Participants at the training programme included top civil servants, civil society leaders (including a customary tenure chief), a private sector representative and academics.
Officially opening the meeting Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines Adjei-Yeboah, said, “For us in Ghana, the issue of transparency in land administration has taken centre stage in our development endeavour.”
Apart from UN-HABITAT and KUNST, the planning and organization of the training also resulted in the forging partnerships with Ardhi University of Tanzania, Polytechnic of Namibia, College of Architecture and Planning, KNUST, of Ghana and ENDA of Senegal.
The training, which focused on transparency, attracted 30 participants, including 11 women, from Ghana, Nigeria Sierra Leone and Liberia. Participants who are ‘upstream change agents’ included top civil servants, civil society leaders, a customary tenure chief, a private sector representative and academics.
Substantive sessions organized around the following themes were delivered by ITC and UN-HABITAT experts: Land and governance; Understanding and Assessing Transparency in Land Administration; Access to Information and Public Participation; Professional Ethics and Integrity; Institutional and Organizational Reforms. The first theme situated the transparency agenda in widely held concepts and principles of land governance and the four subsequent sessions introduced tools to assess and address corruption in land administration.
The training program concluded with a closing speech by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of KNUST who appreciated the relevance of the training agenda and highlighted the benefits that transparency can unleash to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of land administration across Africa.
Building on lessons learned from the experience in Ghana, the training will be rolled out further in 2008 to Tanzania, Namibia and Senegal to reach stakeholders in Eastern, Southern and Francophone West Africa regions.