Tag: Land Governance

UGB Land Management Students Gain Practical Knowledge on Pedagogical Field Trip

On April 12 and 13, 2023, Master’s Students in Land Governance and Land Management from the Université Gaston Berger in Senegal embarked on a pedagogical field excursion in the country under the supervision of Professor Samba Traoré. The excursion, which was supplementary to the student’s professional training, spanned two days and two locations. The itinerary included visits to the Ross-Bethio-based SAED delegation in Dagana and the Bokhol community.

The excursion aimed to disseminate theoretical and practical knowledge regarding land governance, including its issues and proposed solutions. The specific objectives consisted of a pedagogical component and a scientific component, both of which were pursued to ensure the smooth operation of the educational excursion on land.

The first stop was the Ross-Bethio-based SAED delegation in Dagana. The heads of the local SAED welcomed the group. They presented the instruments used for land management and the objectives, functions, roles, and policies for land management and spatial planning in support of eleven regional municipalities.

The second visit was to the municipal town hall of Bokhol. The mayor and his associates described the municipal issues and the difficulties it faces vis-à-vis its neighbours, notably those associated with the delimitation and division of different land bases. As residents of the communes of Bokhol, Gaya and Dagana have customary rights to land in other communes, which is regarded as the primary source of conflict within these communities. To preserve these relationships, the mayor permits other municipalities to exploit BOKHOL’s properties, even though this violates Law No. 64-46 of 17 June 1964.

During the visit, the team could comprehend the significance of SAED’s land management methods in the Senegal River Valley region. They also grasped the society’s relationship with territorial collectivities and populations and the procedure for utilising its services.

Students expanded their knowledge of land management in the Senegal River Valley. They learned about the difficulties faced by the populations, particularly in the Bokhol region, where water is scarce for agriculture during the off-season in the djieri, where most of the commune’s land is situated. Aside from this, no land office addresses challenges associated with local land management.

The educational field excursion was essential for the enhancement of theoretical knowledge in the field of land governance and territorial administration. The purpose of the excursion was to prepare the students for professional life, particularly in land management administration and related services. The excursion provided students with the practical knowledge and operational skills necessary to improve land and resource management in the country. The pedagogical field excursion was required and essential for the student’s professional development. The trip provided students with an in-depth comprehension of land management in the Senegal River Valley and the difficulties faced by the local population. Students could comprehend the working methods of SAED and their significance in land management, spatial planning, and the relationship between territorial collectivities and populations as a result of this excursion. Students could apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations and acquire practical knowledge and operational skills through this expedition. The knowledge gained on the trip will unquestionably contribute to improving the country’s land governance and territorial management. Students left with a deeper comprehension of the challenges and opportunities in the field of land management.

To view the full report, click here.

Sub-Regional Seminar Empowers Doctoral Students in Francophone West Africa to Improve Land Governance

From 28 to 29 April 2023, the Network of Excellence on Land Governance, Francophone West Africa (NELGA-AOF) node, hosted a sub-regional seminar for doctoral candidates working in the land administration and policy space. The seminars, held at the Résidences Mamoune hotel in Dakar, Senegal, were intended to satisfy the needs of human and institutional capacity building needs to improve land governance actions at national and regional levels.

The training had in attendance university instructors who are members of the NELGA-AOF Network, technical and financial partners, and doctoral students. Speakers at the opening ceremony included the NELGA Centre Coordinator, the Doctoral School Director, the GIZ representative, and the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences Director at the Université Gaston Berger (UGB).

Among several sessions, the seminar featured a roundtable discussion on land governance challenges in Africa, including land insecurity, conflicts, rising inequalities, and substantial foreign investment. The session also addressed the motivations and alternatives for land reform, including redistributive reform, land tenure reform, and land administration reform.

Two doctoral commissions were presented at the seminar, with most of their work focusing on presenting research findings. The instructors provided feedback on the work’s content and style and provided advisory support towards enhancing the doctoral students’ work.

