Technical Experts in Africa Hold Planning Meeting on Land Governance in Africa
Land governance specialists design 2020-2021 work plans in the face of Covid Crisis
Virtual, 16 September 2020 –The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and its regional and technical nodes met virtually on Wednesday, 16 September 2020, under the coordination of the African Land Policy Center (ALPC), to review the progress made regarding the 2020 work plans, to appraise NELGA secretariat work plan for 2020-2021 and encourage coordinated efforts to meet African Union agenda on land.
The technical planning meeting is part of the continental programme comprised by ALPC, NELGA, and GIZ, which includes land governance technical experts, academics, , and government stakeholders, tasked to provide academic support and oversight, research data and reports, and policies recommendation to influence land governance and reforms in Africa. The planning meeting is an event that brings together NELGA stakeholders to look at the experience of the past months of working together, identify lessons learned, and tag areas for the next steps.
The meeting was opened by the Chief of the African Land Policy Centre, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, and co-chaired by the GIZs Strengthening Advisory Capacities for Land Governance, Head of Program, Ms. Anita Hernig.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Kagwanja stated, “The planning meeting provides additional insight and information which helps NELGA secretariat and ALPC develop actions to advance practical steps towards moving the dial on policy changes in land administration in Africa. Ultimately it needs to get there. Besides the usual focused discussions on what we have done in the different areas of land governance work and exchanges, I am looking forward to building more synergy to meet set goals.”
The meeting celebrated the successful establishment of the NELGA secretariat and the onboarding of its multi-nationality pioneer staff in the height of the Covid Crisis. “It is expected that with the full recruitment of the secretariat team, this will enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration within the Network at the continental level,” explain Dr. Kagwanja.
The NELGA secretariat will improve the coordination, knowledge generation and dissemination of the network’s activities jointly with NELGA Institutions across the continent through its regional nodes. These activities include training for NELGA students, implementation of the NELGA scholarship programme, advocating and facilitating delivery of trainings for scholars and policy makers in the region; and work with the RegRECs and other regional/national stakeholders to generate data. Working through the regional nodes, the secretariat will coordinate regional activities involving NELGA member institutions, linking them to other NELGA regional networks for joint activities, knowledge sharing and partnership building.
The planning meeting also discussed the regional work plans from North Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Central Africa, and Anglophone and Francophone West Africa, including reports from technical partners. The meeting provided an opportunity to showcase the network results through collaborative research, scholarships programs and knowledge exchange, review the comprehensive and harmonized workplans, introduce new partnerships, opportunities and sustainability strategies, to meeting the African Union’s commitment to improving land policies in Africa for 2020-2021.
Following the meeting, the participants agreed that the network had introduced innovative methods in response to Covid-19. It is essential to consolidate these lessons, especially for how the academic institutions have introduced digital platforms to foster e-learning on land governance. This and other lessons learnt will be found on the NELGA Website homepage in the coming months.
The event brought together diverse representatives of regional stakeholders from Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa and Germany.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) , and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its purpose is to enable the use of land to lend impetus to the process of African development. The programme is governed by a Steering Committee that meets periodically, while a joint secretariat implements day to day activities.
To strengthen human and institutional capacities for implementing the AU agenda on land, ALPC established the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training, and research on land governance. Currently, NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions across Africa. NELGA aims to: enhance training opportunities and curricula on land governance in Africa; promote demand driven research on land policy issues; connect scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks; and create data and information for monitoring and evaluation on land policy reforms.