?” we would like to have sessions and inputs along the following thematic tracks:

T1: Climate and Environment

T2: Gender Transformative Approaches

T3: Youth and Employment

T4: Sustainable Supply Chains and Private Sector Cooperation

T5: Securing Land Rights at Scale

T6: Policy Dialogue and Civil Society Engagement

If you would like to contribute to the upcoming LandHub, please submit your proposals for contributions to landmanagement@giz.de by November 10. Kindly fill out the forms for a 90-minute online session and/or a 25-minute online input attached to this e-mail

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us, and please feel free to share this call for proposals with your colleagues.

We look forward to seeing you at the next GIZ LandHub!

The Land Governance Team

landmanagement@giz.de

Interested in regular updates from GIZ land projects? Please register for our Newsletter under this link: https://www.giz.de/de/mediathek/newsletter.html Our newsletter is the 8th in the list of Thematic Newsletters.

GRADUATION DAY! PLAAS Graduates 88 NELGA and ALPC Participants from the Political Economy of Land Governance Short Course

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) recently held a ground-breaking week-long online course on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa which was attended by 88 participants from 29 African countries.

The course represents a landmark achievement in the development of a major, new pan-African knowledge-production and training project helmed by PLAAS since it was chosen as a leading partner in a recently established platform sponsored by the African Union (AU) – the Network of Excellence in Land Governance (NELGA).

The five-day training which was conceptualised and developed by PLAAS as a bespoke offering for African land administration officials brought together academics and scholars from some of the continent’s leading universities and think-tanks which have been incorporated into NELGA.

In order to broaden the reach of the course, PLAAS has in previous years taken it “on the road”, offering in-situ training to land researchers, administrators, policy-makers, professionals and activists across Africa.

However, after the global Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, this was no longer feasible and PLAAS took the decision to refashion and scale-up the course for online engagement in order to continue the project’s mission, which is to produce the African land professionals of the future.

So, on 6-10 September, an online version of the course was launched at which stakeholders from governments, the private sector, academia and civil society, including a cohort of African early-career researchers, engaged in discussions on land governance on the continent directed by leading thinkers in the field.

The course, which was forged by PLAAS, the African Union’s Land Policy Centre and NELGA, with funding from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), featured a host of seminal presentations from senior academics and researchers working in the areas of poverty, land and agrarian studies.

The training included in-depth analysis of country-specific land administration dynamics. It also adopted a pan-African focus in line with the goal of producing an activist cohort of practitioners capable of helping to implement, and inform, high-level policy deliberations made at the AU.

In particular, current issues such as women’s land rights, climate change and natural resource distribution, were addressed.

The programme also featured sessions on:

  • The histories of customary and statutory land tenure;
  • Land reform, policy and governance in Southern, West, Eastern and North Africa;
  • The political economy of land on the continent;
  • Extractive industries and land rights;
  • The commodification of the commons;
  • Rural and urban land administration;
  • Land-grabbing; and
  • African and global land-policy responses.

In broad terms, the five-day course sought to help equip the land professionals and policy-makers of the future with the skills required to strengthen land rights and governance, with a particular focus on the majority of rural and urban residents on the continent who have insecure tenure rights either in law or in practice.

The course, which is accredited by the University of the Western Cape (UWC), adopted a mixed methodology of: presentations from leaders in their field; workshops facilitated by early-career academics; and writing assignments.

Inaugural Webinar shows the Salience of the NEX Platform for Land Policy in Africa Discourse

The Africa Land Policy Center (ALPC), through NELGA, held its first NELGA Knowledge Exchange (NEX) webinar on September 30, 2021. The Webinar, which was hosted by NELGA technical node for Southern Africa, the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape, featured speakers from the region and focused on the sharing case studies on hybrid municipal land governance in South Africa as a route to fixing land administration and structures in South Africa. The Webinar was supported by GIZ’s Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) program. It featured diverse participants from across Africa, including Chiefs of stakeholder organisations, academics, land experts, doctoral students, and professionals working in the purview of land governance and administration. 

Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of ALPC, expressed her delight to participate at the NEX inaugural  Webinar as knowledge gained from such learning spaces makes its way into policy spaces and strengthening institutions where land rights are discussed and promoted leading to the prosperity of the people.

Organised in both English and French, Prof. Andries Du Toit from PLAAS chaired the NEX  with presentations from Dr. Gaynor Paradza, a land expert from the public affairs research institute, and Taki Sithagu lecturer at Wits University. In setting the scene, Prof Du Toit explained that it is important to consider technical and political solutions in addressing dysfunctional land systems in South Africa. Considering that to govern the land is to govern the people on the land, Prod Du Toti stated that it is important to institutionalise knowledge that improves land administration for countries such as South Africa with its wide range of land administration systems.

The two presentations delivered in the session focused on South Africa. Dr. Gaynor Paradza insightful presentation shed light on the benefits and problems of land administration, fixing the challenges of land administration, roles of formal and informal institutions, which are municipalities and traditional leaders.  According to Dr. Paradza, “a functional land administration system is fundamental to land reform, economic growth and equitable change and pursues widely accepted national land policy goals, plans and strategies. In South Africa, however, these objectives are often discordant or contested.” Dr. Paradza based her presentation on a framework that outlines a joint project among PLAAS, South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) which calls for reforms that focus on innovative and integrated land administration as a means to reconceptualise the institutional domain of land governance and help to overcome the fragmentation that undermines land administration. To emphasis the need for innovative land administration and data management systems, she states that “the people at Google Maps know more about African land data more than land practitioners here in Africa.” (20210907_LandAdminDiagnostic.pdf (nelga.org))

The Webinar also featured a compelling presentation from Taki Situgu titled -Hybrid land administration in rural municipalities (South Africa). This presentation enabled participants to reflect on hybrid land administration as a tool to address land dysfunctions, especially on neo-customary land systems. (Hybrid Land administration (nelga.org))

Read the full report here.

REGISTRATION OPEN: Rwanda to host the 2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa #CLPA2021

Registration is now open to the 2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa.

The fourth edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) will be held in a hybrid format on November 2- 4 2021, under the theme: “Land governance for safeguarding art, culture and heritage towards the Africa We Want”.

The Conference’s theme aligns to the African Union Declaration of 2021 as African’s Year of Art, Culture and Heritage through the theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.

Participants should register for CLPA-2021 by clicking on this link https://www.conftool.org/africalandconference2021/ to have access to the event agenda, paper abstracts, and synopses of plenary sessions, masterclasses and side events, and to presented papers, upon the completion of the event, in addition to access to individual links to all sessions.

As the conference will use Zoom as its video streaming platform, participants are also invited to register on the following zoom link, https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvc-ytrz0rHt1THarIdfOGtJGgKcOZVA8R.

However, on the zoom link, the registration details are minimal as you will only be required to provide your name and email address. Those who have not registered on the conftool platform will not have access to any of the event sessions through the Zoom links.

CLPA is organized by African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It will be co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda

Joan  Kagwanja, Chief of ALPC notes that land in Africa is at the centre of culture and heritage, which provides a framework for a continental discourse towards improving the land governance space and attaining “The Africa We Want” as envisioned in the AU Agenda 2063.

She further observed that the ALPC recognizes the potential role of arts, culture, and heritage in catalysing the socioeconomic development and integration of the African continent. Hence, the proposed theme draws inspiration from the AU Agenda 2063 as a shared strategic framework and blueprint for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

“The year of arts, culture and heritage happens at a time when AU Member States are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposes heavy human, financial and economic costs to the land governance space in Africa,” said Ms Kagwanja.

The overall objective of the Conference is to deepen commitment and strengthen capacity for land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa through improved access to knowledge and information in support of evidence-based land policymaking.

The CLPA conference is expected to improve knowledge in support of evidence-based land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa; enhanced and deepened consensus amongst African policymakers and stakeholders on promising avenues for addressing land governance challenges; improved networking, partnerships and resources for land governance and land policy in Africa; better appreciation of the role of land for safeguarding Africa’s art, culture, and heritage on livelihood particularly for marginalised groups.

Held every two years, the conference draws participants from government, academia, research, traditional authorities and other non-state actors, private sector and development partners to disseminate and exchange knowledge to promoting dialogue, networking, advocacy and partnerships in support of implementation of the AU agenda on land. Central to this agenda is evidence-based land policy development, review, implementation and monitoring.

About ALPC

ALPC was launched in 2017 as a successor to the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) established in 2006. Key achievements of the LPI include the development of the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G), prepared to provide guidance on the development and implementation of sound national land policies and the Guiding Principles on Large- scale Land based Investments (GPs) availed to AU member states in support of the negotiation of fairer and more sustainable land investments.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

For more information on the conference, click here : https://www.uneca.org/stories/rwanda-to-host-the-2021-conference-on-land-policy-in-africa

NELGA Knowledge Exchange on Land Governance in Africa I Focus- Southern Africa

South Africa’s land governance is an outcome of diverse processes that include but are not limited to land administration.  A focus on land administration’s history, ongoing research and initiatives to improve land administration reveal how the country experiences the challenges and outcomes of attempts to resolve the problems.

The webinar will provide an overview of the challenges of  South Africa’s dysfunctional land administration system, which is marred by a deep dualism that leaves an estimated 60% of South Africans without de facto institutional support for informal and customary rights in land and also highlight insights gained from ongoing attempts to  address the challenges

The webinar will touch on the following subjects:

1. The colonial origins of South Africa’s dualistic land administration system and the practical consequences.

2. A case study of hybrid land management institutions that have evolved in response to experienced dysfunction, highlighting both the opportunities and the risks involved.

3.  Findings from a pilot project exploring the scope for reform of dysfunctional systems through processes of social dialogue and institutional learning.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Sep 30, 2021 01:00 PM Nairobi

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrcumuqDMtGdxBRjMqrNRYQhnhcGx8LkrD

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

NELGA Land Data Hub Holds Sensitization Workshop for Stakeholders in Tanzania

The Land Administration Unit at Ardhi University which hosts the NELGA Eastern Africa Node organized the NELGA Land Data Hub Sensitization Workshop jointly with the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) from July 5 to 9, 2021 at the university.

NELGA’s Land Data Hub is a platform developed to ensure the collation, documentation and real-time analysis of land data in Africa. The Hub is currently piloted in Tanzania and the workshop provided land stakeholders and users from research institutions, academics and government representatives the opportunity to share useful inputs to the RCMRD Team on the Land Data Hub particularly on issues of access to data, functionalities of the developed data hub and the themes.

Developed by RCMRD and Geo Consult International (GCI) with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the NELGA Land Data Hub aims to accumulate and store country- and region-specific sources of land-related information. It also intends to guide land governance stakeholders and end-users in obtaining this information.

An Action Plan for improving the data hub was drawn with a timeline of two months i.e. 13th July – 2nd September 2021.

To read up on the data hub, click here: RCMRD and GCI Holds Workshop to Showcase NELGA Land Data Hub – The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa

NELGA Sensitize Local Leaders on Gender and Land Rights in Tanzania

The Land Administration Unit at Ardhi University, the NELGA Node for East Africa, embarked on a Community Outreach Project from July 12 to 17, to sensitize local leaders in community districts on land laws with an ultimate goal to spearhead good land governance.

These were carried out through a series of awareness-raising workshops in three districts i.e. Kilwa, Lindi Rural (Mtama) and Ileje. Over 200 local leaders drawn from among members of Village Councils, Village Leaders (Chairpersons and Village Executive Officers), Ward Executive Officers and Councillors, and members of the Ward Tribunal from the respective districts participated in the workshops. In addition, District land professionals and representatives of District Commissioners and District Administrative Secretaries participated in the workshops.

The Workshops were participatory and focused on the legal framework governing access to land touching on village land management, land rights of various groups such as women, youth and pastoralists.  The outreach programme addressed land challenges from the gender perspective and their related bundle of rights, and highlight land rights, land acts, and policies in Tanzania as instruments against gender discrimination to land, and develop a system to create common solutions. Such instruments are key to empower women and reduce related land conflicts at the grassroots level before seeking resolution for land disputes through other means.

Frieda’s Story – NELGA Success Story

Frieda Nangolo is a 2020 NELGA-DAAD scholarship holder at Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) Department of Land and Property Sciences (DLPS).  She shares her story on the impact of the NELGA experience post-graduation.

In 2017, Frieda Nangolo was granted the opportunity to further her studies with a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a financial support through the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). An optimist by nature, Frieda believed that hard work and a positive attitude were the keys to getting the scholarship and excelling as the first graduate within her scholarship group in 2020.

“I grew up in Onkani village in the northern parts of Namibia. After High School, I moved to Windhoek, where I enrolled for an undergraduate degree in Property Studies at Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST). I completed my degree in 2014 and graduated in 2015. I started working as an intern at Windhoek Municipality, where I gained working experience in the land industry. However, I felt there was more I needed to learn. In 2017, I got a golden opportunity to further my studies with a scholarship from DAAD for a Masters in Spatial Sciences,” said Frieda.

The scholarship covered Frieda’s tuition, personal needs, and study materials. This came in handy, as she balanced her studies while having a full-time job, running an online masters degree concurrently and her family life. Excelling at her graduation, Frieda opined that, “My experience studying with DAAD was a good one. It  challenged me at some points as it brought out a different side of me which I never thought I have.”

Frieda was fortunate enough to complete her studies in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Namibia.

NELGA Expands Network in Central Africa

In 2019, NELGA officially launched its Central Africa node in Cameroon with a regional hub at the University of Yaoundé I. The node partnered with institutions across the region, recording successes, including developing an adopted road map to address conflict challenges between herders and farmers in Mbororo, Cameroon and making policy recommendations into the Revised Rural Sectarian Development Strategy and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (SDSR/PNIA) in Cameroon. In 2021, it became necessary to expand the node’s reach to other francophone academic and research institutions, especially in Chad, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

In July 2021, the NELGA team were in DRC to meet with various universities rectors, vice-rectors, deans, teachers, and students in fulfilling the above mandate. The team visited relevant land-focused departments at the University of Lubumbashi and the University of Likasi, making a compelling case to join the NELGA network.

The Universities stated their willingness to be part of the network. They identified focal persons for further engagement in bringing the institution into the network. Students working on land issues were ecstatic about the opportunities provided by NELGA, including the DAAD scholarship and online seminars. They looked forward to being part of upcoming meetings and events.

Click here to read more about this advocacy visit.

Submit Short Stories on Land Governance in Africa | Deadline August 31, 2021

The Conference on Land Policy in Africa- a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank is inviting young African creatives to re-imagine land governance in Africa by writing short stories as part of CLPA coming up on November 2-4, 2021.

We are seeking stories written by African writers located on the continent or in the African diaspora. Creative African youth are strongly encouraged to submit their stories.

Click below to view the call in English and in French

2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA)

Land governance for safeguarding art, culture and heritage towards the Africa We Want

2 NOVEMBER, 2021 TO 4 NOVEMBER, 2021

Hybrid format – Online and in Kigali, Rwanda

The Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) is organised biennially by the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank. The goal is to deepen capacity for land policy in Africa through improved access to knowledge and information on land policymaking and implementation. The CLPA is a platform for presenting research findings and focusing the attention of a comprehensive range of stakeholders on the issues and status of land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa. The CLPA also provides a unique opportunity to showcase emerging and promising practices and facilitate networking. Conference participants include researchers, governments (including parliamentarians), traditional authorities, farmers, civil society, private sector, land practitioners and development partners. The CLPA was first held in 2014, focusing on land, Investment and agriculture issues. A second edition of CLPA was held under a theme targeting youth, land and employment in November 2017. The most recent 2019 CLPA focused on winning the fight against corruption in the land sector.

The fourth CLPA is scheduled to take place over 2 – 4 November 2021 combining online and conventional sessions in a hybrid format, in Kigali, Rwanda, under the theme: “Land governance for safeguarding art, culture and heritage towards the Africa We Want”.  The Conference’s theme aligns with the African Union Declaration of 2021 as “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa We Want,” which is epitomized by Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063. The Conference will focus on African heritage and cultural dimensions of land and the potential to secure livelihoods, economic growth, and sustainable development through the creative economy in both the rural and urban settings. The Conference will also focus on fostering innovation, and stimulating social and economic value through creativity, talent, intellectual capital, expressions of the arts, and cultural entrepreneurship as envisioned in Agenda 2063. 

This edition of the Biennial Conference will adopt a creative and scientific approach in line with its theme. The Conference is designed to capture a broad range of emerging issues and knowledge and generate interest in current land policy themes from a wide range of African policy actors. The conference format will be a hybrid with online and physical participation in Kigali that covers plenary and parallel sessions, masterclasses, pre-conference events, side events, exhibitions, and social media to reach a broader audience.

Stakeholder Consultations on the Draft Land Governance Strategy

The  African Union (AU) Heads of States and Government endorsed the African Union Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa (AU Declaration on Land). The AU Declaration on Land emphasizes the importance of land to attaining sustainable socio-economic growth and development of the African continent. The Declaration further stresses the importance of protecting and securing the tenure rights of all land users, with a particular focus on women and other vulnerable groups.

To further promote good land governance and ensure the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land, the African Union Commission’s Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Blue Economic and Sustainable Environment (DARBE) has been developing the Land Governance Strategy. The Land Governance Strategy (LGS) is being developed to guide how the AUC ensures that issues related to land governance in Africa are well conceptualized, especially in delivering developmental programmes on the continent. Furthermore, the strategy outlines the principles for protecting the rights to land of Africans and ensuring that land is put to good use for sustainable development.

Click on the link below to review the current draft Land Governance Strategy.

LAND GOVERNANCE STRATEGY (nelga.org)

We invite you to provide input to the document through the link below.

https://forms.gle/yg5HAXhpRXNMwWPf8

The deadline for making inputs into the draft strategy is July 25, 2021

The input provided during this process will lead to the finalization of the strategy. Furthermore, the strategy will be validated at a reasonable time by various stakeholders.

ALPC, JKUAT Launch Land Governance Curriculum Review Process in Kenya

It is essential to ensure that the curricula for the Land Resource Planning and Management  Programme provides a basis for training professionals who can positively influence the land governance policy space in Kenya and indeed Africa– Dr Joan Kagwanja

Online, May 20, 2021: The AU -UNECA- AfDB African Land Policy Center (ALPC) collaborated with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in an inception workshop for the curriculum review and development of the Land Resource Planning and Management Programme (LRPMP). The inception workshop was aimed at building consensus on the methodology and roadmap for reviewing the LRPMP curriculum, applying the African Union (AU) endorsed Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance in Africa.

UNECA’s Director of Private Sector Development and Finance Division, Mr. William Lugemwa, commended the initiative saying, “Governance of land tenure is a fundamental component for achieving inclusive and sustainable development in Africa, and the initiative by ALPC and JKUAT to strengthen human and institutional capacities will greatly enhance the implementation of the AU Land Agenda.” He lauded the stakeholders for coming together to address the gaps in the Land Resource Planning and Management bachelors program using the AU endorsed tools such as the Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa. “As ECA, we are especially encouraged by the great efforts the University has made to make this review a reality despite restrictions brought about by COVID-19.” He further indicated that ECA, AUC and AfDB in the auspices of ALPC, are committed to this partnership and hope to walk with the university towards a successful Land Resource Planning and Management Programme.

In his welcome remarks, JKUAT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, represented by Prof. Okong’o, also noted that the workshop was timely, observing that the review process is well-aligned with the related needs identified by the institution in meeting the land governance industry needs.  “ JKUAT hosts almost 385 programmes which are carefully developed to address developmental challenges. We welcome this review to ensure that programmes remain consistent to address our unique land issues of Africa,” He noted.  “It is essential to develop dynamic programmes which support innovative ways, especially teaching and learning, in bridging land-themed capacity gaps for our students.”

Kenya’s Commission of University Education (CUE) recommends review of degree programs every four years. The review will ensure academic curricula adheres to industry needs, supporting real-time solutions with local, regional, and global land trends like the Africa agenda 2063, emphasizing Sustainable Development Goals. JKUAT Land Resource Planning and Management undergraduate programme faces the stage of its review, which provides an opportunity to align its curricula to the AU land agenda. The AU Agenda on land, which is defined in key AU commitments, including the Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa,  underline the importance of building human and institutional capacity for sustainable land governance in Africa. 

The inception workshop for the curriculum review of the JKUAT Land Resource Planning and Management Programmefamiliarizedparticipants with land governance industry gaps nationally, regionally and globally; regional commitments and tools; CUE guidelines. The workshop further enhanced consensus on the curriculum review roadmap, including the drafting and accreditation of the graduate programmes in Land Resource Planning and Management, and short courses on land governance.

The workshop also provided an opportunity to introduce the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) welcoming the University to be part of the membership. ALPC and the Government of Germany (through BMZ and GIZ) have partnered to strengthen human and institutional capacities under NELGA to enhance training, research and technical assistance on land governance in Africa.

The half day virtual workshop targeted a diverse group of stakeholders from NELGA, Land Resources Planning and Management Department, Directorate for Academic Quality Assurance (DAQA), School of Natural Resource and Animal Sciences, College of agriculture and natural resources, land governance experts and other representatives of the academic and land governance industry, among others.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) Secretariat, coordinates the implementation of the AU Agenda under the tripartite strategic leadership of  the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its programmes aim at improving land governance to facilitate sustainable economic development as defined by Agenda 2063 and SDG 2030.

NUST to Hold Online Course and Master Class on Land Governance and Corruption in Africa

Africa requires significant capacity-building efforts to adopt and implement all available good land governance practices, policies and instruments. The capacity building needs encompass staff training within national lands ministries, academic institutions, development agencies and the private sector on land governance in Africa.

The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), which coordinates the NELGA Southern Africa Hub is putting in place an open-source online course on land governance and corruption in Africa to meet these needs.

According to NELGA Southern Africa Coordinator and the Head of Department for land and Property Sciences at NUST, Prof. Mutjinde Katjiua, “The course is mainly intended to increase access to land governance education and training in Africa. It is expected to raise awareness of the complex causes and effects of corruption, particularly in Africa’s land sector. Doing so will strengthen the integrity, public accountability, and responsibility within the land industry.” He opined that land professionals in various stages of their career will benefit from this course as it equips them with the tools, tactics and networks that help tackle land corruption issues. They would also be provided with an accessible platform to reflect on their personal moral and the development of their collective professional ethics.

Professionals working both in the private and public land sector are expected beneficiaries of the online course. This includes National Anti-Corruption Commission officials, academia in land-related practices and town planning, officials of Ministry of Lands, private land surveyor, valuation surveyors, property developers, urban and rural planners, and non-governmental organisations land sector as well as development agencies working with national governments.

The course is based on a blended learning format consisting of two phases: an online course and a masterclass follow up phase. The online course will consist of videos, reading material and quizzes to fully engage with course participants. It is designed to be taken at any time of the year, and it will be accessible via NUST NELGA Southern Africa hub website (http://nelga.nust.na/). Participants will need to spend 4-6 hours per week on the online course up to a total of 36 hours in 4 weeks.

The masterclass will be delivered in the format of the trainer of trainers, which will provide course participants with thorough knowledge of the principles of good land governance and the adverse effects of corruption in both the private and public sector. This format will allow for deeper interaction with tutors and for the participants to share their experiences in a 3-days seminar set-up.

Further details like registration links and course materials for the online course and application requirements for the masterclass will be shared as the launch date approaches.

NELGA Goes on Gender and Land Rights Rural Outreach in Tanzania

The Tanzanian agrarian economy is predominantly dependent on land. In rural Tanzania, the land is an important factor of production for both men and women. Although the country’s legal framework advocates equal rights and opportunities to resources, most women can neither inherit nor own land due to gender-discriminatory customary practices. Studies revealed that some traditional belief systems work against women’s rights to land in Tanzania.

Despite the Land Acts passed in 1999, which began implementation in May 2001, major challenges are still present, as evidenced by the impressive number of reports that have since been produced on the persistent institutional weaknesses of the land rights system and land administration, and several partial reforms that have attempted to improve the situation. The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) (2009 and 2015) pointing major institutional challenges and called for a systematic review of the National Land Policy of 1995 to explore the extent to which expected gains had materialized and what could be done to improve the performance of land management.

The most challenge aggressively touched upon was the affirmative action to address gender issues on land governance followed by land surveying, mapping, and registration; redefining institutional mandates; strengthening of decentralization; making land-use planning more participatory; changing expropriation practices; and improving conflict resolution mechanisms through dispute machinery. However, little has been done on awareness creation on dispute machinery towards land laws, land acts, and policies, especially those promoting gender equity. 

To address the challenge on women land rights, the NELGA South African node will embark on an outreach programme from May 3rd to 8th, 2021 to ward chancellors, member of ward tribunals, head of departments and district land conflict committee in three districts, namely Kilwa, Songwe and Lindi of Tanzania. These three districts were purposely chosen as discriminations with harsh consequences prevail when women try to claim their rights to land.

The outreach programme will address land challenges from the gender perspective and their related bundle of rights, and highlight land rights, land acts, and policies in Tanzania as instruments against gender discrimination to land, and develop a system to create common solutions. Such instruments are key to empower women and reduce related land conflicts at the grassroots level before seeking resolution for land disputes through other means.

Regional Land Governance Academic Experts Review AU’s Curricula Guidelines on Land Governance in Africa

Studies and evaluations that guide the African Union’s (AU)land intervention and policy have shown that African universities’ training and education in the specific area of land governance are often ‘imported’, thereby producing land professionals who are not equipped to meet Africa’s realities. Curriculums also tend to be too technical and have flaws in the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental aspects essential to the continent’s land governance and administration systems. To address the above, the AU developed the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance tailored to meet the continent’s realities.

NELGA Francophone West Africa node hosted by the University of Gaston Berger node organized a sensitization workshop on the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance in Africa from the 14th to 15th of April 2021 for university representatives and land governance academic and research stakeholders located in Francophone West Africa. The workshop which was held virtually provided the opportunity to clarify how the revision of land education programs can be made in line with the AU guidelines while remaining firmly entrenched in the West African context. The sensitization was necessary due to the limited attention given to land education in Francophone West Africa and the gap between education and the labour market and policy-making needs in most countries.

The meeting that UNECA’s Africa Land Policy Center coordinated with support from GIZ focused on creating a collective understanding of the guidelines and how this can be mainstreamed within current education programs or creating standalone academic programs. Land experts, specialists, policymakers, researchers from Senegal, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Togo, Mauritania, Congo, and Madagascar, attended this event. The two days’ workshop enclosed presentations and discussions on topics like Evolution of Land Governance in Africa, The Land Governance Industry, Land Governance in Rural, Urban and Peri-urban Areas, Gender, Women and Land, Environment, Climate Change and Land, Conflicts and Land Governance as well as Research and innovation.

Discussions at the meeting explained that the current education on land Governance in Africa is influenced by the outside world and is not reflective of our reality with influences from the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial perspectives. The current situations are important reminders of the need to develop realistic land governance curricula which takes the best of the past and the present to bridge capacity gaps that will create the Africa we want in the land governance space. The guidelines are supposed to help shape our curriculum in a way that recognizes our historical context.

African universities play a key role in assisting the Member States in implementing the AU Agenda on Land and forming tailor-made land governance policies in Africa’s context. Participants discussed the African Union’s vision for revising land curricula with reflections from participants on their common understanding of the content of the framework of the guidelines. The meeting ended with an agreement to discuss how this can be applied and tailored to university specifications, and the respective country needs moving forward. They stressed how the workshop was necessary to expand their knowledge and grasp the tools and methodology that assist universities in reviewing land training programs. 

