FIG Africa Capacity Development Network


Original work plan in .pdf-format


Under the FIG term 2009-14 the ATF was asked to deliver a clear direction for African members Associations to actively increase their presence in FIG, and raise the profile of both African land professionals as well as the wider FIG land community on the international stage.

The FIG Africa Task Force was asked and did successfully deliver its mandate.  It was established to address the challenges that sub- Saharan African FIG Member Associations face in addressing their capacity issues specifically emphasised the importance of good land governance and the role of the African Surveying Profession in contributing to meeting the key challenges of poverty alleviation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

The ATF achieved this mandate, guided through participatory workshops the African Land Professional community considered, presented new and creative tools to revitalise and strengthen members and their organisations within Sub Saharan Africa. The focus has been  be on building the capacity of the surveying organisations and individual surveyors to act as agents of positive change and encourage the process of development and growth for the benefit of Africa and its people.  Importantly, for a task force, there was unprecedented engagement over 4 years, it involved a significant number of professionals drawn from across the continent, with over 140 attendees from 12 Member Associations, in addition to Academic and Corporate Members- the outreach was wide both across the continent and also at four FIG annual working weeks roundtables, two FIG Congress’ and Key pan-African communication platforms (including AU). 

Driven by this significant momentum a strong African network has been created and traction for more to be done has begun to take hold, notably, the participants have increasingly become more engaged within the FIG community, and taken on key roles of leadership.   

The next step is this for land professional’s African regional network to actually engage with the key drivers and challenges that the continent faces with land governance institutions, and it is proposed a further platform is required to support them to achieve this in the African region. Importantly, such a regional network may be adopted by other regions. Supported by an appropriate business case agreed to be agreed at FIG Council, the overarching mandate of each region will be “to develop workshops to build the capacity of land professionals to enable them to effectively embrace current global trends in their respective region”


Due to the success, it is considered that this approach could be rolled out across the Regions, if additional funding could be secured.  Given the previous 4 year lead in time, the African region will lead this new initiative, building upon the clear direction emerging from the ATF (2009-14) and from these deliberations it is proposed to continue the philosophical and methodological approach of the Africa Task Force in the wider sense as the Regional Capacity development Network, and led by the Region.  Such a further 4 year term platform has the following advantages:

  • The concept can readily be seen as a template and adopted by Land professional’s groupings in other World Regions.
  • It becomes an identifiable entity in the minds of public and civic institutions and can more clearly be engaged
  • It will deliver a high profile activity that contributes to the FIG corporate brand by maintaining meaningful links into strategic donor partner’s work activities and their associated international African Regional mandates
  • It should aim to continue and increase the presence and involvement of the Young Surveyors, drawing upon the Young Surveyors Network as key partners

The next four years is the period for consolidating what has been achieved, and for the partner member associations to take on the responsibility to continue, and to engage with regional and international organisations. It is a critical step to build upon the originating mandate that land professionals must act as change agents and to engage at high levels.

Ultimately, the Task Force activity should be seen as a capacity development process, the intention was to build capacity, and indeed this has occurred as outlined (see ATF publication #63), and has resolved a consensual view and clearly articulated recommendations providing a focused way forward for the ATF Vision 2030, that,

By 2030 Africa land professionals will provide global thought leadership and promote professional leadership qualities amongst its members and within their Associations.

The co- leadership will be agreed a the FIG working week in Sofia, Bulgaria by way of nominations, the chair is to maintain development of the program over the term, in partnership with three separate champions (for each theme).

It is therefore recommended that the work of Task Force continues as a Network that enables capacity development for land professionals within the Terms of Reference (TOR’s). In the following section 3 to 6, these TORs broadly outline a focus, themes, a work program and outcomes that will make a difference.


ATF is a robust platform but one that needs to evolve.  In short, the Africa Task Force process of participatory capacity development has enthused the workshop participants and enabled them to facilitate the process of further empowering the surveying profession in Sub-Sahara Africa to cope with their professional and social responsibilities, so much so the momentum to continue the work is significant.  It is important that such momentum does not reinvent the wheel.

