NELGA opens secretariat at KNUST

Kumasi� The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) has opened a secretariat for the West Africa hub of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance (NELGA) at the Department of Land Economy of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

NELGA is a partnership of leading Africa universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training and research on land governance, to strengthen human and institutional capacities for the implementation of Africa Union’s (AU) agenda on land.

It is an initiative of ALPC in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellchatft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the World Bank with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to build a strong continental network on land governance.

The objective is to enhance training opportunities and curricula on land governance, promote demand driven research on land policy, connect scholars and researchers across Africa through academic networks, while creating data and information for monitoring and evaluation on land policy reforms.

The KNUST secretariat would strengthen ties, enhance student and staff mobility and create opportunities for knowledge sharing, research and best practices in land governance for universities in Anglophone West Africa.

Mr Joseph Baricako, Economic Affairs Officer, Regional Integration and Trade Division of the Economic Commission for Africa, speaking at the ceremony, said weak land governance and insecure land rights are still major development challenges in Africa.

He said the establishment of the network across universities was to enhance capacity building on land governance to help address some of the challenges in land administration to reduce conflicts, poverty and hunger on the continent.

Mr Patrick Opoku, Advisor GTZ and Coordinator of the NELGA Project, said 50 universities in Africa have formed partnerships under NELGA to build capacities on land governance.

He said 36 graduate students in various universities have been awarded scholarships to further their education under the NELGA initiative.

Mr Opoku said a data repository has also been developed to enhance knowledge management, dissemination and networking in support of land policy and governance.

Reverend Charles Ansah, Pro-Vice Chancellor of KNUST, said the university has over the years been a leader in teaching and research in land governance on the continent.

The opening of the secretariat is therefore an important step to further contribute to capacity building on land and its related issues.

Prof Ansah called on members of the network to make sacrifices to ensure the success of the network.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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