Recently reviewed and developed undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Land Resources Planning and Management, the first of a kind to be offered in Africa, will be offered by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) starting next year.
The unique courses, to be availed after a need assessment study by the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), a department in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are being introduced as a result of societal need and demand as well as filling in the gap brought about by the myriad of challenges facing people in Africa on land issues.
According to the just concluded week-long Curricula Development and Review Workshop: Sensitization and Drafting (November 29 – December 3, 2021), held in Naivasha, the programmes which will address the emotive, and thorny issues concerning land will be offered through face to face and sensitization workshops.
The courses will be offered at bachelors, masters and doctorate levels. Further, two-week-long refresher certificate short courses for land professionals and insights to professionals in National and County Governments in Land Governance, and Land Acquisition and Resettlement have also been completed.
Chairman, JKUAT’s Department of Land Resource Planning and Management, Dr. Clifford Obiero, says, the short courses will help in sensitizing parliamentarians and other cadres of players in the land sector.
The reviewed and developed programmes are: BSc Land Resources Planning and Management, MSc Land Management, MSc Soil Science as well as a postgraduate diploma and PhD in Land Resources Planning and Management. The short certificate courses to be offered are in Land Acquisition and Land Governance.
Speaking when he opened the workshop, JKUAT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua said the University has continued to be a pace setter in training in the region because the academic programmes it offered to the public spoke to the learners.
The unique programmes it availed to the public, he pointed out, was always in response to the society’s needs and requirements.
“When we realized the country was lagging behind in Marine training, we developed a curriculum some institutions thought would not be discharged from Juja because the University was far away from the ocean. Today, after a good number of institutions realized the move was a success story, have followed suit,” he told the participants.
The same, he further pointed out, was true about the degree in Medical Laboratory, when it was introduced by the University, among other courses.
Prof. Kinyua appreciated ALPC for sponsoring the workshop whose outcome, he said, would help mitigate some of the challenges people face on land resources planning and management issues.
Speaking during the workshop, Dr. Joan Kagwanja, ALPC’s Chief, Agricultural and Business Enabling Environment Section, and Coordinator, African Land Policy Centre (UNECA) lauded JKUAT as a model university whose staff‘s commitment was overwhelming.
She said JKUAT had become quite marketable in the region because of its practical approach to training, and pledged to enhance the relationship stating that her organization was pleased by the outcome of the workshop.
“We must always ensure that our curriculum is versatile to include all aspects that attract the youth,” she advised.
In his remarks, the Director, Land Development and Governance Institute, Mr. Ibrahim Mwathane lauded JKUAT as ALPC’s earliest partner in Africa to review its existing curricula and developing new courses in land governance. He hailed the University’s flexibility in embracing such opportunities compared to other institutions in the region.
Principal, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (COANRE). Prof. David Mburu said the programmes idea was hatched in 2008 and he was now happy that there was full realization of the curriculum.
The workshop, organized by ALPC, GIZ and JKUAT, sought to review and develop the Curricular for the Land Resource Planning and Management programme at BSC, MSc and PhD level. Bringing in facilitators and experts from other Universities, such as; Masaai Mara, Kenyatta University, National University of Rwanda and Ardhi University in Tanzania and Commission of University Education, the workshop also engaged in developing a short course on Land Governance.
Other experts included those from the Kenya Institute of Planners, TVETA, the African Agribusiness Incubators Network, Ministry of Lands, and the Agriculture Society of Kenya.