Academics Push for National Research Agendas on Land Governance in Africa

The Knowledge Exchange Workshop (KEW) held on June 21, 2022, in Entebbe, was an opportunity for NELGA partners and land stakeholders to discuss and demonstrate the usefulness of research as a tool to support the formulation and implementation of land policies.

The session examined knowledge-to-policy-uptake in Senegal and Cameroon by outlining how such uptakes on land governance issues can be improved on a national and continental level. The session also featured case studies from Benin and Burkina Faso, elaborating an implementation model of the government policy on the sedentarisation of agro-pastoralist communities.

The discussions highlighted the importance of cooperation between research and parliamentarian bodies to explore linkages in formulating land-related policies and laws. The vision of this research is to inform legislation, but in Burkina Faso, there are difficulties in establishing contacts and spaces for discussion between academic institutions and the parliamentarian body.

The academic community in Benin is well organised and as such, the process for successful collaboration between research and policy/legitimacy Land Tenure Concerns Inventory has been developed. Academics in Benin are trying to improve the research aspect based on the needs expressed in the platform by CSOs and policy; by – among other things – condensing hundreds of pages of research into policy briefs, making it easier for the research to be available and used as a tool for communication with the policymakers.   Seeing how pertinent research is in this context it is important to take stock of available knowledge and support its vulgarization and dissemination in the context of diagnostic studies. It is also important to strengthen multi-stakeholder platforms as a tool for elaborating on research agendas amongst stakeholders. One of the ways this can be accomplished is by strengthening NELGA as a platform of engagement and collaboration between policy and science across Africa.

This discussion highlights the relevance of research as a tool to support the implementation of land policies and reflects on approaches to establishing policy-science dialogue platforms at national levels. The session features case studies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cameroon examining knowledge-to-policy-uptake, from the continental to the national level. It outlines how such uptakes on land governance issues can be improved on a continental level and how this level interacts with the national level.