News in 2023

FIG and the African Union Commission: Building Relationship on the African Continent

5TH Conference on Land Policy in Africa and FIG Africa Regional Network

20-24 November 2023, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

FIG President Diane Dumashie attended the Africa Union Commission (AUC) 5th Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) at the Africa Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and at the invitation of FIG Africa Regional Network Chair Surv M.M Kabir was invited to attend the ARN first High Level Forum held also at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa. 

The Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) is organised biennially by the African Land Policy Centre, a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Ethiopian government  co-hosted the meeting.

The CLPA has proved to be a major policy dialogue, information sharing and learning event, thereby contributing to the implementation of the AU Agenda on Land. The overall goal of the CLPA is to deepen capacity for land policy development, implementation and monitoring with a specific focus on emerging issues and AU commitments in the land sector. 

At each event, the dialogue foster improved networking, partnerships and resources for land governance and land policy in Africa. Theses events sees participants from government, academia, research, traditional authorities and other non-state actors, the private sector, and development partners.  This year the event was partially in a hybrid format, combining virtual sessions and physical participation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Taking place on the CLPA platform President Dumashie engaged to

Each is highlighted below

1. Building relationships AUC

It was a pleasure to meet again, Dr. Janet Edeme Head, Rural Economy Division in the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC/DREA).  Discussions were held about the upcoming FIG Working week in Accra (2024) given that there is alignment with FIG conference theme and the DREA because this department is responsible for promoting sustainable rural development through agriculture and the improvement of food security across the African continent. 

Further a testimony to many years of our engagement it was an honour that at the invitation of Mansur Kabir, she was able to be impactful involved in the ARN HLFM.  Moreover that the ARN members are keen to promote the AU Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want”.  Noting that this agenda is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development.

Group Photo J Edeme 5th from right, next M M Kabir, next D Dumashie

2. ARN High Level Forum 19th to 23rd November

Chair FIG ARN M. M Kabir, organised and launched the first High-Level Forum Meeting (HLFM) of Presidents of African Land Professional Associations and other stakeholders engaged in geospatial information management in Africa was convened as a pre-event to the CLPA.

FIG colleagues arriving at AUC HQ in Addis Ababa

ARN High Level Forum banner

Nigeria Presidents, Director General

This milestone meeting is important on a number of levels. Foremost it was a ‘call for action’ to all African FIG presidents to be involved in the furtherance of the network, and second by placing it as  a pre-event to the main CLPA conference contributed to the relationship building between FIG and the AUC. 

The HLFM is convened to address capacity development challenges facing Africa land professionals in their tasks of ensuring that land information in Africa is not only comprehensive, timely and integrated, but also demand driven and delivered in a form and manner that it can be used in making decisions and channelling effort at all levels of African societies. This objective supports the Africa Union towards attainment of Africa Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want.

The HLFM attracted over 50 people in the room including Presidents of Africa member associations of which many of them are FIG members, policy making institutions on land matters in Africa, relevant Professionals from across all disciplines, experts from the wider CLPA community (e.g. statisticians). Importantly this included industry, specifically FIG platinum corporate member Leica and FIG corporate member Topcon who both sponsored the event.

The First HLFM had a packed agenda over 3 days and organized in four sessions:

High Level Forum: Panel of African Member Professional Association Presidents

Closing ceremony ARN HLF left to right, J Edeme, KK Mansur, S Darko, Stephen Djaba

See the full Africa Regional Network First High-Level Meeting report

3. Conference: Africa Union CLPA 21- 24th November 2023

This was the fifth Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) and linking to the AUC 2023 focus, the conference theme: “Promoting Sustainable Land Governance in Africa for Accelerating Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) ”. 

The relevance of the theme to land governance was clearly articulated over the days.  Above all inclusive land governance is critical for the achievement of the AfCTA objective because these objectives can only  happen if land governance processes that provide equally secure land tenure rights and that enhance economic development while safeguarding the environment are in place.

Notwithstanding, there are existing barriers to entry for many, so although AfCFTA seeks to ensure inclusivity of women and youth constraints limit their participation along with other vulnerable groups who are operating in the informal and formal sectors. Further, the point is made that to promote fully functioning land market, land oriented services and professions, including surveyors, real estate property valuers among other land administrators, would require free movement and cross border mutual recognition of certifications and the unlocking of land assets.


Picture Left: Nelson Mandela Hall.   Right: Master of Ceremony J Edeme

The CLPA opening addresses held in the Nelson Mandela Hall was moderated by Dr Janet Edeme.  Interestingly underpinning the outreach of FIG’s network, the speeches were from organisations that the FIG community is well acquainted, including: the AUC; Ugandan Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development ; and the Ambassador of Sweden (Full list of representatives can be found at the end of this text)

A key conclusion of the CLPA was the launch of the African Union Land Governance Strategy (AULGS). The strategy is aimed at 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. AULGS 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.

Due to the efforts of FIG ARN Chair, the AULGS importantly recognises and lists FIG-ARN as partner and key stakeholder to Agenda 2063, thereby underscoring the ongoing relationship.

3.1 FIG Achieving visibility

The CLPA agenda was deliberated across three days in plenaries and sessions. To enhance the benefits  and significance of surveying, FIG President and active FIG members promoted the Profession’s relevance in a number of ways

UN Habitat / GLTN long standing collaboration with several governments drew on three panellists from partner governments (picture  below).  After insightful panel presentations and detailed Q&A the participants have an enhanced understanding of the innovative pragmatic and inclusive practices of rights along the continuum of land rights AND  have an increased awareness and appreciation of the benefits of investing in national land data infrastructure.

On the FIG key pillar of Climate:

Picture left Marisa Balas.  Right Side Event, Climate Resilient Land Use Planning

To continue to tackle the global challenges, FIG partnership with international and multi-lateral agencies and bodies remains important to the FIG membership, as demonstrated at this eventful event.  The presence and involvement of FIG and its members truly does enhance the significance of surveying, to promote the Profession’s relevance and extend the usefulness of surveying for the benefit of society, environment and economy.

Above all this is further leveraged by the incredible, valuable and ongoing work of the FIG Chairs of each of FIG Regional Capacity Development Networks.

Further information

C 21-A: Opening Ceremony 21st November MC - Full list of representatives:




FIG President Diane A. Dumashie, FRICS
December 2023

©2024 FIG