The seminar concluded with several recommendations, including the need for formative and complementary doctorates to increase competitiveness. Participants suggested mobilising additional resources to organise frequent doctorate student exchanges with other countries through the NELGA network. It was also recommended that doctoral students should reexamine their subjects and evaluate analyses of poorly-formulated issues. In addition, they were instructed to pay close attention to the use of concepts and to present their research results using pre-defined templates.

The sub-regional training seminar for land-related doctoral students was a success, providing an opportunity for capacity development and information exchange. The participant recommendations and follow-up actions will unquestionably improve land administration in Francophone West Africa and beyond.

Find the detailed report here.

NELGA-SA Partners’ Assembly Establishes Governance Board for Project Success

The 2nd NELGA-SA Partners’ Assembly was held on May 19th, 2023, to discuss the work plan and governance structure of the NELGA-SA project. The meeting brought together representatives from different institutions within the NELGA-SA network.

The meeting updated the work plan and reviewed the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Governance Board’s structure and functions. The Governance Board’s composition, functions, and ex-officio members were agreed upon, with the coordinator tasked with calling for the inaugural meeting of NELGA-SA governance board members by the first week of June 2023.

Five non-NUST representatives were endorsed to serve on the Governance Board, ensuring diverse perspectives, effective decision-making, and sustainable land governance in Southern Africa. Establishing the Governance Board is a significant milestone towards achieving the project’s objectives, which aim to promote land governance in Southern Africa for sustainable development.

The assembly was fruitful, and crucial decisions were made regarding the project’s governance structure and responsibilities. Establishing the Governance Board, which will ensure strategic direction, efficient decision-making, and sustainable land governance in Southern Africa, has set the NELGA-SA project up for success.

Registration Open: NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum on Responsible Land Investments in Africa

The NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum is an essential platform that brings together experts, policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders in Africa’s land governance field. Its primary objective is to facilitate sharing of information, ideas, and best practices pertinent to African land administration. With land as a limited resource that significantly affects sustainable development, it is imperative to conduct a webinar on the topic of responsible governance of land investments in Africa.

The Responsible Governance of Investment in Land (RGIL) project in Ethiopia, Laos, and Uganda, funded by GIZ, will be the focus of this edition of the NEX. The seminar aims to promote the responsible use of land resources, which can potentially result in Africa’s economic and social transformation. The webinar will identify best practices regarding “what works,” emphasising techniques for minimising negative and maximising positive outcomes and measures to ensure that land investments are transparent, inclusive, and participatory.

The importance of secure land rights has been increasingly recognised by the international community. Several international initiatives and guidelines have been implemented to improve land policy. However, responsible land governance has been challenging to implement, leading to the need for worldwide discussions. The NELGA Knowledge Exchange Forum contributes significantly to promoting sustainable land managementequitable access to land, and inclusive management of the continent’s land resources.

The webinar will address critical questions on existing principles and guidelines on responsible investments in land, how these principles/guidelines can be incorporated into relevant academic curricula development/review, and how different communities can be engaged in practising these principles.

Kindly contact us to be part of the webinar.

Find more information, click here.

NELGA Publishes Three New Good Practises to Empower Young Land Governance Researchers

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) is committed to furthering transparent, efficient, and equitable land governance practices across the continent. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is by supporting young academics and researchers through a variety of programmes and initiatives. Today, we are pleased to share three additional best practices that we have developed to increase the efficacy of our work in this area.

The NELGA Summer School Programme
Through our Summer School Programme, which is designed to provide them with this opportunity, young researchers will have the chance to extend their knowledge and skills in land governance and related subjects. Participants will have access to a variety of classes and seminars designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to conduct high-level research and analysis. This programme has already supported the education of hundreds of young researchers, and we look forward to continuing to assist the next generation of experts in land governance. (Link)

The Utilisation of Digital Tools in Educational Settings
Prospective young researchers must have access to the most advanced tools and technology to aid them in their academic studies in this day and age. As a result, we have established a collection of digital tools and services that can aid researchers in conducting research, analysing data, and disseminating their findings. (Link)

Assistance options for Upcoming Researchers.
At NELGA, we understand that each young researcher confronts a unique set of requirements and challenges. As a result, we offer researchers a vast array of support services to assist them in overcoming obstacles and attaining their goals. These programmes provide access to research facilities and resources, mentoring and guidance opportunities, funding opportunities, and networking events. (Link)

We are ecstatic to share these innovative best practices with our network. We sincerely hope that they will inspire many younger scholars to pursue academic and professional careers in land governance and related fields in Africa.

