From November 12th to 14th 2017, the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) hosted its first scholarship holders’ meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For three days, 35 scholarship holders from eight African countries took part in the event that was jointly organized by Bahir Dar University, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
DAAD supports NELGA through a comprehensive Master and PhD scholarship program available for young academics and professionals from all African Union member states to enhance land-related capacities in higher education. A variety of nine different courses are currently offered at five universities in Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.
The meeting offered the students a diverse program covering wide-ranging topics from the publication of research papers, over presentation skills and techniques to effective proposal writing for research grants. Different thematic and methodological focuses were presented including lectures by top-class scientists, such as Prof. Dr. Jaap Zevenbergen from University of Twente, who discussed current dynamics in responsible land administration with the students.
“Meeting my fellow NELGA Students was one of the best. We really shared a lot not only on our areas of research but also on our social backgrounds”
– NELGA Scholarship Holder
Part of the meeting was also a visit to the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) in Addis Ababa where the young scholars gained hands-on experience in geospatial technologies and aerial surveying as well as national cadaster design. Presentations of the PhD research projects offered additional opportunities for in-depth discussions about current issues and possible solution to prevailing challenges in the land policy sector.
During the event scholarship holders also discussed options for developing NELGA alumni network in order to keep in touch and continue exchanging ideas and experiences beyond the end of the scholarship programme.
The NELGA students also had the chance to participate in the four-days “Conference on Land Policy in Africa”, hosted by the African Land Policy Centre. The participation in the panels, round table and discussion events enabled the scholarship holders not only to get in touch with internationally recognized scientists, but also to establish contacts with civil society organizations and government representatives. This opportunity for exchange was actively used by the students and they were well represented in the discussion sessions.
“Meeting professors of whom I had only read publications was awesome.”
– NELGA Scholarship Holder
Three scholarship holders also qualified within the conference’s competitive call for papers and were given the opportunity to present their paper in the context of thematically focused sessions.
The scholarship holders’ meeting as well as the participation in the conference received positive feedback not only by the students themselves but also by the invited lecturers and other conference participants. The events provided the students with an excellent opportunity for creating a strong and lively network among themselves and their respective universities for further cooperation. The time spend together was eagerly used to connect, network and to exchange ideas, visions and experiences across backgrounds and national borders. As an excellent event, the meeting will be repeated in 2018, then welcoming even more scholarship holders from NELGA partner universities.
For more detailed information on the scholarship programme please contact DAAD:
▪ Ms Jana Bömer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information on NELGA please contact:
▪ Ms Luisa Prior (email@example.com)