Information as a Way to Reduce Conflicts over Reseources

Madison, WI, April 29, 2002 -- The Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison (LTC), is helping the Republic of Chad and other countries in the Sahel region of Africa establish "land tenure observatories." As part of this effort, Koulassim Doumtangar, a librarian at the University of N'Djaména in Chad, has come to the Center for training.

The Sahel is the semiarid region of Africa between the Sahara to the north and the savannas to the south, and from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east. The region has suffered prolonged droughts that deplete an already meager water supply and contribute to agricultural devastation and famine. Conflicts over land and resources are on the rise in the region.

Land tenure observatories will be university-based centers of research, training, and technical assistance meant to help countries in the Sahel improve natural resource management, achieve sustainable development, and reduce conflicts. Upon completing his training, Mr. Koulassim will return to Chad to help recruit and train personnel for the library at Chad's observatory.

Working with Beverly Phillips of LTC and several other University of Wisconsin-Madison library professionals, Mr. Koulassim is being trained on the diverse services the observatories will provide researchers in the Sahel. He is finding worldwide sources of land tenure documentation, learning techniques of information management and library collection, and gathering documents that will help start the observatory's library collection. The Center will continue to assist Mr. Koulassim's efforts once he returns to Chad.

Eventually, the Center will help establish land tenure observatories for Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal. Since 1962, LTC has conducted research, training, education, and advisory programs in more than 75 countries, including 38 in Africa.

Contact LTC's visitor at kouldox@yahoo.fr with questions or comments about his research.