Launch of NELGA Southern Africa Node
Venue: NUST Hotel School, Windhoek, Namibia
The launch of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) Southern Africa node, 19 February 2018 at NUST.
To strengthen human and institutional capacities for the implementation of the AU agenda on land, the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), established a Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) in cooperation with Germany, the World Bank and other partners. NELGA is a partnership of leading African universities and research institutions with proven leadership in education, training and research on land governance. From these, the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) was selected as the Southern Africa node for the NELGA partnership. In this respect, NUST (with support from GIZ) will oversee the planning and implementation of NELGA activities in Southern Africa. The node was officially launched on 19 February 2018 at NUST Hotel School in Windhoek, Namibia. Various stakeholders – including current and potential partners from various academic, research and non-academic/research institutions within southern Africa and beyond were invited to attend. Partners from Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia were present at this launch; some of which also attended a masterclass on the following days, which marked the first activity in Namibia as the NELGA hub. The main speakers during the one-day event were: Prof. Tjama Tjivikua (Vice-Chancellor: NUST), Mr. Albert Engel (Country Director: GIZ Namibia), Ms. Anita Hernig (Senior Advisor: GIZ-SLGA), Mr. Charl-Thom Bayer (NELGA Southern Africa Regional Coordinator and Head of Land and Property Studies Department), Prof. Rolf Becker (Dean: Faculty of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences) and Mr. Theodor Muduva (Regional Advisor for NELGA Southern Africa)
On the same occasion the Centre for Land and Property Studies (CLPS) at NUST was also officially opened. The centre will be a space to carry out NELGA-related activities; and other land-related research and dialogues. The centre will be open to partners and students. The Regional Research Scoping study concept note was presented to solicit further input from the current and potential partners. The central objective of this study is to explore the most important issues related to land governance in Southern Africa. The following key issues were raised: impact of mining on land use, social dimension of land, land and water (including soil), boundary/border disputes, ownership vs access, role of Traditional Authorities, land tenure, expropriation, rural-urban migration and expansion of townships into communal land. The event was followed with a Master class on Land Governance and Corruption (20-22 February 2018) that was attended by some of the delegates attending the launch. The week concluded with a city tour of Windhoek and its surroundings. The signing of Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with individual partner institutions is at various stages and will be an on-going process.