Building Resilience in the Profession: A focus on Young People and Women - African Task Force Meeting 2011

1 - 2 December 2011, Cape Town, South Africa

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The participants at the African Task Force, December 2012

The FIG Africa Task Force (ATF) is an initiative aimed at supporting FIG African Member Associations and Academic members over the period 2010-14. The key purpose of the task force 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 and civic society is important. Each year the Task Force invites an African member association to co-host the workshop event. It is with great pleasure that the FIG Africa Task Force (ATF) welcomed the University of Cape Town, Geomatics Dept (UCT) who organised the logistical arrangements in Cape Town, and South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO). In addition this years focus also compliments the current efforts underway through FIG Young Surveyors Network (YSN) accordingly they contributed significantly to the deliberations.

The two day Workshop considered and devised new and creative tools to revitalise and strengthen FIG Members within Sub Saharan Africa and will present its findings at FIG Working Week in Rome 6- 10 May 2012.

This workshop was targeted at senior and middle level land professionals in the private and public sector and educational and land professional institutes. It brought together decision makers and practitioners from several African nations (Botswana, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda) with expertise across the range of land professional disciplines within the FIG membership.

Over a two day workshop the Task Force objectives were to:

  • Understand what the barriers of entry to the profession are especially relating to women and young people
  • Add value for participants through a learning experience to enable them to act as agents of change
  • Outline and develop a range of tools that are capable of being used by member associations that will make a difference in their recruiting strategies

These objectives were achieved and a suite of tools were agreed to be worked upon with a final document expected to be uploaded on the web site soon.

Thepresentations were led by Joycelyn Makena (Kenya), Eugene Etuonovbe (Nigeria) and Ugwulebo Benedicta Amarach ( Nigeria) each sharing their personal professional experiences enabling delegates to concentrate on their own ‘discover’ aspects of adaptive inquiry. Next moving to the member organisation level, delegates heard from Peter Marsh, President SAGI and Winston Ayeni Chief Registrar of SERCO, who presented their respective associations recruiting activities.

Sincere thanks to Trimble (Global & South Africa offices) who steered the afternoon activity that concentrated on performance and technology. Keith Hofgartner (Director Global projects) presented Trimble and their role in Africa, next with the help of the local Trimble/ Optron team equipment was supplied and they ran a full afternoon with participants fully engaged in interactive land survey.

The second day continued with different ways of thinking, concentrating upon partners and perceptions drawing from the adaptive enquiry structure of discover, design and delivery. First, discovering partnerships with an excellent presentation of the pragmatic and effective work Shack Dwellers International is doing in informal settlements in Cape Town. Aditya Kumar (SDI) & Vuyani Myango (Grassroots leader), discussed and talked about participation and communication, truly empowering and reminding delegates of the benefit of professionals working with Grassroots. Yvonne Sowah (Past President GhIS) talked about perceptions and leaderships and women in surveying, next Kate Fairlie (Chair YSN) enthused the audience with perceptions and communication from a young professional’s viewpoint. Finally, Diane Dumashie overviewed what it means to lead and communicate change, linking back to the reminder of the days task to develop do-able tools.

Outcome of the Workshop

The consensus reached at the end of the workshop discussion is that in the first quarter of 2012 action by:

  • End February- Individual groups to consider and prepare and refine their ideas for tool structure and return the final draft to ATF secretariat
  • March- final edit, formatting and print production, and as appropriate publications by FIG Head office
  • May- (FIG Working week, Rome), the draft tools will be brought to the Roundtable for final discussion followed by seeking agreement to circulate to Member Associations

A short workshop publication based on the detailed deliberations has been prepared and will be available as a briefing document for the roundtable in 2012.

Diane Dumashie
Chair - African Task Force
January 2012

20 January 2012