Masterclass at the 2018 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty

Building a continent-wide research network on land: The Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa


In order to support implementing the African Union Land Agenda, the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) has established a Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) in cooperation with Germany, World Bank and other partners.

NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in academic education, training and research on land governance. Currently NELGA has more than 50 partner institutions in over 30 countries. The purpose of NELGA is to enhance the role of universities and research institutions in the field of land governance across the continent, brining research and policy closer together.

The Master Class aims at presenting the experiences of NELGA members and partners in establishing this continent-wide network. It will bring together NELGA Members and Institutions of higher learning on land governance to showcase their contribution to the Human and Institutional Capacity building as called for in the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.

The NELGA Nodes (Lead Institutions) will discuss the status of the establishment of the regional hubs and first lessons learnt on establishing such a network at a continental scale. After inputs by key NELGA members, there will be an opportunity for discussion, including identifying further possibilities for collaboration. 

As such, the Masterclass will host the following presentations focusing on Network building, Training and Research on Land Governance in Africa


  1. Introduction to NELGA (ALPC or Namibia University of Science and Technology)
    1. ALPC/NUST will provide a general presentation of NELGA, including the identification of members, concept, setup, organizational, communication and steering structures and first lessons learnt
  2. Experiences of key NELGA institutions
    1. The Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco —the key NELGA institution in Northern Africa— will present the development of the strategic plan for the Northern Africa NELGA node with particular emphasis on developing regional training courses on land.
    2. East Africa’s key NELGA partner, Ardhi University in Tanzania, will present NELGA activities and joint research in Eastern Africa as well as partnerships, research and communities of practice between different NELGA regions, particularly Eastern and Southern Africa
  3. ADLAND- South-North exchange
    1. The “Advancing collaborative research in responsible and smart land management in and for Africa” (ADLAND) project (implemented by a consortium of 7 international universities and led by the Technical University of Munich) provides additional support through a north-south component to key NELGA members. The presentation will focus on the consultative process of joint identification of objectives and activities.




Key functions of NELGA

  • Improve land-related curricula in graduate and post-graduate training courses in quantity and quality.
  • Provide and facilitate academic education and training for African land professionals and practitioners.
  • Define an agenda for research and conduct applied research on land related issues pertinent to the AU agenda on land.
  • Develop a repository for data, indicators and information, in close cooperation with the LPI, RECs and governments.
  • Promote knowledge management, dissemination and networking in support of land policy and governance in Africa by enhancing the community of practice for land policy experts.
  • Design appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems; and implement pilots to facilitate tracking of land related initiatives


NELGA hubs

For better coordination of NELGA in the different African regions, a lead university has been selected for each AU region (so-called “regional nodes”). Together with other NELGA institutions in the respective region, the node forms a regional “hub”.

To date, the following regional nodes have been selected:        

  1. Namibia University of Science and Technology for Southern Africa (NUST) for Southern Africa,
  2. Ardhi University in Tanzania for East Africa
  3. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana for West Africa,
  4. Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco for North Africa,
  5. University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon for Central Africa


Functions of regional NELGA Nodes

The Nodes have 3 main functions which are managerial, facilitation and coordination of the NELGA activities in the respective regions:

  1. Management: The nodes act as the Secretariat to the regional hub by hosting NELGA regional staff; reporting on project activities; managing the hub’s involvement in knowledge generation and dissemination platforms and acting as the custodian to the hub’s funds
  2. Facilitation: This entails initiating NELGA activities in the region; training for the NELGA Students; implementation of the NELGA scholarship programme; advocating and facilitating delivery of the training for policy makers in the region; and work with the RECs and other regional/national stakeholders to generate data on M&E
  3. Coordination: Overseeing the regional activities involving NELGA member institutions and linking them to other NELGA hubs for joint activities/knowledge sharing; reporting/consultations and partnership building
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 00:15 to Friday, March 23, 2018 - 00:15