Building Fit-for-Purpose Spatial Frameworks for Sustainable Land Governaqnce in Sub-Sahara Africa

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Arguably sound land governance is the key to achieve sustainable development and to support the global agenda set by adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The operational component of land governance is the country specific land administration systems dealing with the four key functions of land tenure, land value, land, and land development.

Land administration systems, whether highly advanced or very basic, require a spatial framework to operate. Spatial frameworks identify the spatial units such as land parcels, as a basis for dealing with land administration functions. However, building such spatial frameworks is not primarily about accuracy. It is about adequate identification and representation of the spatial objects and parcels; completeness to cover the total jurisdiction; and credibility in terms of reliable data being trusted by the users. Accuracy can then be incrementally improved over time when relevant and justified by serving the needs of citizen, business and society in general. Such a fit-for-purpose approach is fundamental for building adequate land administration systems in developing regions in support of sustainable land governance.

In most developed countries this countrywide spatial framework has been developed over centuries. In contrast, most developing countries have a cadastral coverage of less than 30 per cent of the country. This means that over 70 per cent of the land in many developing countries, such as the sub-Sahara region, is generally outside the formal land administration system.

When considering the resources and capacities required to building such spatial frameworks in developing countries the western concepts may well be seen as the end target but not as the point of entry. The paper addresses some of the key technological, economic, legal, and social issues related to building such fit-for purpose spatial frameworks as a means of paving the way towards sustainable and land governance in Sub-Sahara Africa
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings : Plenary and Technical Sessions
PublisherInternational Federation of Surveyors
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-87-92853-05-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEnvironment for Sustainability: FIg Working Week 2013 - Abuja, Nigeria
Duration: 6 May 201310 Jun 2013


ConferenceEnvironment for Sustainability


  • Land Governance, Land Administration, Land Registration, Spatial Framework

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