The theme was formulated against the backdrop that Namibia is considered to have the highest house price increases in the world, and economists stress that these surges are not supported by economic fundamentals such as increasing household income. Bayer emphasised that one of the main purposes of the research is to chart the local income levels against house prices to determine the level of affordability of this basic need for Namibians.
Researchers from Switzerland’s Universities of Basel and Fribourg, Germany’s University of Freiburg, and the DLPS attended the workshop and added value to the discussions by presenting their ongoing studies. The three international universities, in close collaboration with NUST, have been conducting research projects on communal land reform in Namibia with particular focus on the northern regions.
Topics concerning the use of satellite images to detect changes in vegetation, the use of indigenous knowledge to understand qualities of soil, access to land and the impact of urbanisation, were also addressed.
”The workshop provided a useful academic platform for researchers from different countries and institutions to share their analyses on land-related issues in Namibia,” Bayer said.
Research topics identified at NUST are largely formulated in response to the demands of the relevant sectors, individual specialisations and interests and are also based on socially-relevant issues in contemporary Namibia.
The knowledge-sharing event concluded with a round-table discussion on the issues of investment in communal land, tenure security and the changing roles of land management.