Lensa Mekonnen, president of Land Bank & Development Corporation.

A digital land-holding map of 126 federal institutions in Dire Dewa City Administration, Harari and Somali regional states has been prepared after collecting information from 72 institutions in Harari, 43 in Dire Dewa and 11 in Jigjiga cities.

The Federal Land Bank & Development Corporation prepared the tenure map of the institutions in the three locations using an aerial map in partnership with the Ethiopian Space Science & Geo-Spatial Institute.

The Corporation has been working with the Institute since May 2020, locating land-holding of the federal service sectors, separating the developed lands and working with the private sector to work on the undeveloped lands.

Abdisa Yilma, CEO of the Ethiopian Space Science and Geo-Spatial Institute, says they are working with different government sectors to digitise their services using the latest satellite images in Africa that can capture pictures as if taken from close to 20cm, improving the data accuracy from 0.48pc to 10.56pc.

In April 2020, the Corporation signed an agreement with the Association of Ethiopian Architects to work in partnership for landholding development during a virtual meeting between the CEO of the Corporation and the president of the Association. The agreement included assessment and baseline analyses of the capital and conducted international baseline analyses for the development of federal government district offices, including the re-location of government offices.

Lensa Mekonon, CEO of Land Bank & Development Corporation, said about 4.7 million hct of land owned by federal institutions had been incorporated into the database.

According to Lensa, accessibility and security issues were considered while selecting the locations for the mapping process.

She said the remote location has made collecting the data challenging as the areas included in this project are surveyed using the experience from the capital.

"Data is essential, which the country is short of," she said.

The maps designed for federal public service organisations will be available to the public once the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) who is doing the portal gives the green light.

The Mapping Chief of Ethiopian Space Science & Geo-Spatial Institute, Tewodros Kassahun, said they had surveyed the occupied lands of federal institutions in the capital to get the precise measurement and will implement the process in other towns.

According to Tewodros, the scale was organised to an internationally accepted standard, and some institutions were not enthusiastic about it for fear that their land would be taken away.

The office has collected data from 917 of 8,683 government institutions.

Established in 2018 with five billion Birr capital, the Corporation is in the property development business, identifying under-utilised land under federal institutions. Many of the 300 federal agencies and state-owned enterprises hold close to 100hct of undeveloped and underdeveloped land in the capital.

Getasew Desalegn, the property valuation senior analyst for the Corporation, confirmed they inspect the accuracy of the spaces occupied by the government institutions. He said urban areas are easier to gather information.

"We claim the undeveloped lands we find," he told Fortune.

Most public offices operate in rented buildings, where they are excluded from the project.

The former CEO Tulu Beshah (PhD), is currently serving as chief consultant for the Institute. He accredits collecting the information, analysing and changing them to digital blueprint data, integrates the development and gets accurate data while fighting illegal land invasions.

"It'll be easily accessible," said Tulu.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 14,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1185]

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