RCMRD and GCI Holds Workshop to Showcase NELGA Land Data Hub

NELGA’s Land Data Hub is a platform developed to ensure the collation, documentation and real time analysis of land data in Africa. Currently collating data from four pilot countries (Tanzania, Botswana, Rwanda and Senegal), NELGA is preparing to make the platform public from Tanzania on April 20,2021. Land stakeholders and users from research institutions, academics, government, and other areas from the country will attend this event. Subsequent similar workshops will hold for the other countries as well.

Developed by Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) and Geo Consult International (GCI) with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the NELGA Land Data Hub aims to accumulate and store country- and region-specific sources of land-related information. It also intends to guide land governance stakeholders and end-users in obtaining this information.

The workshop provides the opportunity to have a live demonstration of the NELGA Land Data Hub platform features and functionalities as well as other pertinent issues like ensuring reliable and accurate primary data. The workshop will focus on the adoption, roll out and implementation of the platform.

With the ease in access to such land data, NELGA Land Data Hub will ensure appropriate government policing, monitoring, and implementation of land programs in Africa. Having access to detailed land information will also enable researchers across the continent to carry out broad scopes of applied research to inform policy dialogues and reforms.

Blockchain for Land Administration: News from TUM, KNUST and NELGA workshop on Securing Land Rights in Ghana

The TUM-KNUST Workshop on Blockchain and its applications to secure land rights was successfully held from 18th to 19th March 2021 at the Institute of Distance Learning Conference Centre in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Stakeholders from public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations, policy advocacy groups, and traditional authorities were brought together during this workshop. According to Professor Walter De Vries of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the main purpose of this 2-day workshop was to provide a platform for stakeholders in the land sector to deliberate on the potential of blockchain application to securing land rights in Ghana.

Property rights are a stepping stone in international development theory. The most elementary form of property rights is land rights. Over 80% of land titles in Ghana lack the documentation to prove ownership. The World Bank ranks Ghana with a Land Registering Index of 119 out of 190, describing the difficulty to register property. This makes land investment difficult and costly as it allows for fraud, multiple sales of land, conflicts among many claimants, and inefficiencies for acquiring property. Although the Government of Ghana attempted to develop a sustainable, fair, and well-functioning land administration system, not much has been achieved. Up until now, institutional bottlenecks have led to decreased transparency and development in property rights.

THEREFORE, the TUM-KNUST Workshop on Blockchain and its applications to secure land rights reignited the previous efforts made and advanced the way forward. During the workshop, there were several presentations from key land sector agencies and players in the country, both public and private. Day one focused on understanding the land administration architecture and land registration of Ghana and its challenges. Day two was dedicated to discussing the features of blockchain technology and its applications to securing land rights using case studies. A case study on Georgia, Kenya, Sweden, Canada, and the Netherlands was presented. Policy recommendations were also made, giving direction for further research regarding blockchain in land registration in Ghana.

The lack of effective collaboration among the land sector agencies, lack of change management processes, need for advanced technology and tools, and limited focus on public lands were some of the challenges raised during the discussions. It was clear from the presentations and the plenary discussions that blockchain technology was only a means to an end despite its potential. Blockchain technology in itself would not resolve the many fundamental challenges with land administration in Ghana, such as indeterminate boundaries of stools lands and corruption among public sector agents on top of others. According to Professor Walter De Vries, reward and punishment incentives for those who register their lands and those who do not, respectively, could be helpful.

Finally, the workshop was closed by encouraging stakeholders to keep this conversation running and annually provide progress reports on the foundation laid by this workshop.

NELGA Strategize with Technical Experts on AU Land Agenda

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and its regional and technical nodes held its semiannual technical planning meeting virtually on Tuesday, 30th of March 2021, under the African Land Policy’s Center (ALPC) coordination. The meeting convenes NELGA coordinating and implementing partners to look at the experience of the past months of working together, identify lessons learned, and tag areas for strategic intervention towards meeting the AU land agenda towards 2063.

The recent planning meeting brought together the NELGA Nodes from the University of Western Cape (Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Université Gaston Berger (UGB), Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Sciences (IAV), ARDHI University and University of Yaoundé I. Other partners include the  GIZ and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD),

The meeting reviewed 2021 Work Plans and discussed areas for synergy, amplification, dialogue, and intervention, especially as the continent tackles the Covid19 pandemic. Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Chief of the African Land Policy Centre and chair of the technical meeting, said, “I am grateful for all the achievements we have made so far in such a difficult year. So much work has been done despite all difficulties the pandemic has brought to our table. It is great to see our advisors, coordinators, and other stakeholders making headways and moving the dial on the continent’s land governance landscape. We may be a young network; however, this platform provides areas of synergy and cooperation towards reaching our goals while celebrating our intermediate achievements.”

Participants shared and spoke to the outcome of activities from research, training, and networking while documenting logical next steps towards bridging capacity gaps and strengthening the land governance space with data and empirical research findings for policy recommendations. To engage in the various platforms and enhance linkages with different stakeholders for NELGA to grow as a continental program. “We should continue contributing to the policy development processes in the different regions. And as a network, we can do a lot more. We should keep examining whether the indicators we have put for ourselves are helping us to measure how much we have achieved in terms of the gaps.” Said Dr. Kagwanja as a reminder to continue the hard work. Some areas of work identified include introducing e-learning platforms, policy recommendations in the various national agriculture investment plans, developing road maps, institutionalizing new land governance academic programs, publishing new research findings, insight on DAAD/NELGA scholarships, reviewing land legal frameworks, and impacting women’s rights, youth, and climate change, among others.

Following the presentation made by the secretariat, the stakeholders appreciated how far NELGA came in the knowledge management and dissemination as well as the communications area. They assured to contribute their part into achieving what is planned for the year 2021. Prof. Paul Tchawa, coordinator for the Central Africa Node, in appreciation, said, “We truly see areas of improvement in our journey as NELGA as we share common contribution and attribution in the evolving land governance space. Together, we can ensure we continue to build on our work for our continent, our economy, and our future.” He stated that he believes in working together as it makes it even more possible to achieve the AU Agenda on Land

NELGA Holds Bi-Annual Planning Meeting with Stakeholders

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and its regional and technical nodes are meeting virtually on Tuesday, 30th of March 2021, under the African Land Policy Center (ALPC). The planning meeting is a bi-annual event where land governance stakeholders review the next steps towards meeting the AU agenda on land in research, policy reform, and capacity building. The technical planning meeting is part of the continental program comprised by ALPC, NELGA, and GIZ, including land governance technical experts, academics, and key stakeholders, tasked with providing program oversight and recommendations that influence land governance reforms in Africa. The upcoming meeting is expected to bring together diverse stakeholder representatives from PLAAS, DAAD, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Namibia University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Université Gaston Berger (UGB), Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Sciences (IAV), ARDHI University and the University of Yaoundé I.

93% of Egypt’s Land Remain Vacant but Open for Urban Expansion

NELGA's Publish Scoping Study on Land Tenure Systems in North Africa at Second Arab Land Conference in Egypt

On February 24, 2021, NELGA presented its research findings from a scoping study calling for an increase in capacity-building programs that responds to the needs of urban planning and land development in North Africa during a Masterclass at the Second Arab Land Conference in Cairo, Egypt. The recommendation came from their presentation of a scoping study carried out by the North Africa Consortium to identify the current state, challenges, and areas for growth in addressing land tenure issues in North Africa.

The Masterclass focused on capacity needs to enable good land governance in North Africa and reflected on the study’s findings. The main objectives of the scoping study were to review the current land tenure conditions in the region, to support demand-driven research that meets training and research needs of different land governance stakeholders, to identify the common challenges of the Arab region, and to inform tailored capacity development in meeting the common challenges as identified in the research

The scoping study was carried out in Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania, Tunisia, and Morocco. In the Masterclass presentation, the report identified that though there is evidence of accelerated development in the region’s land governance space, it is important to ensure land processes are established by bridging capacity gaps, reinforcing best practices and technical guidelines mainstreamed to the peculiarities of the region.

“In Egypt, the clear majority of cities are within the fertile Nile river valley and delta, which leaves about 93 % of Egypt’s land vacant. The pressure of urban expansion was further escalated by government’s inability to formulate efficient and integrated policies and plans that urban channel expansion towards new cities (also known as desert cities).” – Land Tenure Systems in North Africa: Scoping Study

Among other recommendations, the study called for the reinforcement of land titling and registration systems to ensure social and economic equity and maximise natural resources, among other things. NELGA’s coordinator at the Africa Land Policy Center (ALPC) Chief, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, was appreciative of the direction the Arab world was taking in its interest in the land governance space, ” It’s important that knowledge exchanged creates linkages for policy and institutional development in North Africa. Land policy and land governance suffer from a lack of capacity. We are interested in collaborating with programs that work to solve this challenge;

The Masterclass was conveyed by the NELGA North Africa node under Prof. Moha El-Ayachi and featured  Nabila Zouhiri, Siraj Sair, Heba Allah Khalil, Sait El Azark, and Salwa Saidi as speakers.

NELGA North Africa Coordinator Prof. Moha explained that the Masterclass aimed to show the important role of capacity development to land management, “Capacity development is crucial to addressing land conflicts, cadastral development, urban planning, and land use strengthens the local economy. One of the ways NELGA closes these capacity gaps is by setting up  Masters degree programs on land management and building a partnership program with its North Africa member universities.” He also stressed the need for more training and research actions.

One of the main recommendations taken away from the Masterclass was strengthening academia’s role in coordinating actions between Private and Public partners. Encouraging the integration of new educational paradigms in training and research/smart tools on land governance was also emphasized. It was similarly mentioned that promoting youth/women initiatives for research actions on land governance, especially land right access, is crucial for the way forward. Reinforcing mastering strategies for good spatial and urban development was another point that was raised.

NELGA finally indicated that it offers advice in curricula development to universities and research institutions. It supports research by networking with Arab teams such as the Univerity of Lebanon and the introduction of its Master’s Program in Land Management. It also shares knowledge by publishing findings and research results through the African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Science.

Click here to read the Executive Summary of the Scoping Study

Find Presentations from the Masterclass below:

Appel à Candidats et Bourses d’études – Master ‘Gouvernance Foncière et Gestion des Territoires’




Dans le cadre de l’initiative NELGA, l’UFR des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de l’Université Gaston Berger de Saint Louis a récemment établi le master « Gouvernance foncière et Gestion des territoires ». Le Master est ouvert aux étudiants ou professionnels titulaires d’une licence (ou tout autre diplôme admis en équivalence) voulant se spécialiser dans les domaines de la gouvernance foncière. Sur critère d’excellence, les frais de scolarité seront pris en charge sous forme d’une subvention pour les meilleurs dossiers.

 Les étudiants/professionnels désireux de prendre part à cette formation sont priés de suivre les instructions sur le lien suivant

(English)

As part of the NELGA initiative, the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences of Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis recently established the master’s degree in “Land governance and land management”. The Master is open to students or professionals holding a license (or any other diploma admitted in equivalence) wishing to specialize in the fields of land governance. The tuition fees will be covered for the best students.

Students / professionals wishing to take part in this training are requested to follow the instructions on the following link

NELGA Announces Workshop to Address Land Demarcation and Farmer-Grazer Conflicts in Dschang, Cameroon

Among the several land-themed triggered conflicts in Cameroon, the farmer-grazer conflict is one of the most common struggles, especially for Mbororo pastoralists. Over time, different strategies are implemented to resolve these conflicts only for temporal relief. This is because the law governing land tenure as understood by most Cameroonians are characterized as contradictory, limited, defective, conflict-oriented and less appropriate to sociological realities.

However, it is important to introduce new approaches to ensure a sustained end to such land conflicts.

On February 22 to 25, 2021, NELGA will hold a regional workshop in Dschang, Cameroon to discuss how these conflicts triggered by land demarcation especially for farmers and pastoralist can be addressed through participatory and inclusive discussion.

NELGA believes that the participatory land demarcation approach could be a long-lasting solution as it is meaningful and less costly for the local communities. It helps them realize that land resource management is intricately linked to peaceful coexistence.

The meeting is led by NELGA Central Africa node and  MBOSCUDA North West Chapter. The duo is preparing a training and awareness-raising workshop together on land demarcation and farmer-grazer conflicts, and it is expected to create a platform for exchanges, experience sharing, discussions between academicians, Mbororo pastoralist and civil society organizations. They will discuss the challenges the Mbororo pastoralists face and the role that MBOSCADA should play in the current land governance.

The workshop also aims to sensitize and train MBOSCUDA members on the importance of participatory land demarcation as a land governance tool and in the prevention and management of agro-pastoral related conflicts. It is expected to present the participants with a road map as an action plan for the agro-pastoral conflict resolution mechanisms. This contributes to the implementation of the African Union’s agenda on land.

Click the link below for more information on the workshop: https://nelga-ca.net/events/workshop-on-participatory-land-demarcation-and-farmer-grazier-conflicts/

Integrating Blockchain Technology for Land Registration Takes Centre Stage at KNUST, NELGA Workshop

The department of Land Economy at the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, and the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) will hold a 2-day workshop from March 18-19, 2021, in Kumasi, Ghana, to discuss and identify how blockchain technology can address land registration challenges in Ghana.

The workshop brings together experts and land registration practitioners to explore the potentials for implementation and map out the research area to inform policy on the roll-out of blockchain technology in Ghana.

In Ghana, technological advancements provide a window of opportunity to solve the problems associated with recording land transactions. One of such technological innovations that are increasingly seen to hold much promise to revolutionize land registration is blockchain. Over the past several years, the Government of Ghana has been making efforts to digitize land records and reduce turnaround time in land registration, aligning with the blockchain land registration innovation.

Land registration is critical for economic transformation and poverty alleviation around the world. The 2019 World Bank’s Doing Business report ranked Ghana 123rd out of 190 countries surveyed, of which one of the reasons for this ranking is linked to land registration challenges faced by the country regardless of the myriad of existing land administrative frameworks, guidelines, and policies.

