The Fourth Regional Conference on Securing Community Land Rights in Africa, held in Arusha, Tanzania from September 12-14, 2023, brought together delegates from across the continent to address the critical issue of community land rights.
Delegates at the conference emphasized the importance of implementing community titling processes as a means of protecting rural lands from encroachment and conflict. They recognized that the roles of National Land Institutions vary from country to country. For instance, Ethiopia’s ministry primarily focuses on resolving rural land tenure insecurity through land registration to mitigate conflicts, while Liberia’s Land Authority serves as a central hub for land administration and law enforcement to prevent overlapping functions among ministries.
The conference also candidly discussed common obstacles to effective implementation of the AU agenda on land, including institutional capacity limitations, challenges in educating communities about land policies, and inadequate funding for infrastructure and documentation. Key recommendations included improving land information systems, educating rural communities about land registration, monitoring data trends, and conducting research on land rights.
Dr. Dominico Kilemo, a NELGA advisor for Eastern Africa, highlighted two crucial aspects in line with NELGA’s mission. He advocated for closer collaboration between National Land Institutions and universities to inform decisions and policies regarding community land rights. Additionally, he proposed the organization of national stakeholder forums by National Land Institutions to facilitate robust policy dialogues on this issue.
The conference saw participation from influential development partners like the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), GIZ, and the Tenure Facility. These organizations engaged directly with land institution representatives, addressing concerns, and providing support for community land rights implementation.
In summary, the Fourth Regional Conference served as a dynamic platform for insightful discussions, knowledge sharing, and recommendations. These efforts collectively contribute to the pursuit of secure community land rights in Africa, underscoring the importance of collaboration and data-driven decision-making in regional land governance.
The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa has recently announced a fantastic opportunity for researchers and practitioners in the field of land governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA has announced the launch of a call for research funding and an exchange programme to support the study of land governance in Africa.
Researchers, practitioners, and professionals engaged in enhancing land governance in Africa are encouraged to respond. The program aims to fund studies that will eventually lead to evidence-based policies and interventions that encourage equitable access to land resources and environmentally responsible land use.
The initiative will provide funding to qualified researchers to continue their work on land governance research projects in Africa. Proposals can be submitted in English, French, or Portuguese. Scientists from any African nation are encouraged to join the programme.
Conversely, the goal of the staff exchange programme is to facilitate communication and skill-building amongst land governance practitioners and professionals in Africa. Some participants in this programme can spend time at an affiliated institution, where they can take advantage of the host organization’s expertise and gain insight into its methods.
NELGA’s regional hubs and African partner institutions will implement these two initiatives through the German Academic Exchange (DAAD). This request is part of NELGA’s larger initiative to fund the study and improvement of African land administration.
Visit the NELGA website and follow the application instructions provided there to be considered for the research funding and staff exchange programme.
Find the link to the Staff Exchange Program.
Welcome to the International Women’s Month Q&A series on the NELGA website. This March, we are shining a spotlight on the critical contributions that women are making in the field of land governance and land rights. As part of this series, we’re interviewing well-known women in the field affiliated with the network. They’ll talk about their experiences, insights, and points of view on various issues related to land governance, policy, and rights.
The goal of these Q&As is to honour the accomplishments of women in this field while also bringing attention to the problems they’ve had to deal with and the chances for progress and change. We hope this series will encourage more people to get involved in land governance and work for more social justice and gender equity.
We are excited to share the stories and insights of these women, whose actions influence NELGA’s impact in Africa. We hope you will join us in celebrating International Women’s Month and women’s contributions to the land governance field.
Find the stories here:
The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) has enhanced the capacity of senior staff of the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat to facilitate the integration of land governance issues in programmes, especially those of the productive sector. The capacity-building workshop on implementing the AU Declaration on Land was held on 16 -17 August 2022, in Kampala, Uganda, under the auspices of a joint ALPC-EAC project which was endorsed by the EAC Council of Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources Management.
Emphasising the cross-cutting nature of land, ALPC Coordinator, Ms Joan Kagwanja, applauded the EAC secretariat’s participation at the senior level in the workshop, noting that capacities gained to integrate land governance issues in programmes will significantly advance EAC interventions in support of achieving objectives related to agriculture and food security; environment and natural resources; tourism and wildlife management; energy, infrastructural and industrial development; gender and women empowerment, among others. She further commended recent efforts and commitment to engage with the Partner States and establish a steering committee that will oversee the implementation of a road map, the first activity of which is the operationalisation of a platform for the exchange of knowledge and best practices among partner states. This is what is envisaged in the AU Declaration on Land.
This workshop draws on a recently validated capacity assessment study report conducted with the technical support of ALPC, which identified the need to enhance the capacity of the EAC Secretariat to better address land issues within EAC programmes. The assessment also noted a gap in knowledge platforms that would facilitate the exchange of best practices among Partner States, and identify emerging issues in order to design frameworks/mechanisms to address land issues, especially those that are transboundary in nature. The assessment also emphasised the role of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa in bridging these gaps. Capacity building modules touched on how to address land governance issues such as securing land rights for all land users, promoting responsible land based investments, preventing and addressing land and ethnic-based conflicts, improving womenâ€™s access to land/securing their land rights, and the central role of land use planning, effective land administration and information systems, the role of communication, among others.
Stakeholders in land governance have endorsed the process of establishing a five-year strategic plan (2023â€“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.
Du 10 au 13 novembre 2020, des experts en gouvernance fonciÃ¨re et des universitaires issus des principales universitÃ©s et institutions acadÃ©miques du Cameroun se rÃ©uniront dans la ville universitaire de Dschang pour examiner la nÃ©cessitÃ© de disposer des curricula actualisÃ©s sur la gouvernance fonciÃ¨re qui tienne compte du contexte africain et qui soit en Ã©troite ligne avec les recommandations de lâ€™Union Africaine en matiÃ¨re de gouvernance fonciÃ¨re.
La rÃ©union est organisÃ©e par le RÃ©seau d’excellence sur la gouvernance fonciÃ¨re en Afrique (NELGA), qui est coordonnÃ© par le Centre africain de politique fonciÃ¨re (ALPC) avec le soutien du ministÃ¨re fÃ©dÃ©ral allemand de la coopÃ©ration Ã©conomique et du dÃ©veloppement (BMZ) auprÃ¨s de l’Union africaine, sur le thÃ¨me “Lignes directrices pour l’Ã©laboration des curricula sur la gouvernance fonciÃ¨re en Afrique”.
La rÃ©union est la rÃ©sultante de la volontÃ© de universitÃ©s partenaires Ã NELGA Afrique centrale dâ€™obtenir un soutien et des conseils dans la rÃ©vision et la conception des programmes d’Ã©tudes sur les questions de gouvernance fonciÃ¨re. Il est alors nÃ©cessaire de sensibiliser ces universitÃ©s sur les directives conÃ§ues par lâ€™Union Africaine en matiÃ¨re de rÃ©vision des curricula afin dâ€™aligner les programmes dâ€™enseignement sur les politiques stratÃ©giques de l’Union africaine.
L’UniversitÃ© de YaoundÃ© I via le rÃ©seau NELGA en Ã©troite collaboration avec ses universitÃ©s partenaires ont envisagÃ© le prÃ©sent atelier de sensibilisation/formation afin de doter les responsables universitaires d’Afrique centrale des outils et connaissances nÃ©cessaires Ã la rÃ©vision de leurs programmes d’Ã©tudes sur le foncier tout en sâ€™assurant de la conformitÃ© de ces programmes avec les lignes directrices de lâ€™Union africaine.
La gouvernance fonciÃ¨re est associÃ©e Ã la gestion de plusieurs autres ressources connexes qui pourraient propulser la croissance Ã©conomique, la prospÃ©ritÃ© et le dÃ©veloppement durable Ã grande Ã©chelle, d’une part, et les activitÃ©s culturelles, d’autre part. La terre joue Ã©galement un rÃ´le prÃ©dominant dans la cohÃ©sion sociale, la paix et la sÃ©curitÃ©.
Compte tenu du dÃ©ficit observÃ© dans le secteur du foncier en Afrique, notamment en matiÃ¨re de compÃ©tences et dâ€™expertise, les Ã‰tats membres de l’Union Africaine ont Ã©tÃ© invitÃ©s Ã “dÃ©velopper des capacitÃ©s humaines, financiÃ¨res et techniques adÃ©quates pour soutenir l’Ã©laboration et la mise en Å“uvre de la politique fonciÃ¨re en Afrique”. Il a alors Ã©tÃ© recommandÃ© aux universitÃ©s et Ã©tablissements d’enseignement supÃ©rieur dâ€™examiner les programmes d’Ã©tudes, de recherche et de formation existants afin de dÃ©terminer s’ils sont adÃ©quats pour rÃ©pondre aux besoins de l’industrie. Des lacunes importantes ont Ã©tÃ© identifiÃ©es dans le contenu et la nature des programmes de formation et de recherche proposÃ©s par les universitÃ©s et autres Ã©tablissements d’enseignement supÃ©rieur africains.
Face Ã ce constat, le Centre Africain sur les Politiques fonciÃ¨res (ALPC â€“ African Land Policy Centre) a Ã©laborÃ© en partenariat avec un groupe dâ€™experts et dâ€™acadÃ©miciens africains les Â« lignes directrices pour le dÃ©veloppement de programmes d’Ã©tudes sur la gouvernance fonciÃ¨re en Afrique Â». Ce document a pour objectif de servir de cadre pour le dÃ©veloppement et/ou la revue des curricula acadÃ©miques des universitÃ©s Africaines. Ces lignes directrices ont Ã©tÃ© prÃ©sentÃ©es Ã l’organe politique compÃ©tent de l’UA pour approbation et sont ensuite devenu lâ€™un des outils clefs de la mise en Å“uvre de lâ€™agenda de lâ€™UA sur le foncier.
Ã€ la fin de l’atelier, les universitÃ©s de Dschang, Douala, YaoundÃ©, Cameroun, UniversitÃ© de Bangui en RCA, lâ€™UniversitÃ© de N’Djamena au Tchad et Omar Bongo au Gabon commenceront Ã rÃ©viser le contenu des cours sur le foncier.