Brief Profile of the Institute of Land Administration (ILA)
at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
By: Dr. Achamyeleh Gashu, Director of the Institute of Land Administration.
The Institute of Land administration (ILA) is one of the educational establishments of Bahir Dar University, located in Bahir Dar city, Ethiopia. The Institute is the first educational centre in Ethiopia – and one of very few in East Africa – for higher education in land administration.
In Ethiopia encouraging steps have been taken both by the Federal Government and Regional states to realize good land governance in the country. Accordingly conducive urban and rural land policies have been enacted to enhance urbanization and investments in the industrial and agricultural sector and also to assure security of land ownership and improve rural land productivity. These initiatives have however been confronted by severe lack of trained manpower in the area of land administration. As a response to this challenge the Institute of Land Administration (ILA) was established at Bahir Dar University and the Institute has been operational since 2006.
To enable the Institute address the national demand for well educated and skilled manpower tremendous efforts have been made by Bahair Dar University (BDU) to win the generous financial and technical support from the Swedish government and the positive response from Sweden has helped BDU to establish strong links with The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Sweden, renowned for its excellence in land administration/land management training for several decades. Many of the Institute’s academic staff have been trained for their Masters in Land Administration in KTH and currently there are a few more studying for their Masters and PhD in different areas of land administration. KTH support has helped ILA to gain profound international experience and this has enhanced ILA’s capacity to realize its mission, vision and objectives in land administration training, research and community services.
The Institutes runs three programmes, namely BSc land administration, MSC land administration and Management and the BSc Programme in Architecture. The BSc programme is a 4-year education for full-time students and the same programme is offered in distance, evening and summer mode for extended period. The BSc programme is structured to produce professional land administrators who are capable of understanding and handling land administration issues, able to resolve land related disputes based on the relevant legislation and also having the capacity to contribute their expertise on cases pertaining to land information, land reform, land laws, land development, land registration, land expropriation and land valuation activities in rural and urban land settings.
Taking note of the multidisciplinary nature of land administration and recognizing the need for producing all rounded professionals who can effectively handle urban and rural land administration and management issues the curriculum of ILA has been organized in five major tracks including Basic Track, Geodetic Track, Economic Track, Law Track, and Land Management Track. The Basic Track deals with computer skills, programming, data base management and communication and writing skills. In the Geomatic component major courses offered include basic surveying, geodetic survey, satellite positioning, (GPS), remote sensing and photogrammetry, geographical information system, cadastral surveying and land registration. The Economic Track handling micro and macroeconomics course as a background deals with important courses namely property market analysis, property investment analysis and property valuation. The Law Track of the training using law and public law as background courses principally address major aspects of property law including expropriation, civil law, and land law. The Land Management Track largely deals with land development, environment and natural resources management, land tenure, urban and rural land use planning, urban rural land lease, land policy and reforms and compulsory land acquisition. The lectures for each course are complemented by practical exercises and case studies to equip the trainees with the required skill and knowledge. The well organized GIS and Computer laboratories and easy to use teaching materials produced by the academic staff are facilitating the teaching learning process. The experience that ILA has gained over the last few years has enabled it to critically review and amend the content of each course to address the needs of the employers.
In addition to the BSc-career, ILA also offers a post-graduate program for the Master of Science in Land Administration and Management. The MSc-programme is structured with common course in the first year, where after the students will specialize in one of three focus areas including Land Information ManagementSystem, Real Property Law and Real Property Valuation in the second year. Students write their thesisin the selected focus area. ILA also hosts the Architecture programme which lasts for five and half years.
The multidisciplinary courses in ILA are offered by competent professionals having the required training in the specific field. Staff profile of ILA indicates that currently it has three Assistant Professors, in Land Administration, Natural Resources and Architecture; 7 Lecturers with MSc in Land Administration teaching in Land Administration, Land and Property Law and Economics; 4 Lecturers with MSc in Geodesy and Geoinformatics; 2 lecturers with MSc in GIS ; 1 Assistant Lecturers with MSc in Architecture and Urban Planning; 5 Assistant Lecturers with BSc in Architecture and Urban Planning; 2 Surveying Technical Assistants; 2 IT Technical Assistants and 12 administrative staff. The Institute is in the process of aggressive staff capacity building and currently a number of the academic staff are following their education in different fields. Accordingly the Institute has 3 PhD students in Land Administration scheme in Sweden; 1 PhD student in GIS at ITC of the Netherlands; 1 PhD student in Land Law in Australia, and; 1 PhD student in the area of Informal Settlements in the UNISA programme. Likewise there are 2 MSc students in Geodesy and Geomatics at KTH, Sweden; 1 Msc student in Geodesy at Addis Abeba University; 1 MSc student in Architecture in Milano, Italy.
Technical equipment and other resources
ILA has variety of physical resources that are widely used for the teaching learning process. These include two computer laboratory rooms equipped with 90 computers, modern Surveying Equipments including 30 Leica Total Station (model 1200), 2 Trimble Totalstation TS3 Servo Access, 10 Leica DGPS (10 Base receivers and 10 Rover receivers), 2 Trimble R8 GNSS RTK DGPS (2 Base receivers and 2 Rover receivers), Surveying accessories like prisms and telescopic rods matching each instrument, 30 Hand held GPS, 2 Nomad handheld computers with GPS, 10 Sprinter Levels (leveling instruments), 60 Jogger 20 Levels (leveling instruments), 30 communication radios; Photogrammetric lab with 15 workstations and 5 mirror stereoscopes, Licensed ArcGIS, ERDAS, Geomatica, Leica Geo Office software, ArcCad, AutoCAD, Adobe package and 3DSMax.
International survey station CORS
(Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) is an international network that provides global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data through the Internet in support of three dimensional positioning, meteorology, space, weather, geophysical and educational applications and research throughout the globe. The CORS sites are independently owned and operated by governments, research and education facilities and others. Such a station is now being installed at ILA. The station will also facilitate RTK (real time kinematic) surveying within the area of Bahir Dar City.
Transport Facilities and Library: For field trips and routine activities ILA has threefour-wheel drive vehicles, one minibus, three buses (with 60 seats each). The library shared with the School of Law is a comprehensive reference book library in a modern building with reading places for one thousand five hundred students. Thus, from the modest start in 2006, ILA has gradually developed into an education and knowledge centre with solid experience and a commitment to national development.
ILA students today come from all over Ethiopia and graduates can be found employed in many regions of the country, as well as at the federal level. ILA also conducts applied research on topics of great relevance to the country’s development. The Institute is an active member of several networks, within the country and internationally. ILA in general is an Academic Institute with bright future where many would come from within and outside the country for academic discourse to further their common cause that is promoting effective land administration that contributes the wellbeing of the society and also enhances ecological integrity.