The University of Nairobi is one of the institutions supported by the World Bank financing through HoAGDP in an effort for further deepening of institutional and policy reforms to consolidate the positive gains achieved from previous Bank support and addressing emerging capacity and human capital enhancement needs.
The Government of the Republic of Kenya has received financing from the International Development Association (IDA) towards the cost of the Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project.
Part of the financing will also involve the upgrading of Isiolo-Modogashe and Wajir-Elwak road sections; laying a fiber optic cable along the entire Isiolo-Mandera road corridor; construction of two major river bridges across the Dawa river on the common border of Kenya and Ethiopia; construction of border posts at Rhamu and Mandera and provision of socio-economic infrastructure and services at selected locations for the benefit of the communities in the project area.
The University of Nairobi is one of the institutions supported by the World Bank financing through HoAGDP in an effort for further deepening of institutional and policy reforms to consolidate the positive gains achieved from previous Bank support and addressing emerging capacity and human capital enhancement needs. This is critical because of the need of ensuring the sustainability of the investments made in the last 15 years. Currently, Kenya and the East African region has a dearth of knowledge and experience in the professional and technical processes in policy formulation, planning and management of risks associated with land acquisition and resettlement as witnessed on most projects including those financed by the Bank.
This is the gap that this partnership seeks to address. Through this collaborative approach, the Centre for Land Acquisition and Resettlement Studies (CELARS) has been established at the University of Nairobi with support under the project. This is to ensure that the country has capacity to train personnel in handling social risks in projects in a sustainable manner.
Benchmarking trips have been made to India and China by the trainers from the University of Nairobi leading to the development of the curriculum for short courses. Since 2018, CELARS has been offering the National Course on Land Acquisition and Resettlement Management. This is a short post-graduate level course offered over a two-week period. It is targeted at professionals working on large-scale development projects that require land acquisition and likely to displace communities.
The training takes a highly participatory approach with strong links to industry. The course has been offered twice a year for the past three years. In the coming years the center will admit students at postgraduate levels. The center will focus on social sustainability of project and thus in the effective management of social risks emerging around projects.
Currently, CELARS is the only one in the African Region that offers this course. Thus, while this course has been offered to Kenyan professionals, the objective is to roll it out throughout Africa, given that countries in the region are developing and are implementing large-scale development projects.
The objectives of the center are to:
1) Develop practice-oriented training programs in land acquisition and resettlement that respond to the needs of the Kenyan context that contribute to effective resettlement planning, implementation, and monitoring.
2) Promote and support practice-oriented research activities focused on the most relevant social problems and issues in Kenya, and that contribute to deriving lessons from experience that inform improvements to land acquisition and resettlement law, procedure, and practice, and other related social sustainability issues.
3) Link academia and industry by providing training on managing social risks in projects.
4) Infrastructure development for CELARS.
The HoAGDP is supporting the CELARS with over 7 million dollars. The support to the center has several activities as follows.
Capacity Analysis and Curriculum Development - USD 240,000
Project Works (Design, Construction works, and Contract Management) - USD 5,870,000
Supply of Goods: IT Equipment and Vehicles - USD 500,000
CELARS Capacity Building Workshops, Publications, and Curriculum - USD 390,000
The University of Nairobi is committed to working with KeNHA, the implementing agency to deliver these activities in time. For this reason, in August 2021 the Vice-Chancellor seconded technical staff including architects, quantity surveyors, engineers and planners to support in the completion of required procurement documents.
The university has provided space and facilities for CELARS to continually offer services while construction continues. Therefore, the CELARS short courses to support government projects will continue unabated.