The workshop will:

  • Discuss the existing legal and institutional frameworks for land registration in Ghana.
  • Examine the challenges in the implementation of the land title registration system.
  • Highlight the blockchain technology features and replace or complement the existing land registration system in Ghana.
  • Proffer policy recommendations and give direction for further research regarding blockchain in land registration in Ghana.

The hybrid workshop brings together stakeholders from public and private sectors and the non-governmental organization’s sector, including policy advocacy groups, into an online and physical space.

NELGA Holds Land Conflicts and Dualism Workshop for Traditional Stakeholders in Cameroon

From February 14th to 17th, 2021, NELGA Central Africa Node will hold a land governance workshop on legal dualism and land conflicts to provide a framework for exchanges, knowledge sharing, and discussions between academics and traditional guardians.

On the one hand, the workshop aims to build a consensus on stimulating research based on real customs. On the other hand, to converge the views of academicians and traditional authorities on the urgent need to take customs and research in effective land conflict management.

Land plays a significant role in people’s daily activities around the world. At the same time, it is the subject of several conflicts. One of the most significant causes of land conflicts in African states is land dualism from the cohabitation of modern and customary laws. Cameroon is one example of a country where legal pluralism is exercised due to the coexistence of English and French rights inherited with customary law. This legal dualism generates land conflicts that come in various forms. Studies show that it is important for African states to develop land policies that promote conflict prevention, peace restoration, and the consideration of African realities.

The workshop holding at NKOLANDOM Tourist Center in Ebolowa, Cameroon, brings together traditional leaders who are members of RECTRAD and other land stakeholders.

Raising awareness and equipping participants with the concept of dualism of Cameroon’s land tenure regime, conflicts resulting from normative dualism, and effective management of land disputes are some of the workshop’s expected outcomes. Participants will also learn the role and participation of customary authorities in land conflict resolution.

Les universités francophones d’Afrique de l’Ouest commencent un atelier sur l’adaptation du programme de gouvernance foncière pour répondre à l’agenda de l’UA sur la terre

Les universités francophones d’Afrique de l’Ouest organisent un atelier régional en vue de sensibiliser les académiciens et les praticiens de la gouvernance foncière sur le contenu et la mise en application des lignes directrices relatives à l’élaboration des programmes de formation adaptées en gouvernance foncière dans le contexte de l’Afrique de l’ouest francophone.  

Cet atelier s’inscrit dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des lignes directrices de l’Union Africaine en matière de gouvernance foncière en Afrique.

Le Réseau d’excellence sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique (NELGA) Nœud francophone de l’Afrique de l’Ouest Francophone, invite les parties prenantes de la gouvernance foncière à un atelier de deux jours à Dakar qui se déroulera du 14 -15 avril, 2021 à Dakar, Sénégal (par vidéoconférence), sur la mise en œuvre des lignes directrices du programme de gouvernance foncière au sein des universités institutions de la région.

L’atelier vise à clarifier la manière dont le programme de gouvernance foncière peut être développé conformément aux recommandations de l’Union africaine (UA) tout en restant ancré dans le contexte ouest-africain.

Selon le coordinateur régional de NELGA, le professeur Ibrahima Arona Diallo, “L’atelier offre aux experts fonciers, aux spécialistes, aux décideurs et aux chercheurs l’occasion de tirer des leçons des expériences de l’exercice de conception de programmes d’études précédent par NELGA et des mises en œuvre ultérieures à travers le continent. Fournissant aux participants les connaissances, les outils et les méthodes pour aider les universités à revoir les programmes de formation foncière, cet atelier devrait encadrer une feuille de route pour aider les universités respectives à mettre en œuvre les lignes directrices pour l’élaboration de programmes sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique et à introduire des programmes de maîtrise en gouvernance foncière dans la région.”

Les Lignes directrices pour l’élaboration des programmes sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique soutiennent la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration de l’UA sur les questions et défis fonciers en Afrique. Les directives abordent les systèmes fonciers complexes du continent et les demandes croissantes de pertinence et d’adéquation dans ce secteur. Les lignes directrices facilitent l’élaboration et la révision des programmes pour garantir que les diplômés universitaires et les professionnels du foncier soient mieux qualifiés pour relever les défis de la gouvernance foncière en Afrique. On s’attend à ce que les lignes directrices fournissent des idées pour le développement de programmes qui permettent aux étudiants de mieux comprendre les questions de gouvernance foncière et leur effet sur l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre des politiques.

The African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences Releases Its 1st Issue of 2021

The African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences (AJLP & GS) publishes research articles in Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences thematic areas. The main intention of encouraging innovation, promoting the exchange of knowledge and scientific outcomes, released its first issue in May 2018. The journal has since released four volumes and 12 issues, including the most recent edition for 2021.

The new issue is the first edition of the year 2021, and it has nine articles published. The articles cover land administration, land governance, land corruption, land conflicts, and technical and digital solutions to land-related problems.

The AJLP & GS encourages researchers, professors, and professionals to publish and promote their research findings at the African, regional and global levels. The research piece in the journal improves the land governance sector, inspire future researchers to dig more and back up policymakers’ decisions with actual evidence.

To access the journal, click on the link below.

Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa

The Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa support the implementation of the AU Declaration on land issues and Challenges in Africa, in particular the call for Member States to, “Build adequate human, financial, technical capacities to support land policy development and implementation”.

The guidelines are informed by key background documents prepared by the LPI, including the Regional assessment reports on land policy in Africa which identified, among other things, the challenges in Africa’s land sector; The background document on capacity development in Africa prepared from an examination of key capacity gaps in the land sector; Assessment report on industry needs and gaps in curricula for land governance in Africa. The Curricula also tends to be technical, lacking in the social/cultural, political, economic and environmental aspects crucial to land governance.

Further challenges on capacity in Africa include limited focus on Land tenure, political economy of land, autochthonous populations’ ties to land and cultural/traditional land governance.

Click here to download: https://repository.uneca.org/handle/10855/2387

L’Université de Kindia, Guinée, présente un programme de maîtrise en gouvernance foncière

Le gouvernement guinéen a récemment identifié la nécessité de former des professionnels pour relever les défis du pays dans le secteur de la gouvernance foncière. Ces défis entravent la mise en œuvre des politiques publiques de développement en Guinée, qui dépendent de ses ressources naturelles pour le développement du pays.

Il est évident qu’en raison du contrôle illégal des terres, du pluralisme des normes foncières entre l’État et les individus, des stratégies qui se chevauchent des acteurs internes et externes, ainsi que des codes fonciers et étatiques dépassés, le gouvernement a perdu le contrôle d’une grande partie de ses biens fonciers et immobiliers publics. Il est devenu difficile de trouver ou de récupérer des terres pour simuler des développements urbains et ruraux.

Afin de renforcer la capacité des professionnels à combler ces lacunes, le Réseau d’excellence sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique, nœud francophone d’Afrique de l’Ouest, travaille avec l’Université de Kindia, en Guinée, pour mettre en place un programme de maîtrise sur la gouvernance foncière. Le nouveau programme tirera parti des Lignes directrices de l’Union africaine pour l’élaboration de programmes d’études sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique. Un atelier sous-régional de quatre jours, du 12 au 16 janvier 2021, s’est tenu à l’Université Kindia dans le but de finaliser et de valider le programme universitaire de gouvernance foncière.

Au cours de l’atelier, le contexte du programme de diplôme et le processus de mise en place ont été présentés avec les objectifs des cours. Elle a été suivie par l’accréditation des cours, l’organisation de cours par semestre, la définition de la concentration du programme et du soutien aux ressources humaines, et enfin la production d’un document finalisé. L’atelier s’est terminé par un aperçu d’un plan de mise en œuvre du programme de maîtrise et d’autres domaines de collaboration.

2nd Arab Land Conference – NELGA to Hold Masterclass and Roundtable on Land Governance in North Africa

NELGA will participate in the Second Arab Land Conference held from 22nd to 24th of February 2021 in Cairo, Egypt. The conference marks an important milestone in the roadmap towards establishing good land governance in the Arab region. It will promote good land management and land administration by focusing on the priorities of the Arab Land Initiative: promote collaboration and coordination, develop and share knowledge, develop capacities of individuals and organizations, and support the implementation of land-related programs and interventions.

NELGA will present two sessions at the event, a roundtable discussion titled “Land and Tenure Systems in North Africa: A Scoping Study” and a masterclass tagged “Capacity Development to Enable Good Land Governance.”

Both sessions will come up on the  24th of February, 2021.  These sessions focus on developing programs that meet the Government’s and professionals’ needs in the capacity building required for sustainable development. The challenges for capacity development and ongoing initiatives, and future opportunities will also be presented.

More information on this activity will be released as the conference dates draw near.

The conference will allow both in-person and virtual attendance. To register for the conference, kindly visit https://arabstates.gltn.net/second-arab-land-conference/

University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon appoints Professor Tchotsoua as NELGA Focal Point

The NELGA project was officially launched in Central Africa on the 17th and 18th of January 2019 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The first phase of the project lasted 18 months under the terms of the agreement signed between the University of Yaoundé I (as the regional node of the project) and GIZ. With GIZ planning to continue supporting this initiative, the execution of a second phase of the project is underway. Following this, the need to get more higher education institutions in Central Africa involved in the project was considered crucial. It is with this intention that NELGA organized missions to explore the possibilities of collaborations with new universities and other prospective partners both in Cameroon and other NELGA member countries in Central Africa.

The NELGA coordination team with the support of the GIZ Technical Advisor to NELGA are carrying out these missions in Cameroon. On the other hand, in countries like Chad, Gabon, CAR and DRC, the NELGA focal points will provide the lead in the consultation processes. By the end of these assignments, new universities, research institutions and other active actors working in land related sectors will be included in phase 2 of the project.

The mission to the university of Ngaoundéré in Cameroon is one of the missions that intended to explore and reflect on future collaborations between the university and the NELGA project. It had main objectives of presenting the project to the academic authorities of the University, highlighting its approach to land governance, illustrating its fields of action as well as the results of the first phase. It also focused on discussing the likely co-preparation and follow-up processes of involving the university in the second phase. Similarly, the mission intended to present various support opportunities available within the NELGA network and its partners to students currently working on land issues.

The NELGA team with the services of Professor TCHOTSOUA Michel met the Rector of the University of Ngaoundéré and presented the purpose of the mission. The Rector was certainly positive to the idea of integrating the University of Ngaoundéré into the Network, on the understanding that the interest of the University in the issues of land use planning, management of natural resources and development in the broad sense of the term no longer needs to be compromised. She consequently appointed Professor TCHOTSOUA as NELGA Focal Point at the University of Ngaoundéré.

The team correspondingly met the deans and vice deans in charge of research as well as the heads of departments of the Faculties of Arts, Letters and Human Sciences, Faculties of Legal and Political Sciences, Faculties of Economics and Management. Except for the Faculty of Economics and Management that the theme is still new for, all the other faculties have courses on or related to the land tenure system in their curricula. All the Heads of Departments met expressed the desire to actively contribute to the activities of NELGA, particularly in the context of updating the curricula of the courses to align them with the directives of the African Union on land tenure in Africa. The sensitization tour ended successfully with the meeting with the Master and Doctorate students to whom offers of scholarships and mobility were presented.

Land Governance Panel at GIZ Landhub 2020 Meeting Highlights Best Practices for Research-Policy Linkages

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) held a panel discussion at the just concluded GIZ LandHub 2020 Meeting to highlight evidence-based best practices on how research can influence policy development and reforms.

The 90minute online panel discussion on December 15, 2020, demonstrated the crucial relationship between research and good policy advice in the land sector. The lively discussion, with panelists from Landportal, World Bank, GIZ, GIGA, policymakers, and the land governance community, discussed the theme: Research-Policy Linkages: How to improve Evidence-based Policy Advise in the Land Sector.  

For those who could not make it, find a summary of the discussion below.

 

Researchers and Policymakers Collaboration Benefits the Land Governance Space

Land Commissions consisting of policymakers, researchers, private sectors, and CSOs can identify important research areas and integrate data and research results into decision making – Willi Zimmermann

A point that cuts across all panelists was the call for increased collaboration between policymakers and researchers as this benefits everyone involved in the policy reform landscape. There should be a deliberate way for researchers, decision-makers, and policy writers to collaborate. The promotion of strategy, policy ownership, and transparency within governmental institutions are equally important.  Researchers need to get policymakers involved in research work as it is vital for promoting the research findings in policy recommendations.

If policymakers collaborate with researchers, it will be easier for governments to make evidence-based policy advice. This starts with formulating relevant research questions together. Researchers need to understand the different timeframes and logic that is available to the policymaker to make decisions. Both sides, the researcher and policymaker, should listen to one another and collaborate in solving identified problems. The policymaker should be open enough to listen to what the science (data and research) say.

Research policy forums could be useful means of discussing opportunities offered by both researchers and policymakers – Desire Tchigankong

Regardless of this inclusive collaboration, the policymakers should remain objective and encourage freedom of research as this helps produce the desired data for evidence-based decision making. Furthermore, encouraging private sectors and CSO’s involvement can provide innovative ways to promote a high level of advocacy, useful to back up policies with science.

The discussion acknowledged how the COVID situation gave an excellent lesson to politicians and policymakers worldwide. It was said the pandemic enhanced the importance of collaborations between policymakers and researchers not only in the health sector but also in other sectors such as agriculture and land tenure.

The Need for More Capacity Building

This leads to another point raised by both the policymakers and participants on capacity building as both groups agreed that research and training are inseparable, especially for young people. Capacity building for young researchers, academics, land experts, and potential policymakers goes a long way to create the future we want to see in the land governance space. There is a need to enhance researchers’ capacities in producing policy briefs and opinion pieces as the researcher should have the ability to make these. Policymakers should build their capacity to learn and truly understand the change that research could bring in the policy sector.

