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Transforming Career Prospects and Opportunities in Namibia

Photo by Sergi Ferrete on Unsplash

WLRI’s focus on women and collective land guided alumna Tigisty Maswahu to explore new ways to pursue her interest in land rights

Tigisty Masawahu came to WLRI’s Foundations 101 course with extensive experience in land valuation and assessment. “I have been working as a property valuer for the government of Namibia, and was recently promoted to the Chief Valuer with the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement,” she said. “In my former role, I was responsible for the valuation of all government-owned properties and enterprises, as well as compensation of communities who had to move in the cases where land is required for public interest.”

While Ms. Masawahu holds a Master’s degree in spatial sciences and a Bachelor’s in property studies and valuation, her training didn’t delve deeply into topics concerning gender equity. “When I read about the course with WLRI, I decided that, because I work on land reform, I should expand my knowledge of all land reform issues,” she explained. “Specifically, I wanted to gain a better understanding of issues such as the equal distribution of land, gender equity in distribution, and strategies to equalize historic imbalances.”

The most helpful aspect of the course for Ms. Maswahu was in terms of her own professional development. “First, it enabled me to refresh my knowledge of several areas and topics that I regularly work in,” she noted. “But it also afforded me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of issues around registration and administration challenges, as well as provided guidance on how to best advocate for gender equity regarding land rights. It renewed my focus on empowerment.”

The course content and microcredential expanded Ms. Maswahu’s career prospects, as well. “Before I took the course, I had applied for an open position as a lecturer in land administration, but never heard back from the university,” she recalled. “Afterwards, I reapplied and attached my course certificate – and I received a call back for an interview! Not only was I shortlisted for the position, but the course enabled me to provide more comprehensive answers to questions during the interview, specifically as they related to land administration. The course with WLRI really gave me the opportunity to build on my foundational knowledge, expanding it to address the specific needs related to gender equity within land rights.”

In the future, Ms. Maswahu hopes to transition into focusing more on land administration, and specifically in how it relates to women’s rights in Namibia. “Ideally, I’d like to work on land registration and investment in rural areas, especially in regard to whether or not registering communal land has a positive relationship with productivity, investment, and women’s land tenure security,” she explained. “In the course, the most beneficial topics we explored included how to increase investment and productivity in rural areas, considerations regarding collective land tenure, and issues related to compensation of land during public expansion. I have a deep interest in ensuring that equitable land rights are secured for previously disadvantaged farmers, and I’m excited to have the opportunity in the future to build upon what I learned at WLRI and facilitate more gender equity in land and resource rights in Namibia.”

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