ISK LOC Chairperson Address

Land is at the center of development in any economy. It is also a source of many development challenges especially in the developing economies like Africa. In the past, land conflicts have slowed down development, so were poor land management systems and lack of land rights. Over the last decade or so, there has been a lot of efforts to reverse this trend through improved land rights and development of land policies and land laws.

The 2017, ISK Regional Conference brings together the various players in the Land and Property Sector in the region to compare notes on various issues that affect development in this area. Participants will include representatives from the landed professional bodies both in public and private sectors. They will also include policy makers, the practitioners, the academia and property developers. Others will be international and regional bodies in the housing sector such as the UN Habitat.

We will review the evolving professional practice and standards in an ever evolving digitalized environment. With increased globalization, there is an increasing need to harmonize standards within the continent and internationally. Related to that is an evaluation of how communication and media play a role in the professional practice. The evolving role of the Geospatial surveyors will also be analyzed in detail. Of course for the sector to grow, the growth and development of the professionals in the related fields is important. We will take some time to see how this can be enhanced.

Land Adjudication and survey efforts have been characterized by slow and expensive processes, leading to large tracts of land un-surveyed across the region. We recognize that securing of land rights is key tool to development on land. In this conference we will review an alternative to the laborious processes in a “Fit for Purpose Approach” by understanding its successful application in some African countries and how it can be replicated to other countries.

Real Estate Development is a key driver in African economies, contributing a large percentage of the GDP and employing millions. For real estate developments to succeed, the financing and structuring of the projects becomes paramount. We will, in this conference learn from the Industry experts on how best to finance and structure projects and how this is evolving for modern projects. At the same time, we will review the various cost lines associated with construction projects.

The matter of land reforms have been with us for the last decade or so. We will take time during this conference to review the strides made in the continent and the areas of focus going forward.We will get a chance to learn from one of the world’s best case scenario in Land Administration, the Netherlands’ Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency.

The importance of affordable housing cannot be gainsaid. Although a lot of gains have been made in this area in the continent the gap is still yawning. In Kenya alone, the shortfall is estimated at 150,000 units and this is a concern of subsequent governments. How can we bridge this gap in Kenya and elsewhere in the continent?

Other matters of concern in the Industry like taxation related to real estate and its effect on real estate development, a review of the sectional titling and how the players can tap the opportunities presented. It has been about five years since the introduction of the devolved government system in Kenya and we will look at the gains, opportunities and challenges presented by this mode of governance on land administration.

The conference presents an excellent opportunity to network and learn from major players in the real estate industry and I welcome you all to participate.

Karibuni Sana!

Eunice Macharia,
ISK LOC Chairperson

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