Presenting and Communicating Data is Crucial

Though data can be powerful to shape decisions, unfortunately, availability and access to land data remain low as ranked by the open data barometer. Data needs to remain accessible and available to a wide range of stakeholders. These stakeholders leverage this data to present evidence-based agile approaches that respond to policymakers’ circumstances. For instance, the coronavirus pandemic showed how vital data and information are to policymaking. The rise in digital platforms played a crucial role in data sharing inclusively during the health crisis.  Such inclusive communication ensures an increased understanding of the policymakers, bringing them into the discussion space and presenting data in a simple format for ease of understanding and action.  The academia must turn lengthy evidence-based research into a call for action, policy briefs, opinion pieces, and cooperate with international organizations for increased synergy, dissemination and implementation.

Discussions like these are of high relevance because they conduct a reality check to see if we are on the right track and what else we need. Both the scientific community and policymakers should work on their perceptions towards evidence-based decision making and learn to truly understand the change that research could bring in the policy sector. Under the directive of ALPC, NELGA participated in the meeting by the support of GIZ’s Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa program.

GIZ LandHub 2020 Meeting – Research-Policy Linkages: How to improve Evidence-based Policy Advise in the Land Sector?

An evidence-based policy helps to make well-informed decisions about policies, programs and projects, by placing the best available evidence from research at the heart of policy development and implementation. This also accounts for policymaking in the land sector. 

But how can we implement evidence-based policy in a sector where data is usually scarce or difficult to access? How can we respond with policies and programs to increasingly rapid global trends while still relying on robust science? And what is the key to good science communication, given that the validity of scientific facts is coming under increasing pressure worldwide? In this session, we would like to address these questions and focus on the relationship between good research and policymaking in the land sector and how good science communication can work. 

To address these questions, SLGA and NELGA will host a panel discussion at GIZ LandHub 2020 meeting.

Date: December 15, 2020

Time: 13:00 – 14:30 (UTC+1)

Venue: Online meeting

Through a panel discussion covering different perspectives, we want to learn from the experiences of experts and conduct a reality check to see if we are on the right track and what else we need.

Panelist include:

• Dr Insa Flachsbarth – GIGA Institute for Africa Affairs

• Laura Meggiolaro – Land Portal

• Dr Wael Zakout – World Bank 

• Prof. Paul Tchawa – Secretary-General, Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Cameroon

 

The Registration for the Second Arab Land Conference is now open!

The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt is pleased to announce the Second Arab Land Conference to be organized under the patronage of the Egyptian Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities. The Conference will be organized by the Housing and Building National Research Centre represented by the Urban Training and Studies Institute (UTI) in partnership with UN-Habitat, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), the World Bank, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the Dubai Land Department.

The Conference will allow both in-person and virtual attendance and will take place on the 22, 23 and 24th February 2021 in Cairo, Egypt. The Conference marks an important milestone in the roadmap towards establishing good land governance in the Arab region. The Conference will promote good land management and land administration by focusing on the priorities of the Arab Land Initiative: promote collaboration and coordination; develop and share knowledge; develop capacities of individuals and organizations; and support the implementation of land-related programmes and interventions.

The Conference will be a platform to discuss countries experiences, present new research, foster high-level support and ownership to tackle land governance and to empower and develop the capacities of the land stakeholders from the region. Experts and practitioners will have the opportunity to submit and present papers relevant to the eight topics of the conference:

  • Land management and administration: tools and practices
  • Land and property registration: modernization and reform
  • Land management in time of crisis: conflicts, climate change and epidemics
  • Access to land for women and vulnerable groups: successful practices and lessons learnt
  • Efficient land use: tools and practices
  • Technologies and smart solutions: enhancing land management, land development and construction
  • Private sector participation: policies and practices
  • Capacity development: successes and gaps

Partners will have the opportunity to organize masterclasses, side events and special sessions at the margins of the Conference.

For more information visit https://arabstates.gltn.net/ or click on the concept note below.

ADLAND, TUM, and NELGA to Hold Series of Capacity Building Events on Land Governance in Africa

From November 30 to December 18, 2020, Advancing Collaborative Research in Responsible and Smart Land Management in and for Africa (ADLAND), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and NELGA will host various events to bridge some gaps in land governance studies in Africa.

On November 30, ALDLAND, TUM, NELGA, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, will jointly review and revise the curricula for Ph.D. on Land Management and Governance. The team will revise the curriculum against ALPC requirements and other international standards and experiences. The revised curriculum will be forwarded for internal review. The remote meeting provides the opportunity to introduce adaptation measures and improvements in meeting the current land governance context and AU Agenda on Land.

Following this meeting, on December 18, working with the University of Zimbabwe, ADLAND will build NELGA members’ capacity, especially researchers and academics, on publishing and editing skills. The online seminar aims to support the University of Zimbabwe on the publication process of the book “Developing Sustainable and Smart Human Settlements: An African Context”.

The training will look at the tips and tricks on writing book chapters and scientific papers, editing, reviewing, dealing with reviewers, feedback on book structure, and costs and finances.

These meetings are restricted to NELGA member universities but interested parties can contact the following:

Online Seminar on Publishing and Editing

Dr. Charles Chavunduka

cmchavunduka@yahoo.com 

University of Zimbabwe

Department of Architecture and Real Estate  

Remote Curricula Study

Eric Tudzi

Erictudzi@yahoo.com 

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Leading Universities in Central Africa Host Sensitization Workshop on the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land governance in Africa

Dschang, Cameroon, November 10, 2020: From November 10 – 13, 2020, land governance experts from various universities and research institutions in Central Africa will meet in Dschang, Cameroon, for a sensitization meeting on the review of existing land governance curricula by adopting the recommendations in the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance in Africa.

The meeting is convened by the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) in partnership with leading universities in Central Africa under the African Land Policy Center (ALPC) coordination with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the African Union. The Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa were endorsed by the AU Conference of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment IN October 2017. The Guidelines support the implementation of the African Union (AU) Agenda on Land; and responds to the call for AU Member countries to bridge capacity gaps on land policy development and its implementation.

Given the shortfall in Africa’s land sector, particularly in terms of skills and expertise, African Union member states were asked to “develop adequate human, financial and technical capacities to support the development and implementation of land policy in Africa”. Universities and higher education institutions were then recommended to review existing curricula, research, and training to ensure that they are adequate to meet the industry’s needs. Significant gaps have been identified in the content and nature of African universities and other higher education institutions’ training and research programmes.

Speaking about the workshop, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, ALPC Chief, commented, “In producing the Guidelines, ALPC embarked on extensive consultation and documentation, informed by evidence and data processed by the Center through its rigorous regional assessment reports. The process identified capacity development gaps in land administration and curricula to advance land governance in Africa, which influenced the development of the Guidelines. The Guidelines aim to serve as a framework for the development and/or review of African universities’ academic curricula. These guidelines were presented to the relevant AU political body for approval and are now key tools for implementing the AU’s land agenda.

The sensitization workshop is part of the ongoing advocacy and consultation with academics for mainstreaming land governance capacity gaps across Africa. It is expected that participants will respond to the new proposals and ideas emerging from the Guidelines.”

Prof. Paul Tchawa, the NELGA Central Africa Node Coordinator, explained, “The main objective of this workshop is to raise awareness and equip the leaders of Cameroonian and Central Africa universities who want to engage in the review of their curricula to bring them to speed with the African Union’s guidelines in this area.  We welcome the opportunity to close capacity gaps in the land governance curricula as it ensures that as academic institutions, we continue to meet our students’ needs and fulfill the African Union’s mandate.”

At the end of this workshop, participants from partner universities will be made aware of the guidelines for the revision of curricula on land governance in Africa and their contribution to implementing the land policy designed by the AU. They will also understand the procedures to be followed in the review of curricula and design an action plan for the review and design of curricula in their various universities.”

Commending the initiative, Professor Roger Tsafack Nanfosso, Rector of Dschang University, said, “Given the dense and diverse profiles of experts from diverse backgrounds at this workshop, there is no doubt that the workshop will lead to fruitful results and realistic recommendations that can redirect our training offerings towards specific development goals. The reconfiguration of land governance curricula is essential to make land a real lever for economic growth in our continent.”

Participating universities include Universite de Yaounde, Universite de Banqui, Universite Marien Ngouabi, Universite de N’Djamena, Universite Omar Bongo, and Universite de Kinshasha. Universities of Dschang, Douala, Yaounde,Cameroon, and Omar Bongo in Gabon have signified interest to begin revising the content of courses on land after the workshop.

Find below the report and presentations made at the workshop:


The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) , and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its purpose is to enable the use of land to lend impetus to the process of African development. The programme is governed by a Steering Committee that meets periodically, while a joint secretariat implements day to day activities.

To strengthen human and institutional capacities for implementing the AU agenda on land, ALPC established the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training, and research on land governance. Currently, NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions across Africa. NELGA aims to: enhance training opportunities and curricula on land governance in Africa; promote demand driven research on land policy issues; connect scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks; and create data and information for monitoring and evaluation on land policy reforms.

Nazi-Boni University Takes Steps to Establish a Land Governance Master’s Program

In partnership with Nazi-Boni University, NELGA participates in a Curricula Review Workshop in Burkina Faso from November 3 to 6, 2020, intending to establish a master’s degree in land governance.

The workshop brings together experts and leading professors in the region to meet the African Union land agenda, which places research and the implementation of appropriate academic studies and training to bridge capacity gaps on land governance in African universities. NELGA’s participation is under the coordination of the African Land Policy Center (ALPC) with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the African Union.

Universite Gaston Berget in Senegal and Université des sciences juridiques et politiques in Mali held similar exercises with NELGA support. Nazi-Boni University hopes that at the end of the workshop, they will emerge with a training model on land tenure, taking into account the orientations and recommendations in the AU framework and guidelines on land tenure policies.

Pour une amélioration des curricula sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique Centrale: NELGA Afrique centrale organise un atelier de sensibilisation sur la révision des programmes d’enseignement en matière de gouvernance foncière

Du 10 au 13 novembre 2020, des experts en gouvernance foncière et des universitaires issus des principales universités et institutions académiques du Cameroun se réuniront dans la ville universitaire de Dschang pour examiner la nécessité de disposer des curricula actualisés sur la gouvernance foncière qui tienne compte du contexte africain et qui soit en étroite ligne avec les recommandations de l’Union Africaine en matière de gouvernance foncière.

La réunion est organisée par le Réseau d’excellence sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique (NELGA), qui est coordonné par le Centre africain de politique foncière (ALPC) avec le soutien du ministère fédéral allemand de la coopération économique et du développement (BMZ) auprès de l’Union africaine, sur le thème “Lignes directrices pour l’élaboration des curricula sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique”.

La réunion est la résultante de la volonté de universités partenaires à NELGA Afrique centrale d’obtenir un soutien et des conseils dans la révision et la conception des programmes d’études sur les questions de gouvernance foncière. Il est alors nécessaire de sensibiliser ces universités sur les directives conçues par l’Union Africaine en matière de révision des curricula afin d’aligner les programmes d’enseignement sur les politiques stratégiques de l’Union africaine.

L’Université de Yaoundé I via le réseau NELGA en étroite collaboration avec ses universités partenaires ont envisagé le présent atelier de sensibilisation/formation afin de doter les responsables universitaires d’Afrique centrale des outils et connaissances nécessaires à la révision de leurs programmes d’études sur le foncier tout  en s’assurant de la conformité de ces programmes avec les lignes directrices de l’Union africaine.

La gouvernance foncière est associée à la gestion de plusieurs autres ressources connexes qui pourraient propulser la croissance économique, la prospérité et le développement durable à grande échelle, d’une part, et les activités culturelles, d’autre part. La terre joue également un rôle prédominant dans la cohésion sociale, la paix et la sécurité.

Compte tenu du déficit observé dans le secteur du foncier en Afrique, notamment en matière de compétences et d’expertise, les États membres de l’Union Africaine ont été invités à “développer des capacités humaines, financières et techniques adéquates pour soutenir l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de la politique foncière en Afrique”. Il a alors été recommandé aux universités et établissements d’enseignement supérieur d’examiner les programmes d’études, de recherche et de formation existants afin de déterminer s’ils sont adéquats pour répondre aux besoins de l’industrie. Des lacunes importantes ont été identifiées dans le contenu et la nature des programmes de formation et de recherche proposés par les universités et autres établissements d’enseignement supérieur africains.

Face à ce constat, le Centre Africain sur les Politiques foncières (ALPC – African Land Policy Centre) a élaboré en partenariat avec un groupe d’experts et d’académiciens africains les « lignes directrices pour le développement de programmes d’études sur la gouvernance foncière en Afrique ». Ce document a pour objectif de servir de cadre pour le développement et/ou la revue des curricula académiques des universités Africaines. Ces lignes directrices ont été présentées à l’organe politique compétent de l’UA pour approbation et sont ensuite devenu l’un des outils clefs de la mise en œuvre de l’agenda de l’UA sur le foncier.

À la fin de l’atelier, les universités de Dschang, Douala, Yaoundé, Cameroun, Université de Bangui en RCA, l’Université de N’Djamena au Tchad et Omar Bongo au Gabon commenceront à réviser le contenu des cours sur le foncier.

Integration of Land Tenure Issues into the Revised Rural Sectarian Development Strategy and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (SDSR/PNIA) in Cameroun

From September 9th to 10th, 2020, the Government of Cameroon, with the support of FAO and other partners, convened a multi-sectoral workshop to review, validate, and appropriate the Rural Sectarian Development Strategy and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (SDSR/PNIA) for 2020-2030, in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Since 2019, Cameroon has committed to making the rural sector one of the critical sectors contributing to its development. The SDSR/PNIA serves as the benchmark and framework for developing and investing in Cameroon’s rural areas. The policy documents play an integral part in the country’s commitment to the Malabo Declaration.

