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.