News in 2023

FIG First High-Level Forum Meeting of Presidents of Land Professional Associations in Africa

20-24 November 2023, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Group photo of some of the delegates to the FIG-ARN first HLFM at the African Union Commission Headquarters

The International Federation of Surveyors-Africa Regional Network (FIG-ARN) convened the first High-level Forum Meeting of Presidents of Land Professional Associations in Africa from 20-24 November 2023. The meeting which took place in the prestigious Nelson Mandela Hall of the African Union Headquarters was organized as part of the activities of the 5th Conference on Land Policy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The President of the International Federation of Surveyors, Dr. Diane Dumashie, and the Head of Rural Development Division/Ag. Head Agriculture and Food Security Division African Union Commission, Dr. Janet Edeme were part of the more than 70 high profile delegates from all regions across the Africa and beyond that attended the meeting.

The HLFM marked the first-time presidents of land professional associations in Africa and other stakeholders met at a round table to discuss the input of land professionals in promoting to the growth and development of African continent and to fashion-out solutions to the challenges they face in making effective and timely contributions to land management in Africa. The sessions witnessed high level deliberations by African land professionals from diverse fields including estate surveying, town planning. land surveying, land economy, and quantity surveying. GIS experts, academic members, captains of the industry, traditional rulers, women and youth groups, NGOs and advocates for pro-poor, and gender responsive land governance such as S4HL and Landesa were also well represented in the meeting. While welcoming the delegates and participants to the meeting, the Chairperson of FIG-ARN explained the raison d,etre of the meeting. He noted that African continent is blessed with abundant natural and mineral endowments and resourceful persons to enable it attain the African agenda 2063. He called on land professionals in Africa to upscale their capacity, synergize among themselves and look inwards to make more effective contributions to the actualization of the Africa we Want. While delivering their keynote addresses Dr. Diane Dumashie briefly run through the history of the FIG-Africa Regional Network. She explained the vision and mission of the FIG and the international recognitions the Federation received in its services to the planet and people for promoting global peace and prosperity. Dr. Edeme on the other hand underscored the indispensable roles of the land professionals in the implementation of Africa flagship projects and the Agenda 2063. She called on more synergy, cooperation and capacity development and for the professionals to increase their input for sustainable growth and development of Africa.

Series of technical, panel and syndicate sessions were held during the HLFM. The papers mainly centered on the contributions required from African land professionals for the implementation of key goals and flagship projects of the of Africa Union Agenda 2063. The meeting deliberated on ways forward for the enhancement of women’s land rights across Africa through effective partnership and synergy by all stakeholders. The role of land professionals in promoting good land governance and implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement was also examined in line with the theme of the 5th CLPA. In all cases appropriate recommendations and implementation strategies were proffered to enable the African land professional associations effectively contribute to the timely actualisation of the Africa we Want. Some of the recommendations included the requirement for support to the FIG-ARN to upscale its capacity development projects, to promote networking and coordination among land professional associations in Africa, improve communication and partnership among key stakeholders, and to invest in efforts at making geospatial data available to all African society in a form and manner it can be used in making decisions at minimal costs and efforts. The need for the FIG-ARN to commit resources in creating awareness and advocacy for good land governance, promotion of pro-poor and gender responsive land policies and adoption of fit-for-purpose approach to land administration at all levels of governance in the continent were underscored as key to actualization of peace, security and prosperity across the continent.

