In a pivotal step toward transforming land governance education in Southern Africa, the recent workshop organized by NELGA set the stage for collaborative efforts among universities, institutions, and industry partners. Focused on aligning curricula with the African Land Policy Center (ALPC) Guideline, the workshop aimed to enhance education in the field.
The workshop, a cross-node learning opportunity, addressed four key objectives. Firstly, it assessed current curricula, identifying strengths and areas for improvement within NELGA Southern African universities. Secondly, it fostered stakeholder engagement, ensuring curricula responsiveness to diverse needs. Thirdly, by strengthening research components, the workshop aimed to equip students to contribute to evidence-based land governance solutions. Lastly, it sought to develop implementation strategies for mainstreamed curricula.
A notable highlight was the exchange of curricula development experiences among NELGA-SA universities. Presenters shared insights, fostering collaboration and mutual learning. The discussions extended to industry engagement, revealing challenges faced by graduates in land administration. Industry professionals emphasized the necessity for curricula to address social skills, crucial for effective community engagement.
The workshop concluded with a commitment to ongoing dialogue and collaboration. It marked the initiation of the curricula development process, emphasizing collaboration, skill development, and overcoming academic-industry barriers. Moving forward, the integration of real-world experiences and regular curriculum updates are key to ensuring relevance in this rapidly evolving field. Bridging the pace gap between academia and industry is crucial for the advancement of sustainable land governance practices in Southern Africa. The workshop has laid the foundation for a transformative journey in land governance education, promising a brighter future for professionals in the region.
In a concerted effort to address the challenges faced by young graduates entering the workforce in the field of land governance in Botswana, the GIZ-African Union Programme and the NELGA Southern Africa network recently organized a “Multistakeholder Dialogue on the Labour Market for Graduates in the Field of Land Governance in Botswana.” The workshop, held on November 8-9, 2023, in Gaborone, brought together over 60 participants from various sectors, including government, private industry, civil society, and academia.
The workshop revealed a significant gap between academic training and industry needs, leading participants to emphasize the necessity of enhancing practical and soft skills through curriculum development. With an excess of graduates relative to job market capacity, a proposed solution involves integrating entrepreneurship skills to align graduates with market demands. Stakeholders stressed collaboration with the industry to enhance exposure opportunities, recommending various approaches.
Concerns were raised about professionals’ reluctance to share skills, prompting a call for tools to facilitate knowledge transfer. Ethical concerns regarding the competencies of some university lecturers were discussed, indicating a need for stricter recruitment standards. The importance of balancing academic qualifications with continuous professional development was emphasized, an aspect often overlooked by graduates. Attitudinal issues were addressed, emphasizing the need for a serious approach to professional futures, respect for work and supervisors, and an active pursuit of growth opportunities.
The workshop concluded with a consensus among stakeholders to implement recommendations within their respective institutions. The NELGA Secretariat committed to elevating these dialogues to the AU level through the CLPA 2023, aiming to garner the attention of policymakers in member countries. The collective effort to bridge the gap between academia and industry is a pivotal step toward creating a more robust and responsive land governance system in Botswana.
Related article: Closing the capacity gaps through young graduates in land governance.
In a pivotal moment at CLPA 2023 on November 23, 2023, the collaborative efforts of the African Union and GIZ came to fruition with the launch of the African Union’s Land Governance Strategy. Ambassador Stefan Auer succinctly captured the essence, stating, “Providing secure access to land triggers positive economic, social, and political behaviors, especially among low-income families and rural agrarian communities.”
Ambassador Auer went on to underscore the urgency of effective land governance, emphasizing its indispensable role in achieving the African Union Agenda 2063 and UN Sustainable Development Goals. The strategy, a comprehensive framework, seeks to unlock Africa’s substantial arable land, poised to act as a catalyst for substantial economic growth and poverty reduction.
Highlighting the German support, Ambassador Auer spotlighted key initiatives such as the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). Over the past six years, the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), with technical support from GIZ, has significantly bolstered capacities, implementing educational programs and facilitating policy integration at national levels.
The launch of the African Union’s Land Governance Strategy marks a significant stride towards collaboration among African countries, private sectors, and development partners. This strategy is not merely a document; it signifies a collective commitment to secure and enhance land rights, fostering sustainable development across the continent.
As the conference provided a crucial forum for collaboration and knowledge sharing, the German Government commended the development of the Land Governance Strategy. The launch was a success, with high expectations of far-reaching implications for Africa’s sustainable development.
Looking forward, the African Union’s Land Governance Strategy is poised to become a cornerstone in fostering cooperation. It is anticipated to lay the groundwork for enhanced collaboration among African nations, private sectors, and development partners to secure and enhance land rights, ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for the continent. The strategy is not just a milestone; it is a commitment to a transformative journey that will shape the trajectory of Africa’s land governance and, by extension, its socio-economic landscape.
While there are many graduates finishing their academic programmes in the land sector, not all of them find entry level relevant positions. At the same time stakeholders in the public & private sector, as well as civil society and academia face issues in finding young professionals with the required skill set.
