German scholarships boost African expertise in land governance

The German government’s Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) programme has granted African students first phase scholarships in land governance in a bid to improve land administration and tenure systems on the continent.

Three universities in Africa – Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia, Ardhi University in Tanzania and the National University of Science & Technology in Namibia have been selected on the premise of their being centres of excellence in the region. Accordingly, six PhD students at the Institute of Land Administration at Bahir Dar University, four pursuing Master’s degree and two engaged in PhD studies at Ardhi and the National University of Science & Technology respectively, are recipients of the scholarships. Their cost depends on the conditions of the universities.

“The programme, which will start by the 2016/2017 academic year and last for a maximum of two years, is fully funded by (NELGA),” said Thomas Silberhorn, Germany’s Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation & Development, after launching the scholarship programme.

Students who have been awarded scholarships, are expected to have expert influence on land policy issues and the creation of effective land tenure systems in Africa upon completion of their studies, he said.

Bahir Dar University President, Baylie Damtie (PhD), addressing participants at the launching ceremony at Radisson Blu Hotel last week, said that land administration is being strangled with lack of good governance.

“About 80pc of the court cases is on the land,” he said, adding that land governance specialization would help decrease land related conflicts. “Whatever land policy the country has, expert knowledge will be vital in helping the government resolve land related problems,” he concluded.

Published on Apr 26,2016 [ Vol 16 ,No 834]



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