The meeting heard opening remarks from  FAO Representative on behalf of the Technical and Financial Partners (PTFs) for the development of the rural sector; a representative of the African Union (AU);  and a keynote address by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development that was followed by a brief presentation of the SDSR/PNIA 2020-2030 by the Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat of the SDSR/PNIA.

The SDSR/PNIA strategic directions consist of four main axes: 1) sustainable growth in production in the plant and forestry sectors, animal and fishing; 2) improving the collective infrastructure environment and access to factors of production; 3) strengthening the resilience of production systems, sustainable management of natural resources and food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in the face of climate change; 4) Improving governance and human capital in the sector.

GIZ, through the Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa Program, carried out a study on the evaluation of land governance in Cameroon to make a significant contribution to the revision process of the SDSR/PNIA.

The Results of this study were submitted to the Technical Secretariat in charge of coordinating the review process. During the validation workshop, it was observed with great satisfaction that most of the actions and recommendations concerning land tenure were considered in the revised version of the SDRS/PNIA document.

These main actions and recommendations are the following:

  • Involve decentralized local authorities, local communities, and indigenous peoples in the review process and implementation of the new PNIA.
  • Finalize the implementation of land reforms that consider women’s rights, young people and indigenous people to land,  and the adoption of relevant compensation systems.  
  • Finalize the implementation of forest reform, taking into account the guidelines of land reforms on securing rights, improving regulations on the sustainability of exploitation in the DFNP (Non-permanent forest estate), taking into account emerging factors such as climate change and other unpredictable social phenomena, internal displacement, and others.
  • Finalize the implementation of  the pastoral code with consideration for the sustainability of operating systems, securing rights and arbitration of conflicts;
  • The Law Framework on Environmental Management should be updated with allowances made for the sustainability of production systems, the vulnerability related to unpredictable social or natural phenomena, and international commitments to sustainable management sectors.
  • Promoting the implementation of community consultation platforms for all initiatives.
  • Institutionalization of independent land observation that will serve as collective vigilance.
  • Digitization of the land registry and sharing information /communication on land operations.
  • Monitoring and evaluating land governance issues by the Rural Sector Monitoring Committee (COS) and Strengthening COS in monitoring land governance issues.
  • Support for mapping communities and promoting innovative approaches to community security (participatory mapping, mapping of community land rights, etc.).
  • Awareness and information on land operations and the implementation of major development projects.
  • Protection of watercourses and watersheds.
  • Sensitization and accompaniment of women, youth and IPs in accessing land for agriculture.

Participants at the workshop include representatives from technical committees on SDSR, rural departmental programs, and ministries, civil society space, National Youth Council, the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock and Forestry, including some regional representatives; the private sector, universities, other public administrative institutions,  consumer unions, and SDSR/PNIA Technical Secretariat. The applauded the use of the multi-sector approach for policy reviews and recommended that such actions be strengthened for ongoing sector policy development and review processes.

Following this meeting, the validated document will be shared with AUDA-NEPAD for an independent external technical journal. Subsequently, a bilingual edition of the SDSR/PNIA 2020-2030 document will be publicized and a business meeting scheduled to discuss stakeholders’ financial commitments towards implementing the SDSR/PNIA 2020-2030 plan.

Click the link below to read the full report of the study on evaluation of land governance in Cameroon.

NELGA Southern Africa Hub to hold Research and Capacity Development Workshop on Land Governance Innovation in Southern Africa

From October 6th – 8th, 2020, the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa Southern Africa hub at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) will hold a virtual workshop to present its final draft of the Research and Capacity Development Strategy for Land Governance Innovation in Southern Africa. When adopted, the strategy serves as the basis for future research and capacity building in land governance innovation within the Southern African region.

The strategy document stems from the regional hub’s research on land governance in Southern Africa, which covers the description and assessment of Land Governance in the region. The countries covered include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  The eight-country assessment results were presented at the NUST-NELGA Hub for Southern Africa at a 2-day Symposium in 2019. The Symposium identified regional land policy implications and the key land challenges facing Southern African countries. The key challenges and opportunities were published in a Synthesis Report in 2020. The eight country case studies and the synthesis report will form the basis for future research, capacity development, and policy innovation in the region.

Ensuring that recommendations published in the Synthesis Report are carried out systematically, NUST-NELGA Hub developed the “Research and Capacity Development Strategy for Land Governance Innovation in Southern Africa” for the period 2020 to 2025.

The strategic initiatives outlined in the Research and Capacity Development Strategy for Land Governance Innovation in southern Africa are closely aligned with the prominent African and International Initiatives. The strategy supports and draws inspiration from the African Land Policy Initiative and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa as well as the African Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGTs) and the World Bank Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF).

The meeting will have in attendance, civil society actors, policymakers, academics, and researchers from the region and across the continent.

For inquiries, contact nelga@nust.na

The African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences Listed in ERIH PLUS

NELGA is pleased to announce that its periodical, the African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences (AJLP&GS), is now approved for inclusion in the European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS), one of the most prominent authority lists in Europe for academic Journals.

ERIH Plus’s key objective is it improves the global visibility of hg-quality academic research, and It is expected that with this inclusion, it will increase the visibility, searchability, and availability of the AJLP&GS to wider stakeholders.

This inclusion reflects the high quality of the academic research found in the AGJLP&GS, and will significantly expand land governance experts’ access to vital studies for further research and case studies.

AJLP & GS is a journal specialized in publishing research activities carried out in geospatial sciences and land governance. It aims to encourage innovation, promote the exchange of knowledge and scientific outcomes related to its themes. The Journal’s target community is made up of researchers, professors, and professionals working in the newspaper field. The Journal also aims to promote scientific articles and productions at the African, regional, and global levels.

The inclusion speaks to the rigorous standards met by the researchers, editorial team, and peer reviews to be accepted into the EEIH SPSS.

You can find the listing here: https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/erihplus/periodical/info?id=499477

This is one in many other accrued successes by the Journal, which includes adding an ICDS score of 3.3 for 2020 from the University of Barcelona as one of the best references for scientists and researchers:  http://miar.ub.edu/issn/2657-2664. The  AgEcon Search added the Journal to its repository as one of the best concerns for scientists and researchers:   https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/search?ln=en&cc=2367&p=&f=&action_search=Search. The UNIVERSITÄT LEIPZIG also included the Journal in its database: https://www.ub.uni-leipzig.de/en/research/electronic-journals/ezb-detail-view/?libconnect%5Bjourid%5D=461537, and also integrated into the ZDB Germain union catalog: https://zdb-katalog.de/list.xhtml?t=zdb%3D3002625-8&key=cql

To access the journal, click here.

NELGA CA Successfully Completes Mission Visit to the University of Douala, Cameroon

From September 3 to 9, 2020, the NELGA Central Africa team completed a mission trip to the University of Douala, Cameroon, to discuss opportunities for partnership between the school and the network. The team held several meetings and interviews with faculty, staff, and students from the land-themed departments. These interviews serve as a follow-up exercise to ascertain the university’s interest in becoming a member of the African Network, allowing the team to gather information and final evaluation.

Both school administrators and faculty staff complimented the professionalism and level of engagement of the NELGA CA team. They applauded their passion for closing capacity gaps around land reforms and governance through engaging the academic sector. The school was enthusiastic and supportive of the scholarship plans, networking opportunities and proffered new areas for research and curricula development on land themed issues, such as a land dispute, gender and access to land, and land tenure in Cameroon. The school expressed its willingness to partner with NELGA.

NELGA CA is currently exploring new collaboration and partnerships with state universities in Cameroon to increases its footprint in the region.   The NELGA Douala mission was coordinated by Prof. Paul Tchawa and implemented by Mme Rosette Mbenda and Dr. Tende Renz.

Technical Experts in Africa Hold Planning Meeting on Land Governance in Africa

Land governance specialists design 2020-2021 work plans in the face of Covid Crisis

Virtual, 16 September 2020 –The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and its regional and technical nodes met virtually on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, under the coordination of the African Land Policy Center (ALPC), to review the progress made regarding the 2020 work plans, to appraise NELGA secretariat work plan for 2020-2021 and encourage coordinated efforts to meet African Union agenda on land.

The technical planning meeting is part of the continental programme comprised by ALPC, NELGA, and GIZ, which includes land governance technical experts, academics, , and government stakeholders, tasked to provide academic support and oversight, research data and reports, and policies recommendation to influence land governance and reforms in Africa. The planning meeting is an event that brings together NELGA stakeholders to look at the experience of the past months of working together, identify lessons learned, and tag areas for the next steps.

The meeting was opened by the Chief of the African Land Policy Centre, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, and co-chaired by the GIZs Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance, Head of Program, Ms. Anita Hernig.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Kagwanja stated, “The planning meeting provides additional insight and information which helps NELGA secretariat and ALPC develop actions to advance practical steps towards moving the dial on policy changes in land administration in Africa. Ultimately it needs to get there. Besides the usual focused discussions on what we have done in the different areas of land governance work and exchanges, I am looking forward to building more synergy to meet set goals.”

The meeting celebrated the successful establishment of the NELGA secretariat and the onboarding of its multi-nationality pioneer staff in the height of the Covid Crisis. “It is expected that with the full recruitment of the secretariat team, this will enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration within the Network at the continental level,” explain Dr. Kagwanja.

The NELGA secretariat will improve the coordination, knowledge generation and dissemination of the network’s activities jointly with NELGA Institutions across the continent through its regional nodes. These activities include training for NELGA students, implementation of the NELGA scholarship programme, advocating and facilitating delivery of trainings for scholars and policy makers in the region; and work with the RegRECs and other regional/national stakeholders to generate data. Working through the regional nodes, the secretariat will coordinate regional activities involving NELGA member institutions, linking them to other NELGA regional networks for joint activities, knowledge sharing and partnership building.

The planning meeting also discussed the regional work plans from North Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa, and Anglophone and Francophone West Africa, including reports from technical partners. The meeting provided an opportunity to showcase the network results through collaborative research, scholarships programs and knowledge exchange, review the comprehensive and harmonized workplans, introduce new partnerships, opportunities and sustainability strategies, to meeting the African Union’s commitment to improving land policies in Africa for 2020-2021.

Following the meeting, the participants agreed that the network had introduced innovative methods in response to Covid-19. It is essential to consolidate these lessons, especially for how the academic institutions have introduced digital platforms to foster e-learning on land governance.  This and other lessons learnt will be found on the NELGA Website homepage in the coming months.

The event brought together diverse representatives of regional stakeholders from Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa and Germany.

###

NOTE TO EDITORS:


The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) , and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its purpose is to enable the use of land to lend impetus to the process of African development. The programme is governed by a Steering Committee that meets periodically, while a joint secretariat implements day to day activities.

To strengthen human and institutional capacities for implementing the AU agenda on land, ALPC established the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training, and research on land governance. Currently, NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions across Africa. NELGA aims to: enhance training opportunities and curricula on land governance in Africa; promote demand driven research on land policy issues; connect scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks; and create data and information for monitoring and evaluation on land policy reforms.

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa Launches its Continental Secretariat in Ethiopia

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) has launched its continental secretariat, which aims to, among other things, strengthen the steering and management of NELGA’s activities on the continent. It is expected that with the establishment of the secretariat, the network will enhance its communication, coordination, and collaboration efforts to build on established results, foster an enabling environment to influence land policy frameworks through research, policy dialogues, and capacity building.

The secretariat, situated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serves as the administrative hub for all NELGA actions. The secretariat will work through NELGA regional nodes in East Africa, South Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, and West Africa (Francophone and Anglophone) to meet the needs of its network and deliver on its goal under the general coordination of the African Land Policy Center at UNECA and support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Since 2015, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) signed a Declaration to establish NELGA, a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions, to strengthen human and institutional capacities to implement the African Union agenda on land. NELGA instituted regional hubs across Africa to meet these goals. The establishment of the secretariat is one of the essential steps to improve coordination within the nodes and meet the AU agenda on land

NELGA is a partnership of more than 70 African universities and research institutions with proven leadership and track record in education, training, and research on land governance. Its primary purpose is to enhance the role of African universities and research institutions in supporting land policy development, implementation, and monitoring.

Due to the Covid crisis, members of the secretariat are working remotely now.

To read more about NELGA and funding opportunities, click here.

Call for Funding Applications: NELGA Digital Accompanying Measures

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to organize accompanying measures for the “Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA)”.

NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training, and research on land governance. Currently, NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions across Africa.

The objectives of NELGA are:
• Enhancing training opportunities and curricula on land governance in Africa;
• Promoting demand-driven research on land policy issues;
• Connecting scholars and researchers across Africa through academic
networks;
• Creating data and information for monitoring and evaluation of land policy reforms.

We invite NELGA partners to apply for funding for small measures to mitigate the effect of the covid19 crisis in the functioning of NELGA through digital means. Such measures are meant to ensure a certain operational continuity, both in term of regional collaboration between NELGA partner institution, but as well as the internal functioning within the institution (e.g. continuity of teaching). This funding is part of the general open call for NELGA accompanying measures as attached.

Measures eligible for funding:
• Conducting needs assessments for e-learning solutions
• Development of digital teaching and learning materials (e.g. new online
modules)
• Implementation of virtual events.

For the implementation of digitalization activities, expenditure on personnel for the support of digital formats, as well as software, licenses and fees and services for external e-learning experts and developers are possible.
The budget of the measure should not exceed 15,000.00 EUR.

The application is to be submitted in writing electronically and must include:
• A detailed description of the project including concrete measurable objectives;
• A schedule of all planned measures as well as a detailed budget (template on request);
• Evidence of existing/initiated contacts with partners, where applicable.

Selection of applications:
A DAAD commission will assess the funding applications. The criteria for the selection of funding applications are as follows:
• A complete application;
• Inclusion of specific, measurable objectives which are directly related to the program objectives;
• Convincing description of plans for networking and network expansion;
• Description of sustainability and consolidation of measures.
• Economic and efficient use of financial resources.