Dr. Diane Dumashie (left) and Dr. Janet Edeme (right) delivering their contributions at the first HLFM

FIG-ARN creates interim committee of presidents of land professional associations in Africa, tasks them with responsibilities

The HLFM resolved to create an interim committee of presidents of land professional associations in Africa to drive the implementation of some of the key recommendations arrived at during the first high-level forum meeting and the 5th CLPA. The committee was charged with the responsibilities of building structures, identifying persons, and mobilizing resources to be deployed in taskforces that would work to

  • increase the engagement and raise the visibility of African land professionals in execution of development projects at regional, country and local level across Africa
  • create awareness and promote the implementation of African Union Land Governance Strategy
  • develop FIG-ARN Vision 2033 - a ten-year commitment to increase the number and capacity of African land professionals for the actualisation of a spatially enabled, data driven, regionally integrated, peaceful, and prosperous Africa
  • develop a blueprint for African land professional Charter – to engender reciprocal recognition of qualification, foster common standards in curricula, promote training exchange program, and streamline the activities of member associations across the continent, and
  • promote engagement and communication across the diverse regional, sectional and linguistic divides in land professional associations in the continent

Group and cross-sectional photo of presidents of land professional associations in Africa at the first HLFM

FIG-ARN honors the President of FIG and the Head of RDD, AUC at first HLFM Dinner

The HLFM rounded its key activities with a dinner organized in honor of the President of the FIG Dr. Diane Dumashie and the Head of RDD of the African Union Commission Dr. Janet Edeme. The event was in recognition of their long-term excellent and distinguished services to the FIG-ARN. The dinner attracted distinguished presidents of land professional associations in Africa, high-profile individuals, delegates, corporate members and other stakeholders. The event was organized by the Network and was ably supported by Leica and Topcon Incorporations.

Selected photos of HLFM dinner, lunch, and awards presentations

FIG-ARN extends outreach, seeks collaborates with key partners

In furtherance to its efforts at making land professional services in Africa demand driven, the Network undertook an outreach and working visits to some key institutions and embassies in Addis Ababa. FIG-ARN sought for collaboration in areas of capacity development, engagement and communication. Recognizing that geospatial intelligence is the basic foundation for peace and security upon which African Union aspirations for sustainable development are anchored, the Network paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the AU Committee on Intelligence and Security Services (CISSA). The Network discussed areas of collaboration between African land professional associations and the Agency particularly on provision of timely, accurate, and integrated geospatial intelligence services to support the activities of CISSA. Other areas explored include the operationalization of African Human Security Index (AHSI), African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and the African Continental Early Warning System (CEWS). FIG-ARN is developing frameworks for African land professionals to actively partake in the AU flagship project for silencing the guns in the continent.

Amb. Zainab Ali, the Executive Secretary of CISSA being flanked by members of the HLFM steering committee during a working visit to her office

African Union Commission launches the African Union Land Governance Strategy, recognizes and lists FIG-ARN as partner and key stakeholder

Part of the activities that marked the 5th Conference on Land Policy in Africa was the launching of the African Union Land Governance Strategy (AULGS). The strategy is aimed at refocusing and mainstreaming African land governance issues and promoting synergy among different land-related institutions and departments in the AUC. The initiative has committed to support member states in promoting tenure security, improving country-level land administration systems and establishment of frameworks for rendering progress reports to the Commission. Monitoring structures and mechanisms will be created and deployed to ensure that African member states abide by their commitments to the AU agenda on land. AUGLS was developed by the AU Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE) in collaboration with the German government and supported by the GIZ and the African Land Policy Center. The Initiative was launched by H.E Mr. Stephan Auer, the Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union. He was ably supported by Dr. Janet Edeme and representatives from Intergovernmental Authority on Development; International Land Coalition; African traditional leaders; cooperating partners; and the FIG-ARN.

In making remarks during the launching, the Chairperson of FIG-ARN, Mohammed Mamman Kabir, mni, noted that AULGS requires thorough-bred land professionals who are equipped with the capacity to implement, monitor, evaluate, and propagate the AU agenda on land across the African continent. In her address to mark the commencement of AULGS, Dr. Edeme noted that DARBE has taken due cognizance of the contributions of the FIG-ARN in developing capacity of African land professionals and promoting good land governance and therefore listed the Network as a key stakeholder and partner in the implementation of AULGS

FIG-ARN among other key partners who flagged-off the African Union Land Governance Strategy in the Multipurpose Hall of the AUC


Further information


Mohammed Mansur Kabir
December 2023