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Jun 07 2023

Staff Spotlight: Godfrey Massay

Godfrey Massay is Landesa’s Tanzania Program Director based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Godfrey began working for Landesa in 2017 as Landesa’s first on-the-ground employee in Africa.

What brought you to Landesa?

I had the privilege of knowing Landesa for a couple of years before I joined it. I was one of the cohorts of Visiting Professional Program in which I spent six weeks at Landesa office in Seattle in 2016. My former employer (Tanzania Natural Resource Forum) partnered with Landesa for two years to develop Tanzania Country Specific Guidebooks on Responsible Land Based Investment, the project which I lead on the side of Tanzania Natural Resource Forum. These two interventions exposed me to understanding Landesa’s work and its founders and I was inspired by their well-grounded global policy work which seeks to secure tenure for people experiencing poverty. I wanted to gain global and comparative experience to be able to advance land rights in Tanzania and Landesa was the perfect organization to join.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by our strong partnership with civil society organizations and the government in addressing land rights challenges. The collaboration with CSOs and the government has made it easier to provide timely support and interventions on different land rights issues ranging from policy advocacy, land use planning, and capacity development.

What work at Landesa makes you particularly proud?

I am particularly proud to see the Tanzania office established and running with an excellent cohesive team and that, as the first employee, I significantly contributed to that. In addition, our work on SDGs has supported the government to put in place a platform for people working on rights to convene quarterly, developed the country report of perception of land tenure security (SDG 1.4.2), and supported the Governments of Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and Rwanda to develop country reports on legal frameworks that guarantee women’s land rights (SDG 5.a.2).

Describe your vision for a better world.

I want a world where men and women have equal rights to land in practice and land tenure security. I want men and women who live in poverty to use their land productively and benefit from it to eventually come out of poverty. I want a world where my wife, my two-year-old son, and twoweekold daughter never experience any form of property rights discrimination.

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