The following aspects are relevant for the selection of proposals for curriculum development and review:
• Sustainability of the measures after the covid19 crisis;
• Capacity building that will enhance the digital literacy of NELGA partners;
• Promotion of e-learning in a sustainable manner;
• Cooperation with other NELGA partner universities.

Applications for the NELGA-DAAD accompanying measures may be submitted throughout the year. For this specialized call for funding for the covid19 mitigation measure, we invite you to apply before the 15th of October 2020.

Applications can be sent to the following contact persons:
Ms Jana Bömer, boemer@daad.de

For more information and to understand our financial framework for funding, click the download buttons below.

Land Tenure Insecurity and Urbanization in Benin – NELGA Land Register Francophone West Africa

In Benin, the issue of land tenure insecurity and the instability of land rights in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas draws its source from the increasing pressure exercised by different categories of land stakeholders in their search for space for the development of their economic, social and cultural activities.

Consequently, the exercise of land rights remains low and does not stimulate appropriate enthusiasm by land stakeholders to turn land into productive investments for sustainable development and economic growth. Added to this situation is the virtual control exercised by families and communities on the agricultural land considered (rightly or wrongly) as goods inherited from their ancestors and, therefore, belonging to them. Often this preeminence of customary rights ancestral constitutes a brake on the implementation of agricultural development policies. While traditional rights include a variant of the rural land issue not negligible, it remains that the lack of supervision and better regulations annihilate the efforts made by the public authorities in reviving the agricultural sector.

This report from NELGA Francophone West Africa node, provides a case study for Benin republic with provisions for land reforms for land tenure security.

Click here to view the report.

Le Forum Foncier Africain – L’inscription est ouverte

Le Forum africain est un événement continental organisé chaque année par la Coalition de l’ILC en Afrique et ses partenaires pour réfléchir et recommander des solutions aux questions et défis brûlants de la gouvernance foncière sur le continent. Il offre une plateforme aux décideurs politiques, aux représentants des communautés, aux praticiens du développement et aux partenaires pour concevoir de nouvelles façons de mettre la gouvernance foncière au service des populations. L’ILC s’appuie sur la richesse et la diversité de ses membres et de ses partenaires pour mobiliser les parties prenantes afin qu’elles rejoignent le Forum foncier.

Le Forum foncier 2020 est organisé en partenariat avec le secrétariat de gouvernance foncière de l’IGAD et le Département de l’Économie Rurale et de l’Agriculture (DREA) de la Commission de l’Union africaine. Cet événement, qui se déroule à un moment où tous les secteurs sont ébranlés par la pandémie du Coronavirus (COVID-19), offre une occasion en or de réfléchir et de mettre en évidence le rôle pertinent de la gouvernance foncière dans le renforcement de la résilience et la protection des africains contre les effets négatifs de pandémies similaires à l’avenir. C’est également l’occasion de repousser les frontières de la réflexion sur le rôle de la gouvernance foncière.

Inscrivez-vous ici

Registration is now OPEN: Africa Land Forum 2020

The Africa Land Forum is a continental event organised annually by the International Land Coalition (ILC) Africa and its partners to reflect on, and recommend solutions to, burning land governance issues and challenges in the continent. It provides a platform for policymakers, community representatives, development practitioners and partners to devise novel ways of making land governance people-centred. ILC draws from its rich and diverse membership and partners to mobilise integrated stakeholders to join the Land Forum.

The 2020 Land Forum is organised in partnership with IGAD’s Land Governance Unit, and the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission. This event, taking place at a time when every sector is shaken by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, offers a golden opportunity to reflect and highlight the pertinent role of land governance in building resilience and protecting Africans from the negative impact of similar pandemics in the future. It also offers an occasion to push the frontiers of thought around the role of land governance in fostering socio-economic development and enabling the attainment of the 2063 aspirations.

Click here for more information and registration.

Demand Secure Tenure in Informal Settlements

INFORMAL SETTLEMENT growth poses a challenge for inhabitants, planners and local authority officials. Nonetheless, when governments and international development organisations are looking for solutions to problems faced by informal settlement communities, they rarely look at the people in these areas as problem-solvers; informal settlers are considered as beneficiaries, and in some instances a headache.

Which areas should Namibians consider as informal settlements? These are the areas found on the periphery of many towns, comprising 40% of the urban population, according to recent statistics shared by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN). Informal settlements’ households have limited individual water connections, limited or no toilets, houses are built out of substandard materials, and owners have no security of tenure for the land.

These are the locations in urban areas that authorities do not recognise as part of the formal built environment. Informality adds to the challenges for occupiers, as many have no physical addresses, and cannot access municipal and/or emergency services, partly due to the lack of roads and other infrastructure.

An additional struggle is that too many people are forced into open-air defecation, which denies residents the right to dignity, and puts women and girls at risks of crime and disease.

In instances when solutions are provided, it is normally using a piecemeal approach, that is usually top-down, as most upgrading is implemented based on what ”the authorities” believe is a priority. Lately, upgrading informal settlements focuses on the installation and improvement of services (water, toilets and housing structures), instead of focusing on tenure security. Although this delivery of services solves some of the problems, it is not a sustainable approach.

Sustainable solutions need to be rooted in secure land tenure for occupants of informal settlements. Development researchers have noted tenure security as an essential element for poverty reduction and the improvement of livelihoods. Hence, it is one of the important goals under the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, which Namibia has committed to. Important to note is that the majority of people housed in informal settlements have no assurances that they have the rights to develop the land, or occupy it in perpetuity.

The Flexible Land Tenure Act, Act 4 of 2012 brings about a solution. The law aims to create an environment in which communities own land, and can be empowered economically as a result of having secure land rights. Residents will have the option of accessing either starter title or land titles once the Ministry of Land Reform (MLR) starts the implementation.

Research shows that the most land tenure secure residents invest more in their structures, and actively contribute to community development. In Namibia, communities living in informal settlements have been able to improve their level of tenure security by using participatory enumerations. However, security in the form of secure land titles is still lacking.

During the second national land conference last year, the SDFN informed the nation that 40% of the urban population lives in informal settlements. This has clearly shown that the housing challenge is real, and requires urgent solutions. This data presents an opportunity to plan adequately, and provide those people in informal settlements with tenure security through the delivery of development rights for people already occupying land in informal settlements.

There is an understanding that the Namibia Statistics Agency has data on the country’s population, but is it sufficient? Experience shows that in most cases, during the census, populations in informal settlements are underestimated. Hence, the lack or absence of data results in a lack of planning, or the prioritisation of projects for informal settlements.

Since 2009, the SDFN has collected data on its members and other communities in informal settlements, creating a clear picture of what challenges households face, and what solutions are available. The communities are leaders in data-collection: using flexible methods for counting households, mapping available services, and recording the settlement sizes. The data generated and methods used are cost-effective ways to implement databased solutions.

The available data could be a starting point to inform the government on levels of affordability, rates of population growth, and the development priorities of communities. Moreover, development practitioners, in partnership with communities, can design projects using the visualised and analysed data.

For this to have any impact, it requires the involvement of active and progressive individuals from the public and private sector who collaborate with communities in informal settlements. Moreover, projects geared towards improving lives in informal settlements should have tenure security as an entry point for upgrading.

Demographic data on informal settlement households, supported by socio-economic and spatial data, once analysed and visualised, can be one of the tools for stakeholders to use in planning. This, in turn, may contribute to the better implementation of developmental plans, while ensuring that there is transparency and accountability.

The solutions to problems facing informal households do not lie with one ministry, local authority, start-up or NGO. There is a need for a systematic approach that encompasses tenure security for communities in informal settlement communities, using a peoplecentred land use participatory planning process. This is vital in our quest to reduce poverty and implement sustainable solutions in informal settlements.

Equally, important, relevant data on informal settlements is vital in supporting evidencebased decision-making, and ensuring effective policy implementation.

Royal Mabakeng is a junior lecturer in the Land and Property Science Department at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust). She writes in her personal capacity.

The University of Dschang, Cameroon, Express Interest to Join NELGA

The University of Dschang in Cameroon, through its Vice-Rector, Prof. Nyoja Jean has expressed the University’s willingness in future collaborations with the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA), especially on research projects as related to IDP’s security and land rights in western Cameroon and the collection of land and topographical data.

Prof. Nyoja expressed this during an advocacy meeting on August 17, 2020, with members of the NELGA team, lead by Prof. Leka Amand and Rosette Mbenda, NELGA Regional Advisor for Central Africa, to explore opportunities with the school administrative authorities for future partnership between the institution and NELGA. NELGA intends to expand its current collaborative partners with universities in Cameroon and used the advocacy visit to showcase the impact of NELGA on land governance academic studies and higher institutions in Africa.

The NELGA project in Central Africa, with Prof. Paul Tchawa as Regional Coordinator, officially launched in January 2019 in Yaounde, Cameroon, with the University of Yaounde I serving as the project’s regional node. The University of Yaounde is the only current partner institution in the country. In 2020, it became imperative to expand the reach of land governance academic opportunities and expertise in the country. This necessitated the advocacy visit to the University of Dschang to involve more public higher education and research institutions.

“It was imperative to showcase the impact of NELGA to academic authorities at the University of Dschang and the opportunities that come with NELGA to tackle land issues and land governance for the region and the continent,” explained Rosette Mbenda, NELGA Regional Advisor at the meeting. “The land crisis is a big problem in the continent, hence the adoption of the African Union Framework and Land Policy Directives in Africa validated by different African heads of state as a lever for sustainable development through which NELGA came to fruition.”

During the advocacy visit, the team met with the Secretary-General of the University, , the Dean of FLSH, , Vice-Dean Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, , Head of The Department of Philo-socio-psychology, Dean of Faculty of agronomic sciences ( FASA)and others.

According to Rosette Mbenda, “We are currently working on the second phase of the NELGA project in Central Africa. We hope that by partnering with the University of Dschang and expanding the number of higher institutions and research organizations in the region, we can increase our voices and footprint to ensure land governance research work supports appropriate data for policy making and good governance.”

Currently, the member countries of the network in Central Africa are in the current state. In addition to Cameroon are Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad. Actions are considered to integrate Equatorial Guinea into the sheet holder of NELGA Central Africa.

Registration/De Courte Duree: Politique et Gouvernance Foncière à l’Appui de la Transformation Agricole en Afrique

En 2009, les chefs d’État et de gouvernement africains se sont engagés, dans une déclaration sur la terre, à lancer des processus nationaux d’élaboration et de mise en oeuvre de politiques foncières et à garantir un accès équitable à la terre à tous les utilisateurs, y compris les jeunes et les autres groupes sans terre. Ils ont également décidé d’accorder une attention particulière au renforcement de la sécurité d’occupation des terres pour les femmes africaines. Dans cette perspective, tous les États membres de l’UA ont été invités à “revoir leur secteur foncier en vue d’élaborer des politiques globales qui tiennent compte de leurs besoins particuliers” (Déclaration de l’UA sur la terre).

L’amélioration de l’élaboration, de la mise en oeuvre et du suivi des politiques foncières restera une aspiration, à moins que les capacités humaines pertinentes ne soient développées à diérents niveaux. C’est dans ce contexte que la présente formation en ligne est co-organisée par la Commission économique pour l’Afrique (CEA) par l’intermédiaire du Centre africain de politique foncière (ALPC), de l’Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planication (IDEP), du Réseau d’Excellence sur la Gouvernance Foncière (NELGA) et de la Commission de l’Union africaine (CUA).

formulaire d’inscription


In 2009, African heads of State and Government had through a Declaration on land, committed to initiate national land policy development and implementation processes and ensure equitable access to land for all land users including the youth and other landless groups. They also resolved to give special attention to strengthening security of tenure for African women. In this perspective, all AU member states were urged to “review their land sectors with a view to developing comprehensive policies which take into account their peculiar needs” (AU Declaration on land).

The improvement of land policy development, implementation and monitoring will remain an aspiration, unless relevant human capacities are developed at different levels. It is against such a backdrop that the present online training is co-organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) through African Land Policy Center (ALPC), the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the Network of Excellence on Land Governance (NELGA) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

PLAAS and NELGA Digital Seminar Series Shares Lessons and Limitations around Women Land Rights in Africa

On Thursday, August 28, 2020, the Institute of Policy, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) held its NELGA-monthly web seminar on the topic: Legal pluralism and poor implementation hold back women’s land rights in Africa: What can we do?

The online seminar, which had over 80 participants from across Africa and globally, highlighted the essential linkages between women’s rights, formal and customary laws, and land tenures in Africa.

Women have restricted access and rights to land in Africa as laws and legislation at national and local levels are not inclusive. A vital takeaway from the seminar was the importance of building on existing international initiatives like the Kilimanjaro Initiative, national and state-level regulations, laws, and social-economic development interventions for women’s land rights in Africa.

Indigenous mechanisms for accountability are not gender-neutral. Formal laws are hardly implemented in rural locations where customary laws prevail over land tenure and rights. Women end up marginalized and, at times, given single plots that are not favorable or suitable for profitable purposes. Women are also facing double slaughter in their land rights due to increasing pressures from large-scale land-based investment in extractive sectors and agriculture.

There is a need to pay more attention to women’s land rights and their weakness. Unfortunately, the flaw stems from women’s insufficient participation in customary land management.  Women need to be empowered with education, information, and fiscal support to be able to meaningfully participate in decision making spaces and support the struggle for women’s rights.

Collective formalization can protect women’s land rights as it promotes inclusive ownership and diversity in land tenure within communities. Land reforms need not come only from statutory laws but also from modifications needed in family and marriage laws as such laws are the primary determinant of land ownership in many communities in Africa.

Panelists included Emmanuel Sulle (Research Associate, PLAAS), Benard Moseti (Oxfam, Pan Africa Programme) and Joséphine Atangana (Programme Officer Plateforme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC) as they jointly presented the outcomes of the three-year project—Women’s Land Rights for Inclusive Development and Growth in Africa. The project was implemented in seven African countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Togo.