To bring attention to this issue and enable discussions on possible solution NELGA and the GIZ-AU programme “Strengthening Advisory Capacities on Land Governance in Africa” (SLGA) organized multistakeholder dialogues in Botswana and Senegal. The national and regional stakeholders discussed the issues at hand in the respective countries and worked on concrete actions that can be implemented within their own field.
Assessments of the situation in these two countries have been conducted to form the basis for the discussion. These assessments gave an overview of the situation of needed experts both in terms of numbers and qualifications, as well as the education and training opportunities offered by universities. The report can be accessed below.
During the multistakeholder dialogues challenges were identified and recommendations for the different stakeholder groups were formed. Despite societal, economic, historic, and geographical differences between the countries some areas of actions are similar.
- To reduce and close the gap between required skills by employers and the acquired knowledge and skills of universities graduates, stronger cooperation between these actors is required.
- Universities need to regularly review curricula with the involvement of employer organizations from the public and private sector, while at the same time opportunities to gain practical experience should be enabled and fostered.
- The government plays a key role in creating an enabling environment for all stakeholders from universities, local authorities, and the private sector.
For more detailed information on the recommendations and to read the full report of the assessments and the multistakeholder dialogue in Senegal, click here.
NELGA invites you to a captivating knowledge exchange and sharing session at the CLPA23. Taking place on Wednesday, November 22, from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm, the session will delve into the crucial role of academic institutions in shaping land governance across Africa.
Background: NELGA, a consortium of esteemed African universities and institutions, is committed to enhancing both institutional and human capacities to address the challenges affecting land governance in Africa. Responding to the ‘Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa’ by African Heads of State, NELGA has actively engaged in building capacities through training, research, curriculum development, and various initiatives aimed at fostering open access knowledge sharing.
This CLPA23 side event aims to explore the pivotal role of academia in advancing capacities for land governance in Africa. It also seeks to showcase NELGA’s accomplishments, providing a platform for the exchange of experiences and knowledge between academia, professionals, and stakeholders. The session is designed to attract new partners by highlighting NELGA’s achievements and contributions to land governance.
Agenda: Chaired by Prof. Ruth Hall, the session will feature a moderated panel discussion with distinguished speakers:
- Prof. Herbert Robinson: General remarks on the role of academic institutions in land governance in Africa.
- Dr. Agnes Mwasumbi: An overview of NELGA, its objectives, and benefits to member universities.
- Prof. John Bugri: Insights into how NELGA universities support land governance curricula and training opportunities.
- Prof. Eugene Chigbu: Discussion on NELGA’s research focus and its impact on policy processes in land governance.
- Prof. Moha-El Ayachi: Exploring NELGA’s sustainability, partnerships, and avenues for new collaborators.
Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in a dynamic discussion on the role of academia in shaping the future of land governance in Africa. Join us at CLPA23 on November 22 from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm and be a part of the conversation. Together, let’s build capacities for sustainable land governance in Africa.
We are excited to announce the opening of registration for the NELGA Knowledge Exchange (NEx), in collaboration with the Land Portal Foundation. Join us on Thursday, December 7, from 14:00-15:00 EAT for a dynamic 1-hour Info Session.
NELGA and the Land Portal Foundation cordially invite researchers, policy makers, and land governance enthusiasts to delve into opportunities that enhance the visibility of research results.
Discover how your research can transcend boundaries through dedicated knowledge products edited and published by the Land Portal. Over the last four years, the Land Portal has effectively utilized “What to Read” digests and “Data Stories” to disseminate research advice and evidence to over 24,000 readers, including policy makers and practitioners.
Learn firsthand about the collaborative opportunity for NELGA researchers to contribute as guest writers, enhancing the reach of their work. This collaboration includes comprehensive supervision and wide dissemination through the Land Portal’s extensive network. With Insightful presentation by Romy Sato, Land Portal’s Knowledge Network Coordinator.
Don’t miss out on this chance to amplify your research impact. Register to the NEX now by sending a request to email@example.com !
For more information, click here.
We are delighted to invite you to the NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum (NEx), scheduled to take place on November 15, 2023, from 12:00 to 13:15 (GMT). This virtual event, hosted on MS Teams, presents an excellent opportunity to delve into the realm of distance learning in the context of land governance in Africa.
The NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum (NEx) serves as a dynamic platform uniting land specialists, policymakers, practitioners, students, and other stakeholders invested in land governance in Africa. Our primary goal is to facilitate the seamless exchange of information, ideas, and best practices concerning land administration in the African context. In this edition, we are excited to have the Comité Foncier Technique et Développement (CTFD) showcase their MOOC, “Land Tenure and Development.” Registration for this MOOC is now open and completely free! You can sign up via the link provided below (launch scheduled for Monday, November 13!): Registration link.
