The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the World Bank have signed a Declaration of Intent to establish a Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA).
13 July 2015: The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the World Bank have signed a Declaration of Intent to establish a Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA).
NELGA aims to bring together leading African academic and research institutions and liaise with civil society, private sector, land sector practitioners, and decision makers to address gaps in training, statistics and research on land governance. It will include a scholarship program implemented by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) that aims to create new training and research opportunities for African land practitioners and researchers.
During the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ECA Deputy Executive-Secretary Giovanie Biha noted that the new partnership is in line with ECA’s strategy to promote partnerships with development partners to generate knowledge, underpinned by robust statistics, and to enhance dissemination of findings and best practices for enhanced land policy development.
The German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, welcomed the NELGA initiative, noting that enhancing the capacity of decision makers to develop a fair, transparent and development oriented land policy in a participatory way “will be an important contribution for food security and growth in the agricultural sectors, especially for smallholders.”
World Bank Vice President, Joachim von Amsberg, observed that improving land governance is a “smart development investment,” adding that by contributing to improved analytical capacity, monitoring, policy dialogue and integration of land governance in country strategies, NELGA “will help unlock much larger investments for operations towards strengthening land governance.”
NELGA aims to secure land rights across Africa by complementing and supporting the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a tripartite partnership of the African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and ECA. It will further support the African Union’s Agenda on Land, in particular, the use of the ‘Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa’ and the ‘Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security’ (VGGT). [Joint ECA/BMZ/World Bank Press Release]