Doctorate Degree on Land Governance at Bahir Dar University

Bahir Dar University is the first university in Ethiopia that has a doctorate degree on the topic of land policy and governance on offer. For many years, the university has been a Centre of excellence for the education of professionals in land management and land administration. Through education and supervision of PhD candidates the university greatly contributes to research on land policy in Ethiopia as well as to capacity building for sustainable land management and efficient land administration.

In 2016 NELGA supported the establishment of land governance doctorate degree. The development of the curricula was supported in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in line with international standards and based on the NELGA curricula guidelines. TUM continues to support the implementation of the PhD programme, i. e. through guest lectures and by supervising PhD theses.

Bahir Dar scholars at scholarship ceremony in Addis Ababa

“The curricula of the PhD programme is designed in a fashion that, after completing the PhD programme, I can apply the acquired knowledge to actual problems faced by policy-makers and stakeholders in the field of land governance and land administration. I would be very happy to apply this knowledge nationally and internationally”.

Solomon, Bahir Dar PhD scholarship holder


Supporting young researchers through the NELGA scholarship programme


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Scholarships for the new education programme in Bahir Dar are being granted through the NELGA scholarship programme together with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The programme is open for applications for postgraduates from all over Africa. Currently 12 young PhD researchers at Bahir Dar University from Ethiopia and Rwanda benefit from the NELGA scholarship programme.


“The scholarship programme is very helpful in creating connections with global researchers. It helps in experience sharing, knowledge transfer and circulation and it supports me in my further career as a researcher. I hope therefore, that thanks to the programme I will be able to contribute to resolving some of the issues and conflicts related to land in Ethiopia”.

Firehiwot Gojjam Anley, Bahir Dar PhD scholarship holder


Innovative research and knowledge exchange


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The PhD course enables young researchers from Eastern Africa to focus on diverse topics ranging from communal land rights, over water use conflicts and urban-rural land use, to property evaluation and sustainable land administration. Through an interdisciplinary approach the PhD candidates not only become experts in their respective fields but also learn from and with each other.


“Most of the farmers in Ethiopia (more than 80 %) depend on communal land. However, this land nowadays is subject to different pressures from the government as well as local users themselves. The idea behind my thesis is to optimize governance arrangements that take into account the interest of the various stakeholders regarding communal land”.

Asmamaw, Bahir Dar PhD scholarship holder