A clear direction emerged from the ATF and from these deliberations key recommendations have been devised that could easily apply to any world region.  The focus in Africa is to continue the network and so mandated to build members and their associations capacity to engage and interface at all institutional political levels including the African Union oversight level to grassroots community involvement.

The recommendations resolved that land professionals in Sub-Saharan Arica should build upon the previous ATF to continue now to apply their collective knowledge and build their capacity to address the emerging UN Post-2015 agenda that will supersede the current UN Millennium Development Goals that are in place over the period (2000- 2015).

It is imperative that Land Professionals across the world remain engaged in initiatives that will enable them to make a difference. Renewed commitment to continuing this initiative is crucial. For the first time, through the post 2015 development goals, targets specifically relating to land and societal development will be drafted; thus providing an excellent opportunity to optimise and continue the Task Force deliberations in Africa encapsulated in the Vision.


The ATF Roundtable held in KL June 2014, agreed that the next step should be a platform that has a mainstreaming strategy to ensure that our strategic stakeholder groups are fully involved. These include Young Professionals, Franco-phone land professionals as well as the main cohort of Membership Associations to ensure diversity in our audience. Such diversity will provide a lead champion each year.

Drawing from and adopting the recommended approaches identified by the Task Force members, (see ATF Publication #63) the network will work towards gaining support in its outputs by actively Communicating to influence, purposefully Collaborating, and in so doing building Connectivity to ensure that skills are developed that will reach out to all stakeholder’s community networks

The Network envisages a number of outreach events to be organised and subsequent discussion at the FIG Regional/ Working Weeks.  The events include but are not necessarily limited to “giving a voice” to themes around the Land professionals contributing to

Youth and Diversity in an equitable economy that will address the post 2015 MDGs (2015/16), Good Land Governance and alliance to FAO/VGGTs and AU Guidelines (2016/17), Large Scale Land Based Investments OR other (2017/18).

Each themed event will be championed by three nominated co- eads, one for each year, and it is proposed to open discussion with FIG key stakeholders, specifically FGF and YSN who in turn will work with a Member Association/ Academic to deliver the proposed event. A network chair will ensure continuity over the term, and be responsible to steer delivery, for the overall coordination and available

Finally, all activity will link back to integrating cross-cutting themes into the activities and projects at key stages of the term, and be monitored and evaluated at the mid-term point.


With this aim, the Network, during its first meeting at the FIG Working Week (Sofia, Bulgaria) will agree on a working programme aiming to meet eight times before submitting its recommendations.

  • 2015 – Inaugural meeting, agree themes and leadership – Sofia.
  • 2015 - Regional – Youth and Diversity in Land Professionals and MDGs +2015 agenda
  • 2016 – Open forum discussion – New Zealand.
  • 2016 - Regional: Good land governance assessing the VGGTs
  • 2017 – Open forum discussion – Finland.
  • 2017 - Regional – tbc (possibly Large Scale Land Based Investments), and
  • 2017 – Regional discussion to pulling together.
  • 2018 – Open Forum discussion and final agreement – Turkey.
  • 2018 – Submission of report.


In its final report the Network will present a new look at how Professionals will continue to support Africa’s own efforts to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow including the on the one hand recognition of Africa’s diversity, and on the other working towards fulfilling the Global challenges (+2015 MDG a VGGT’s).

The report will contain recommendations on how to promote ownership of the emerging African network and if this process can articulate an approach for other Regions to follow.

In drawing up its conclusions, the network force will build on linkages with strategic allies across the continent including education and professional networks, a continuous dialogue with high level African and international experts and drawing upon the development of frameworks and principles embodied in existing and new FIG declarations, codes of conduct etc).

When the conclusions have been presented, they will contribute to the framework for FIG development co-operation with Africa in the years to come.

Participants will be drawn from young surveyors network and the strong existing network across Africa as listed in ATF previous publications (ATF 2009- 14 publication #63)

Above all, the Network will provide an adaptive template for land professional’s regional groupings to pursue their own Regional agendas to support Land professionals in their quest to become influential agents of change.


Chair: FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie

Members: to be decided