- Hélène Julien (AFD, CTFD co-president)
- Aurore Mansion (Gret, CTFD scientific secretariat)
To participate and secure your invitation, kindly send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Please Note that this edition of the Nex will be held entirely in French**
For additional details, please click here.
“Honestly, the scholarship was a good opportunity to realize many of my dreams.”
– Abebe Mengaw, PhD.
I am Abebe Mengaw Wubie (PhD), the pioneer beneficiary of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) In-country/In-Region PhD scholarship programme under the Strengthening Land Governance in Africa (SLGA) through the Network of Excellence in Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). In 2021, I received my PhD in Land Policy and Governance, specializing in Land Use Management and Decision Support Systems. Prior to this, I earned my MSc in Geo-information System from Bahir Dar University in 2010 and my first degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from Jimma University in 2007. Since 2007, I have been dedicated to the roles of a university lecturer and researcher accumulating expertise in various domains including: in GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, Web GIS, 3D mapping, land registration, land use, and land governance strategies. My research works have also been published in reputable journals, marking my contributions to the academic landscape.
Being the first recipient of the DAAD/NELGA PhD scholarship programme has been a profound honor. This initiative not only covered my tuition, research fees, pocket money, and digital expenses but also opened doors to remarkable opportunities. I was fortunate to attend a short-term summer school training on Environmental and Remote Sensing Data Analysis via Geospatial Technologies at Goethe-University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany. This experience significantly enhanced my research and teaching skills, allowing me to connect with German scientists, international scholars, and fellow scholarship holders. Moreover, I spent six enriching months at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where I successfully published my research articles and participated in national and international conferences.
Honestly, the scholarship was a good opportunity to realize many of my dreams. It helps me to take responsibilities and to be become a more professional researcher in the areas of land governance, land information/cadastre, and geospatial science. Now, I am working as an Assistant Professor and Vice Dean for Postgraduate, Research and Community Service at the Institute of Land Administration, Bahir Dar University. In this role, I coordinate the post graduate programs, revise the curricula based on the national and international priorities, provide support and follow-up for research projects, lead annual international land conference and seminars, announce research calls and award internal research grants, initiate research projects and grant writings, and coordinate the community services and technology transfer activities. Additionally, I am leading a significant research project as the Principal Investigator. Looking ahead, I am interested in conducting demand driven scientific research on land governance, land information/cadastre, and geospatial science to contribute to the sustainable development of my country and beyond.
This is my success story with DAAD/SLGA/NELGA scholarship. I trust DAAD/NELGA will continue the financial support for young scholars and researchers to continue making a difference in Africa and beyond.
Abebe Mengaw Wubie (PhD)
Phone number/WhatsApp: +251912106213
The Ardhi University (a NELGA member university), in collaboration with GIZ and the Kibaha District Council, organized a targeted training program on September 26, 2023. This initiative united diverse stakeholders, from village leaders to councilors; focusing on enhancing awareness of Tanzanian land law and management practices.
The training comprised three key segments: an introduction to general land matters, in-depth discussions on specific topics including gender-related issues in land management, and an interactive session for questions and open dialogue. By involving leaders at various levels, the program emphasized the vital role these individuals play in responsible land resource utilization.
This collaborative effort not only demonstrates the commitment of Ardhi University and GIZ to promoting good land governance but also showcases their dedication to capacity-building and knowledge dissemination. Empowering local leaders with profound insights, the initiative paves the way for sustainable land use, ensuring equitable benefits for communities and the environment.
In essence, Ardhi University and its partners have taken a significant step towards fostering informed leaders, shaping a more equitable and sustainable future for Tanzania.
We are delighted to invite you to the NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum (NEX) scheduled for October 19th, 2023, from 14:00 to 15:15 (EAT). This virtual event, hosted on MS Teams, promises a dynamic exploration of crucial themes surrounding land governance in the context of African agriculture.
NELGA’s Knowledge Exchange Forum is a pivotal platform uniting land specialists, policymakers, practitioners, students, and stakeholders in Africa’s land governance arena. Our focus is clear: to foster the exchange of insights, ideas, and best practices integral to African land administration. In this edition, our spotlight is on integrating land rights into National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIP).
Agriculture’s vital role in Africa’s development spurred initiatives like CAADP and the Malabo Declaration. However, challenges persist, especially in addressing complex land tenure systems. The 3rd Biennial Review report of 2021 highlighted the need for comprehensive reforms. Our webinar addresses this gap by presenting findings from intensive studies in seven African countries.
- How does ongoing NAIP implementation impact land governance in Africa?
- How inclusive are NAIP processes concerning fair and secure land ownership rights?
- What capacity development is crucial within land administration bodies to ensure secure land ownership rights in NAIPs?
Speakers: Join us for insights from esteemed scholars:
- Emmanuel Sulle, PhD: Assistant Professor & Director of Research, Aga Khan University, Tanzania
- Diane Tapimali: Researcher, Cameroon
How to Participate: To receive an invitation, kindly send a request to email@example.com. Register now and mark your calendar for October 19th, 2023!
For more information, click here.