FIG Africa Task Force


The UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty will not be reached in Africa. The same applies to a number of the other MDGs. There is a need to revitalise the efforts in a large number of areas, whilst it is also important to view efforts to find best practices in all areas of society.

Africa has seen many positive developments and experienced progress in several areas in the past decade, primarily thanks to Africa’s own efforts and reforms. In recent years Africa has achieved growth rates of about 5%. Furthermore, there are also clear signs of improvement in governance. The business environment is improving. Many countries are taking steps to combat corruption. The public authorities in many places have improved.

Despite these and many other positive examples, Africa faces considerable challenges in the next couple of years, and development must be accelerated further. In a global context, Africa has largely been left behind in the area of economic growth, which is a pre-requisite for solving many of the still existing challenges.

Focus of the Task Force

The Task focus is on the African Surveying Profession and how it can best contribute to meet the key challenges of poverty alleviation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

The key purpose is to enable the surveying profession in Sub Saharan Africa to deal with social responsibility in terms of contributing to achieving the MDGs. In this regard, the role of the surveyors as change agents engaging with the politicians is important. This relates to the professional status of surveyors that in turn is based on the principles of social responsibility and justice.

The Task Force will consider and present new and creative tools to revitalise and strengthen members within Sub Saharan Africa. The focus will be on building the capacity of the surveying association 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.

Recent good examples of such approaches can be found in Kenya and Ghana. Within the framework of Professional Development and Ethics the task force will look at developing capacity and 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, and thereby also complimenting the current FIG efforts to increase access to secure tenure

  • Environmental resilience – to develop tools for responding 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

  • Recruitment and involvement of young surveyors and women - concentrating on ways and means to breaking down entry barriers for young people and women

Timetable and Working Programme

The Task Force was established at the FIG Working Week in Eilat, Israel, May 2009. The term of this Task Force is exceptionally 2009-2014. A mid term report was presented at the FIG Working Week in Rome 2012 and the final recommendations were presented in the FIG publication that was launched at the FIG Congress 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. FIG Publication 63 - FIG Africa Task Force

Even if the focus of this Task Force is on the African region the results can of course be multiplied for inspiration and implementation in other regions such Asia and Latin America.

The Africa Task Force had an ambitious working programme that included a range of thematic seminars and open discussion fora prior to the submission of the final report. This included:

  • 2009 Liaison activities to ensure African ownership and relevant input to the work plan

  • 2010 FIG Congress, Sydney - Open forum discussion
  • 11-12 November 2010; Mombasa, Kenya - Regional Seminar in Africa - Theme: Peri-Urban development
  • 2011 FIG Working Week, Marrakesh, Morocco - Open forum discussion
  • 2011 Regional Seminar in Cape Town, South Africa – Theme: Building resilience into the Profession
  • 2012 FIG Working Week, Rome, Italy – Presentation of mid-term report and open forum discussion
  • 2012 Regional Seminar in Africa – Theme: Environmental Resilience
  • 2013 FIG Working Week, Abuja, Nigeria - Open forum discussion
  • 2013 Pulling together recommendations.
  • 2014 FIG Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Launch of report.

With the aim of ensuring African ownership and in order to provide valuable input for the Task Force’s work, a series of thematic workshops were arranged in Africa between the Working Weeks to inform, and be widely discussed at the next Task Force meeting. Members of the Task Force will participate and co-chair each conference.

The Task Force has been chaired by Dr. Diane Dumashie, Chair of FIG Commission 8 (2007-2010) and Vice President (2015-2018). Members of the Task Force included key persons anticipated to be representatives from East, South, Central and Western African countries. Other FIG resource persons also contributed to achieving the aim and objectives of the Task Force.

The Task Force was allocated some budget funds on annual basis from the Council for organising the regional events.