From the Ground Up: How Land Governance Sensitization Workshops in East Africa are Empowering Educators to Create a Better Future for the Continent

The NELGA Eastern Africa Node, in collaboration with African Land Policy Centre, GIZ and EALAN Secretariat, organized a series of workshops to popularize the Guidelines for Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa. The workshops were held between 22nd – 27th of March 2023 in Kampala, Kigali, and Dar es Salaam. The workshops attracted representatives of University Management, University Accreditation Boards, Professional bodies and academic units in universities offering land governance programs in the three countries.  A total of 55 participants attended the three workshops.

The workshops involved the presentation of the guidelines developed by the African Land Policy Centre for implementation by universities in Africa. The Guidelines were presented at the workshops by the Coordinator of the NELGA Eastern Africa Node on behalf of the African Land Policy Centre.  Engaging discussion ensued, touching on content, relevance and adoption of the guidelines in developing curricula on land governance-related programs. Participants in the three sessions acknowledged that the workshops on Guidelines were timely as most universities were either on the verge of reviewing or developing their curricula. Key comments on the content pointed to the need to further de-colonize the curricula, tailor the curricula to land governance theories suiting the African context, re-imagining housing, rethink the status of women’s land rights, particularly in the context of Eastern Africa region and use the Guidelines to develop benchmark standards for land governance academic programs in Africa.  

With regard to mainstreaming the Guidelines in existing or new degree programs in land governance, participants proposed the use of different modes, including informing the curricula through developing standalone subjects, electives, seminars or topics; incorporating the themes in Universities research agenda, and reconsidering the mode of delivery of the curricula that will not overwhelm the learners.

Fatima-Ezzarah’s Success Story – NELGA Alumni

It was the ultimate opportunity to discuss Africa’s challenges and how to address them – Fatima-Ezzarah Mohtich, NELGA Scholarship holder at IAV

I loved school as a child, and school loved me back. School allowed me to express myself, learn, make mistakes, succeed, and choose my path to excellence. I was receptive to discovering new things and very inquisitive. My parents regarded me favourably. Even though they only had a primary education and limited resources, my parents were willing to do anything to provide a better education for their three children. My grandparents gave me special treatment because I was their favourite granddaughter. My teachers encouraged me to pursue my goals, and I earned my baccalaureate degree with an honours in mathematical sciences, which led me to pursue engineering at the prestigious Hassan II Institute of Agronomy & Veterinary Medicine Rabat-Morocco.

When I enrolled in the preparatory year for agricultural studies at the institute, I lived away from my family for the first time and took my first steps towards independence. I wanted to demonstrate to those around me that a woman can perform miracles if given a chance. I qualified in the top thirty, securing my spot in the institute’s well ranked programme of study in geomatic sciences and surveying engineering. My education was multidisciplinary, combining legal, technical, and innovative aspects without excluding communication and management skills. Concurrently with my studies, I managed the training and cultural activities of the Moroccan association of surveying students. It was an opportunity to leave my comfort zone and take the initiative by developing solutions for the community through multiple projects related to real estate, precision agriculture and mobility.

The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa, funded by the German Development Cooperation, awarded me a scholarship of excellence to finance my senior thesis through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Thanks to the scholarship, I completed my final study project, which was especially helpful during the COVID-19 outbreak. Throughout this period, I acquired the necessary materials for the project, made frequent trips to the study site, took part in different seminars and met my daily housing and food needs. NELGA connected me to a global community that amplified my voice and ensured I count and matter. The Excellence in Africa (EXAF) pole of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne selected the project as the best master’s project dedicated to Digital technology for the urban environment in Africa. It was the best opportunity to discuss Africa’s challenges and how to address them, view my work through a diverse and global lens, network with professionals, and seek opportunities.

Today, I am a shareholder and manager of a surveying company in Tiflet – Morocco and a part-time PhD student at Hassan II Institute of Agronomy & Veterinary Medicine Rabat-Morocco. Through both career pathways, I support and mentor other young women. I show them that with courage and determination, the sky is the limit.

NELGA Presents: International Women’s Month Q&A Series

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:

Dr Safiatou Saidou speaks on advocacy, lobbying and financial contributions to promote women’s land rights in Northern Cameroon.

Dr Janet Edeme discusses women’s protection, resilience, and agricultural opportunities for Africa’s development.

Prof Dr Heba Allah Khalil provides empirical context on land issues for women lead households in Egypt.

Johannes’s Sucess Story – NELGA Intern

It was such an exciting opportunity to be part of a culturally diverse organization while gaining experience in land governance in Africa – Lineekelomwene Johannes, Former Intern with NELGA Southern Africa Node at NUST

In February 2023, I completed all requirements towards my achieving a Bachelor of Business Management degree from the prestigious  Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). NUST is the leading hub for the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa, an African Union network managed by the African Land Policy Centre through the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Part of the requirements for graduation was to embark on an internship through Work-integrated Learning (WIL). This is an integral aspect of our curriculum and must be completed by all students for graduation. Lucky for me, I met Mr. Theodor Muduva, the advisor for NELGA at NUST and  I was given the opportunity to gain experience as an administrative assistant intern for the network in southern Africa.

Simply put, it altered the playing field and was a game-changing experience. I was putting theory into practice and exchanging real-world experience. It was a thrill to work with people from various walks of life and learn from their experiences and perspectives. Before I joined NELGA, I had never thought of being interested in land issues, but through NELGA, I became knowledgeable about them. Mentors at the NELGA hub at NUST, especially Mr. Muduva, were extremely rewarding; and cumulatively inspired me to do my best in all my endeavours as I contributed my bit to my country’s development, region and the continent and, of course, come out with a better-than-average grade in my WIL course.

During my internship, a highlight of my time was participating in a planning and review meeting for NELGA with delegates from across Africa speaking as one voice. It was a tremendous pleasure for me to interact with NUST faculty, NELGA partner universities, African Land Policy Centre, GIZ as the implementing partner and many others. I was learning about land governance outside of my original academic interest; however, I could see the business management intersections and alignment with land and how this impacts the continent. It was a thrilling experience.

I am incredibly grateful for the invaluable insight into the workings of the business world that I gained due to my time spent in NELGA in these early professional years. Being a part of the NELGA team was an incredible opportunity to gain significant experience and intellectual resources to guide my future career goals.

Publication: Understanding Urban Land Leasing System as a Strategic Value Capture Instrument to Enhance Urban Revenue in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Bahir Dar City

Since 1993, the Ethiopian government has been using the urban land leasing system to monetize the increase in land value created due to factors other than private investment. Thus, this paper by Seid Hussen Yimam, Hans Lind and Belachew Yirsaw Alemu aims to explore and understand whether Bahir Dar city is leveraging the urban land lease system as a strategic value capture instrument to enhance its local revenue or not.

This study has used the qualitative research method and in-depth analysis. The information needed to reach the goal of this study has been gathered through a desk review of documents and key informant interviews with experts and brokers. The study has found that most urban land is held under a permit system, with landholders paying a small amount of land rent per annum. The study also found that most of the city’s land was given away through administrative allotment at low and out-of-date benchmark prices, which hurt the city’s lease income.

Also, it has been found that there isn’t enough enforcement of lease payment collection, which hurts the city’s ability to make money from urban areas. So, the city isn’t using the public land leasing system as a strategic way to get more value out of the land. Based on these results, this paper suggests that the government set up a modern property tax system to capture the increase in value of land with a permit. Also, the study plans to do empirical research to find the factors that significantly impact benchmark prices and to update the benchmark price based on those factors regularly. Moreover, the study has suggested proper enforcement of the lease payment collection in the city.

Click here to read the research.