You can watch a video of the discussion here. You can also download a snapshot of the online conversation on Twitter here.

Interested in the Women Score Sheet and Training of Trainers Manual for Women Land Rights as presented during the online seminar, click here.

Policy Brief – Strengthening Land Security for Internally Displaced Persons in Cameroon

It is obvious that land issue is one of the most important development topics in Central Africa. Currently, in the face of the development dynamics of countries and various other contemporary challenges, the pressure on land resources is increasing.

In December 2019, NELGA Central Africa and REPAR Cameroon organized a workshop to mobilize and sensitize Parliamentarians on the peculiar challenges faced by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on land security. The meeting came out with a working document aimed at supporting a robust Parliament Government Dialogue on IDPs and land security with the expectation of securing better security of land rights.

A key outcome from the workshop was a consensus on the recommendations presented at the meeting and the creation of a policy brief on strengthening land security for IDPs. This policy document is the result of cooperation between NELGA Central Africa, the Central African Universities Network of Excellence on Land Governance and REPAR.


This Policy Brief is structured in four sections: the first aim is to show why it is important to secure the land rights of IDPs; the second analyses the issues and challenges of securing land rights for IDPs; the third summarizes recommendations on which to base the discussion prior to a possible revision of the texts. The last section offers suggestions for Parliamentarians and any other actor wishing to know more about the issue.

Click here to read and download the full brief in French and English. To view other policy briefs on land governance, click here.

Exclusion in planning perpetrates poverty in informal settlements

We should recognise that people in informal settlements have the same right to share the city with the same dignity and equality as other residents. Without the active participation of informal settlement residents in upgrading projects, any upgrading plans proposed are destined to flop. Post the pandemic, we (Namibian planning practitioners, donors and private sector) should look towards the inclusion of people in informal settlements communities in planning and upgrading of the informal settlements. 

Some people are of the opinion that speaking about problems or challenges will not bring about change. There is some truth to that line of thought. However, understanding the problem and origins can be of great assistance in identifying solutions that are desired by those affected. While some parts of the world are discussing smart cities, Namibian towns are challenged with providing secure land rights to most of the urban poor. Fortunately, the urban land reform debate finally came to the forefront on the national development agenda, after the focus has been on rural areas for the past 20 years. The focus on urban land reform could influence the emergence of innovative solutions; however, there is a risk of excluding communities affected from actively participating. 

The problems faced by the poor and low income who make up 40% of the urban population living in informal settlements are relevant for discussion, mainly as the poor are also important residents of the city as they contribute to vital services of the urban economy. In Namibia, like many developing countries, the poor are found at the periphery of cities, living in uncomfortable conditions with no tenure security and high anxiety caused by possibilities of eviction. Despite their challenging living environment, there is persistent exclusion of the poor in planning for upgrading. When local authorities plan, the informal settlement residents are seldom part of the discussion. 

The Urban and Regional Planning Act, 5 of 2018, passed by parliament, is yet to be implemented. The Act has some promising sections for informal settlement upgrading and key among these is the provision for participation and access to land. The Act clearly states that “spatial planning must be aimed at redressing past imbalances in respect of access to land ownership and land allocation. Plus it promotes access to relevant information for the public. However, public participation methods are left to the onus of the relevant minister. This would undoubtedly create bureaucratic challenges that may perpetuate exclusion of informal settlement residents from participating in the upgrading of their communities. 

It is vital for leaders in policy implementation to understand that the exclusion of residents in decisionmaking increases insecurity and prevents residents from seeking justice and legal remedy when those in positions of influence violate their rights. Rapid expansion of informal settlements and lack of service delivery in these areas is indicative of poor or no participation of residents affected in the development processes affecting their communities. 

There are solutions galore from various case studies on how we can improve informal settlements at scale and at a faster pace, yet implementation becomes a challenge. The introduction and revision of planning laws to reflect the needs of the people is a step to improving land delivery and citizen participation in planning. What remains, as a bottleneck for active participation of residents in informal settlements, is a lack of political will and buy-in from planning specialists. 

Lack of participatory planning delays the successful implementation of informal settlement upgrading projects. This creates a blockage to solutions that are sustainable and may lead to high social cost during implementation. The norm in planning is consultants are at the foreground during design, while residents are only consulted during the phase of construction or removal of shacks for roads and services. This may be due to how informal settlement residents are perceived; some planning practitioners see informal settlement residents as land invaders and not as people with the same rights to the city as those in formal areas. The exclusion of residents in the planning for their own settlements perpetuates discrimination and enforces powerlessness faced by the poor. 

Participatory planning is not a stress-free process that takes a few months – it is a process that requires incessant community engagement, trust, and relationship building. In this process, it is vital that the possibility of development fatigue and expectation management is tackled by planning teams with residents. Moreover, it is important that those in planning and community members can find a compromise to form partnerships that be a catalyst for sustainable solutions at a low cost.During normal operations, the right to assemble and demonstrate has given residents an opportunity to have their voices heard. However, this should not be the norm. For a population of 2.5 million, understanding the issues of residents at town level should not be a challenge. One major impediment to implementing scalable solutions for informal settlements is the limited availability of dedicated professionals in local authorities dealing with informal settlements. Rather, as important as the role of community development officers are, they are “jack-of-all-trades’’, which can lead to overload. It is important for implementation of upgrading for local authorities to establish dedicated departments on informal settlements upgrading.

Every local authority embarking on the upgrading of informal settlements ought to consider the inhabitants as primary partners, who can share their local knowledge that could affect the speed and cost of projects. For successful project implementation, the residents of informal settlements need to have access to relevant information on how the public process for budgeting, planning and decisions concerning housing provision are made within the government. The time for using facilitators that understand the importance of participation and have patience for communities is now more vital than before. Participatory upgrading is not an easy process at the start; it requires patience, good communication skills and knowledge of the local context. 

To empower communities, it is vital that information sharing, and participation is encouraged. This should not only happen during elections, but throughout the whole process of urban policy development. People in informal settlements may be poor due to their economic status; however, many do have a wealth of ideas on how they can improve their communities. Every town planning office should find means to harness this wealth, and participatory planning is the starting point. 

Ms. Menare Royal Mabakeng is a junior lecturer in the Land and Property Sciences Department at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), with a main research interest in fit for purpose land administration. She writes in her personal capacity.

Executive Summary: Covid-19 and African Food Security Digital Seminar

On June 25, 2020, a digital seminar on “Covid-19 and African Food Security” was held by the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of the Western Cape (UWC),  as the second in a series of seven monthly online seminars.

Photo credit: GIZ/Thomas Imo

The onset of the Covid-19 crisis has fast-tracked the continent’s food security challenges. The virtual meeting brought together civil society activists and academics to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdowns launched in response to it have affected food security in Africa.

With the disruption in food production and constraints in food value chains by several factors, including lockdowns, market closures, border closures, the briefing note below provides insight into these complex food security environments with key recommendations and actions for critical stakeholders.

This briefing note is based on a webinar that aired on Thursday, June 25, 2020, and is available to watch on the PLAAS YouTube channel here.

Youth Engagement for Global Action on Land Rights

Did you know that empowering young people through knowledge and information on land rights can reduce poverty rates and support the development of the African continent?

As the world celebrates the 2020 International Youth Day Edition, we must harness the untapped potentials in our youth as the continent has the largest concentration of young people in the world. It is essential to engage the African youth in knowledge building and encouraging creativity to rapidly transform the continent’s land situations as key for a better future for their communities and country.

The global theme for #IYD2020 calls for Youth Engagement for Global Action; this is the time for African youth to improve their knowledge, advertise for youth-focused research and develop lasting solutions to land governance challenges on the continent. With good land governance and secure land rights, young people can help to stabilize their societies and create more opportunities for development.

Call for applications for research fellowships under the “Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA)” during the COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has forced the world into action. The measures taken to contain the virus have impacted the whole of society, including the education sector, with research becoming more important than ever. To help investigating how COVID-19 and related measures potentially affect housing, land, and property rights in African countries, and to deliver high-quality research on the COVID 19 implications for land governance institutions and systems in the long-term, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers support for special research fellowships under the “Network of Excellence for Land Governance in Africa (NELGA)” in the form of desk studies.

Applications for the NELGA research fellowships may be submitted throughout the year. For this specialized call we invite you to apply before the 15th of June 2020. The fellowship will be awarded for August 2020.

Download Application proceedures in English or French for more details.

Land & COVID-19 Webinars

As governments press pause on economic activities and people change their work and social behaviors to halt the spread of COVID-19, there are several hidden dimensions that can put pressure on land governance and management and threaten the land rights security of millions worldwide. In this section, we’ve put together the latest news on how COVID-19 affects various dimensions of land rights. Click on the link for a the list of upcoming webinars.

NELGA celebrates its first graduates

NELGA scholars: Peter Ochieng Odwe, Said Rajabu Mndeme, Rebecca Justin Milamo & Meckson Lodern Nzogela, from left -right

“Graduating from my master’s is a dream that came true at the right moment” Rebecca J. Milamo.

2019 marks a celebratory year for the NELGA scholarship programme, as we celebrate our first 10 graduates from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and Ardhi University, Tanzania.

The NELGA scholarship programme is a comprehensive scholars programme available for young academics and professionals from all African Union member states through the German Academic Exchange programme (DAAD). It aims to support master’s and PhD studies as well as short term trainings for young candidates, mid-career professionals and researchers. Since its inception in 2016, the scholarship programme has awarded a total of 82 scholarships to students from over 20 African countries of which 21 are women.

Rebecca Justin Milamo – MSc graduate Ardhi University, Tanzania

After my undergraduate degree (BSc. In Land Management and Valuation), I worked with several real estate firms and institutions as a trainee. That is when I realized that the land governance sector faces a lot of challenges but is also very exciting and promising. I also noted the land governance sector has limited number of qualified professionals, especially women. In my country, (Tanzania), women are less involved in land governance mainly due to social factors such as customary land rights which are governed based on culture or traditions of a particular group. Most tribes in Tanzania are patrilineal and marginalize women in land matters such as ownership, inheritance, management and decision making. I therefore saw an opportunity for women in the sector, and to be able to participate effectively, I needed to gain more knowledge and skills in this field of study. Hence, this inspired me to pursue MSc. Real Estate. – Rebecca.

Nancy Kankam Kusi – MSc graduate, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

“The passion to learn new things and my ambition to become an agent of change in the development sector has always been the driving force of my academic studies. Even though I was so excited when I completed my studies, I still have a great responsibility to transfer the knowledge I have gained so far to promote the land governance sector in the region.  I am currently looking for opportunities in-country and in-region to contribute immensely in the sector.” – Nancy

Special Issue – Land Policy in Africa

NELGA Masterclass © UNECA

The African Journal of Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences has published the first Issue for the year 2020. This Special Issue contains the reviewed and presented manuscripts at the Conference on Land Policy in Africa on November 25-29, 2019 in Abidjan. The theme of the Conference was ” Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation”. 

NELGA — SLGA’s flagship initiative — brings together African academia for the biennial Conference on Land Policy (CLPA) 2019

Organized by the African Land Policy Center (ALPC), with the support of SLGA, the third biennial conference on land seeking to deepen knowledge on land policy has been successfully concluded.  Themed “Winning the Fight Against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation,” this important five-day conference drew over 400 participants from government, traditional leaders, development organizations, academia, civil society and various stakeholders active in the sector of land governance in Africa to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire between Nov. 25-29, 2019.

Panel Discussion © SLGA

NELGA (the Network of Excellence on Land Governance), was established by the ALPC with financial and technical assistance from the German Government through the BMZ and GIZ as well as other development partners.

At the just concluded CLPA 2019, NELGA has played a significant role in bridging the research gaps related to land governance in the African continent. Representatives from NELGA member universities as well as NELGA sponsored African scholars have presented their research papers at the event, which were relevant and timely to the continent’s needs.

In addition to sponsoring paper presenters, NELGA participated in the event by organizing a Master Class, a NELGA booth where participants could get information about NELGA and its partner ALPC. A NELGA reception which provided another opportunity for networking and highlighting the program’s activities and achievements was also successfully organized.

NELGA’s capacity building activities in collaboration with PLAAS, DAAD and ADLAND have included  providing trainings, master classes, Masters and PhD scholarships and research fellowships to hundreds of African scholars.

Giving testimonials at the event, NELGA Master Class alumni have confirmed that the scholarships have had positive impacts on their future careers.

The crucial role of the academia in bringing about research-based policy changes as well as the need to build the capacity of institutions in addressing land governance issues has been on the forefront of land governance discussions in Africa.

NELGA’s strategic role as a change agent to address this crucial need has been recognized during the conference by stakeholders across countries and sectors. Fueled by the positive feedback from stakeholders and partners, NEGA is poised to enhance its activities in the year 2020.

NELGA short course graduates shared their experience at the conference and the impact the short course had on their professional life. Pictured here the NELGA family.

The consensus at the CLPA 2019 was that effective land governance was indispensable in achieving Africa’s development goal—the Agenda 2063, due to its direct contribution to end poverty and hunger, promote agriculture and investment, ensure gender equality and inclusive growth.

Sound land governance policies, with transparent and well-functioning systems provide incentives to investors and are crucial in fighting corruption while on the other hand legal uncertainty, lack of transparency and accountability, complex and unclear administrative processes, undeveloped systems create and foster corruption, and undermine business confidence and investment.

„In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme“ Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA)

Call for Scholarship Applications 2020 at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – Department of Land Economy. See attached document for details.

Application Closing Date at DAAD (for pre-selected candidates only):
February 29th 2020.

„In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme“ Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance in Africa (SLGA)

Call for Scholarship Applications 2020 at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – Department of Geomatic Engineering. See attached document for details.

Application Closing Date at DAAD (for pre-selected candidates only): February 29th 2020.