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.