Press & MediaWhat’s New

Apr 10 2024

Staff Spotlight: Jossam Potel

Jossam Potel is Landesa’s Sr. Land Tenure Specialist based in Kigali, Rwanda. Jossam started working for Landesa in 2022.

What brought you to Landesa?

For the past 18 years, I have immersed myself in various facets of the land sector, transitioning from roles in the public sector to academia and research institutions. Throughout this journey, I’ve witnessed firsthand the challenges individuals face in accessing land and asserting their rights. When the chance arose to join Landesa, I saw it as an invaluable opportunity because when you look at the vision and mission of Landesa, it answers all the unanswered questions I had regarding achieving responsible land governance not only in Rwanda but also in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, joining Landesa is an opportunity that will allows me not only to enhance the skills of land administration and governance professionals through capacity building but also to advocate passionately for the rights of vulnerable people, especially women and smallholder farmers.

What inspires your work?

The inspiration behind my work for Landesa stems from witnessing Landesa’s dedication to a future where every individual reliant on land for sustenance enjoys secure, lawful land rights. Its vision serves as a potent means of uplifting individuals, families, and communities out of poverty. In my role at Landesa, I am continually motivated by the mission to secure land rights for poor people. Having seen the struggles of impoverished families, women, and smallholder farmers in claiming their rightful land, and recognizing how crucial land is to their livelihoods, fuels my determination. I therefore find inspiration in the opportunity to confront the challenges faced by rural smallholder farmers by engaging policymakers and land professionals in the realm of land governance. The satisfaction I derive from knowing that my ideas contribute to improving the services provided to these people is deeply gratifying.

What work at Landesa makes you particularly proud?

As a senior land tenure specialist, I derive immense satisfaction from our efforts to empower rural communities, particularly rural women and smallholder farmers. Despite a legal system that does not discriminate in accessing land and securing land rights, women still face challenges rooted in patriarchal cultural norms whereby owning land doesn’t define enjoyment of the ownership as the men. Through advocacy, policy support, and community engagement, Landesa is collaborating with land governance institutions and the government for capacity building to enhance land tenure security, gender equality, and alternative dispute resolution. Our plans involve capacity building for land professionals and radio extension programs aimed at raising awareness about equal land rights and alternative dispute resolution. Thus, witnessing the potential impact of these initiatives on social cohesion and people’s livelihoods fuels my dedication to this crucial cause.

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

As a father and a husband, I always reserve time for my family. I also enjoy exploring diverse topics through reading articles, books, and engaging in online discussions in matters related to land governance, administration, and management. I also love physical exercises such as the gym and playing football. To relax and unwind, I also enjoy watching movies and football matches for entertainment.

Describe your vision for a better world.

As a senior land tenure specialist, I firmly believe that equitable access to land is crucial for a better world, especially considering its significance in the daily lives of people, particularly in African and rural contexts globally. My vision revolves around ensuring that land rights are safeguarded, thereby providing security and empowerment for all, with a special focus on marginalized communities and women’s land rights. Observing how emerging technology has been effectively utilized to tackle land rights disparities in Rwanda, I advocate for the adoption of technology, coupled with education and participatory decision-making processes, to amplify the voices of those typically sidelined in land-related discussions. By prioritizing and addressing access to land issues and fostering efficient land administration, we can create a world where every individual could thrive in harmony with the land.

Comments 2

  1. Jossam , your passion and drive for social Justice combined with enormous experience with land issues will benefit many , especially the vulnerable . Awesome work .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *