Leading Universities in Central Africa Host Sensitization Workshop on the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land governance in Africa

Dschang, Cameroon, November 10, 2020: From November 10 – 13, 2020, land governance experts from various universities and research institutions in Central Africa will meet in Dschang, Cameroon, for a sensitization meeting on the review of existing land governance curricula by adopting the recommendations in the Guidelines for Curricula Development on Land Governance in Africa.

The meeting is convened by the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) in partnership with leading universities in Central Africa under the African Land Policy Center (ALPC) coordination with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the African Union. The Guidelines for the Development of Curricula on Land Governance in Africa were endorsed by the AU Conference of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment IN October 2017. The Guidelines support the implementation of the African Union (AU) Agenda on Land; and responds to the call for AU Member countries to bridge capacity gaps on land policy development and its implementation.

Given the shortfall in Africa’s land sector, particularly in terms of skills and expertise, African Union member states were asked to “develop adequate human, financial and technical capacities to support the development and implementation of land policy in Africa”. Universities and higher education institutions were then recommended to review existing curricula, research, and training to ensure that they are adequate to meet the industry’s needs. Significant gaps have been identified in the content and nature of African universities and other higher education institutions’ training and research programmes.

Speaking about the workshop, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, ALPC Chief, commented, “In producing the Guidelines, ALPC embarked on extensive consultation and documentation, informed by evidence and data processed by the Center through its rigorous regional assessment reports. The process identified capacity development gaps in land administration and curricula to advance land governance in Africa, which influenced the development of the Guidelines. The Guidelines aim to serve as a framework for the development and/or review of African universities’ academic curricula. These guidelines were presented to the relevant AU political body for approval and are now key tools for implementing the AU’s land agenda.

The sensitization workshop is part of the ongoing advocacy and consultation with academics for mainstreaming land governance capacity gaps across Africa. It is expected that participants will respond to the new proposals and ideas emerging from the Guidelines.”

Prof. Paul Tchawa, the NELGA Central Africa Node Coordinator, explained, “The main objective of this workshop is to raise awareness and equip the leaders of Cameroonian and Central Africa universities who want to engage in the review of their curricula to bring them to speed with the African Union’s guidelines in this area.  We welcome the opportunity to close capacity gaps in the land governance curricula as it ensures that as academic institutions, we continue to meet our students’ needs and fulfill the African Union’s mandate.”

At the end of this workshop, participants from partner universities will be made aware of the guidelines for the revision of curricula on land governance in Africa and their contribution to implementing the land policy designed by the AU. They will also understand the procedures to be followed in the review of curricula and design an action plan for the review and design of curricula in their various universities.”

Commending the initiative, Professor Roger Tsafack Nanfosso, Rector of Dschang University, said, “Given the dense and diverse profiles of experts from diverse backgrounds at this workshop, there is no doubt that the workshop will lead to fruitful results and realistic recommendations that can redirect our training offerings towards specific development goals. The reconfiguration of land governance curricula is essential to make land a real lever for economic growth in our continent.”

Participating universities include Universite de Yaounde, Universite de Banqui, Universite Marien Ngouabi, Universite de N’Djamena, Universite Omar Bongo, and Universite de Kinshasha. Universities of Dschang, Douala, Yaounde,Cameroon, and Omar Bongo in Gabon have signified interest to begin revising the content of courses on land after the workshop.

Find below the report and presentations made at the workshop:

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.