The Africa Task Force



Dr. Diane A Dumashie
Chair FIG Africa Task Force


This publication as a .pdf-file (36 pages - 1.3 MB)


The aim of this publication is to present the objective and work design of the FIG Africa Task Force (ATF), identify the interlinking themes, summarise the contents and outcome of each workshop and make recommendations for the way forward. The FIG Africa Task Force was established at FIG’s 32nd General Assembly held in Eilat, May 2009. The key purpose of the Task Force was to enable the surveying profession in Sub-Saharan Africa to deal with social responsibility in terms of contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Dr. Diane Dumashie (RICS, United Kingdom) chaired the Task Force, led and organised its activities together with members of the ATF. An African member association collaborated with the Task Force to deliver the three workshops organized. In this regard, the Task Force and FIG Council are grateful for and appreciated the support provided by the three local hosts: Institution of Surveyors Kenya (ISK), University of Cape Town & South African Council of Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO) and Ghana Institution of Surveyors (GhIS).

This publication represents the results from the activities of ATF over the period 2009–2014. ATF developed a workshop manual, resulting from deliberations at workshops, roundtables and published outcomes of three workshops. These workshops addressed the challenges Sub-Saharan African FIG Member Associations face in addressing their capacity issues. In this regard, the role of the surveyors as change agents engaging with the politicians and local communities is of key importance. Each of the workshops emphasised the importance of good land governance and the role of the Sub-Saharan
African Surveying Profession in contributing towards meeting the key challenges of poverty alleviation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Our sincere gratitude to Dr. Diane Dumashie and her ATF members for the leadership and efforts in realizing the object and purpose of the Task Force. We also thanked FIG Honorary President Prof Stig Enemark, and the leaderships of ISK, PLATO and GhIS for their advice, support and contributions. Finally, we acknowledge and sincerely thank the inspiration and efforts of the participants of the workshops that ensured the success of this Task Force. The background thinking for the recommendations is a direct output of their ideas and enthusiastic and active participation. On behalf of FIG Council, our sincere thanks to all who participated, contributed, supported and encouraged the work of this Task Force.

Diane A Dumashie,  Chair, FIG Africa Task Force
CheeHai Teo, FIG President (2011–2014)

Executive Summary

The key purpose of the FIG Africa Task Force was to enable the surveying profession in Sub-Saharan Africa to deal with social responsibilities in terms of contributing to achieving the MDGs, as articulated in the Terms of Reference (Appendix A). In this regard, the role of the surveyors as change agents engaging with politicians and local communities is of key importance. This relates to the professional status of surveyors that, in turn, is based on the principles of social responsibility and justice. The task force considered and 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.

The philosophy behind the FIG Africa Task Force has been to empower leading professionals of the surveying profession in Sub-Saharan Africa to take ownership of this agenda and to act as agents of change. This objective has been pursued through a process of participatory development of various methods and tools as presented in the Workshop Manual 2010–2014 (Appendix B). Ultimately, the task force activities should be seen as a capacity development process. In this context, the FIG Africa Task Force activities and outcomes aimed to share and apply knowledge and understanding, and to enable the workshop participants to take on a role of leadership in relation to meeting the MDGs, where each workshop echoed specific MDG themes.

Within the framework of capacity development and professional ethics the task force looked at developing relevant tools in three key areas:

  • Peri-urban development – to develop tools to plan for access rights to sanitation and water infrastructure in emerging informal settlements. Workshop in Mombasa, Kenya, 2010.
  • Recruitment and involvement of young surveyors and women – concentrating on ways and means to breaking down entry barriers into the land profession, for young people and women. Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, 2011
  • Environmental resilience – to develop a response to local natural resource environmental degradation by integrating the principles of sustainable development into all stages of the building cycle process and by encouraging practices to stem the loss of environmental resources. Workshop in Elmina, Ghana, 2013.

Through the design of the workshops, the process has been participatory in order to ensure that the participants take ownership of the outcome. The programme and proceedings for each of the three workshops are available (Appendix C). For each of the three workshops the further sharing of knowledge has been pursued through a four step process:

  1. Design and delivery of participatory workshop;
  2. Development of tangible tools and outcomes
  3. Provision of report for presentation and discussion at the FIG General Assembly at the following Working Week and a full workshop report published at the FIG ATF website;
  4. Facilitating a roundtable at the FIG Working Week for discussion of the further work to develop tools within the specific theme to be included in the volume of the “ATF Workshop Manual 2010–2014”.

Following this process the task force has finally concluded by providing this publication summarising the activities of each of the three workshops, and outlining key recommendations. In short, the FIG 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-Saharan Africa to cope with their professional and social responsibilities.

From these deliberations key recommendations have been devised to propose the continuation of the philosophical and methodological approach of the FIG Africa Task Force. The task force resolves that land professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa should build upon the ATF term (2010–14) to continue 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 African land professionals 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 encapsulated in the Vision:

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

It is therefore recommended that the work of task force continues within an appropriate funded platform that enables capacity development for land professionals within three broad areas to make a difference. These broad areas or themes relate to: Communication, Collaboration and Connectivity, and are presented in more detail in section 5.

Read the full FIG Publication 63 in pdf

Copyright © The  International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) 2014., May2014
All rights reserved

International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Kalvebod Brygge 31–33
DK-1780 Copenhagen V
Tel. + 45 38 86 10 81

Published in English
Copenhagen, Denmark
ISSN 1018-6530 (printed)
ISSN 2311-8423 (pdf)
ISBN 978-87-92853-14-1 (printed)
ISBN 978-87-92853-15-8 (pdf)

Published by
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Front cover photos left: Mombasa 2010; mid: Cape Town 2011; right: Elmina 2012
Back cover photo: Busua Beach, Ghana
All cover photos ©Stig Enemark
Design: International Federation of Surveyors, FIG and Lagarto


The Africa Task Force

Published in English

Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), May 2014
Copenhagen, Denmark
ISSN 1018-6530 (printed)
ISSN 2311-8423 (pdf)
ISBN 978-87-92853-14-1 (printed)
ISBN 978-87-92853-15-8 (pdf)

Printed copies can be ordered from:
FIG Office, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, DENMARK,
Tel: + 45 38 86 10 81,  E-mail: