Professor John T. Bugri, Professor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST), urged grandaunts of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) short course to be resilient problem solvers.
The week long short course: “The Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa”, was attended by 41 students selected from 16 West African countries under the accreditation of the University of Western Cape (UWC), South Africa in collaboration with KNUST, Ghana.
The graduation ceremony was held in Accra on Friday after the first two which were held in South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania.
He said every little solution counted and that they were likely to be confronted with daunting and seemingly insurmountable challenges especially in the political realm but should apply the knowledge they had acquired from the course to bring changes in their respective countries.
Prof Bugri advised them to remain disciplined as they had been through the course for it was a prerequisite for success in all ventures of life, much more their respective work organisations.
He said the partnership and successful graduation of the 3rd badge of the programme was a manifestation of the Universities Core Values “leadership in innovation and technology, culture of excellence, diversity and equal opportunity for all and stewardship of resources.
He said this was an important step towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals to which land and natural resources had direct or indirect contributions.
He commended the German Development Cooperation and the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) Ethiopia, for the needed financial resources to leverage on the formation of NELGA and providing the platform for the realization of the concept.
Professor Ruth Hall, Professor from Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies PLAAS, UWC, South Africa, said that some of the topics covered in the course included precolonial and colonial histories of land in Africa and the land tenure systems it produced best practices
in land policy and land law in Africa, Land Administration, Land Corruption and land based conflict, women’s land rights, and natural resource assess and management.
She said the course introduced participants to Africa and Global land policy guidelines and explore how policy makers have and can draw such frame works to craft more robust land policy in support of broad based development in Africa.
Professor Moenieba Isaacs, Professor from Institute (PLAAS), UWC, South Africa, said that participants of the course were selected from the academia, civil society, governance and business out of 2000 applicants.
She said the grandaunts were equipped with the ability to address challenges been faced in the social, economic and political dimensions of land governance and bring change in their countries where land and resources posed continual challenges.
She said they were tasked to write dissertation of 2000 words on challenges on land governance, they also took a field trip to the Keta Lagoon as a case study of where land governance and resource could be improved.
She said student were required to submit a site report after the trip on challenges they observed and possible solutions.
Professor Isaacs said students were finally made to give presentations on how they were going to implement what they had studied over the week to impact their various communities, countries and Africa at Large.
Other professors who facilitated the course were Professors Dzodzi Tsikata and Kojo Amanor of the Institute of African Studies, Mamadou Goita of the University of Bamako in Mali and Dr. Yao Graham from the Third World Network, Ghana.