About 90% of rural land in Africa is not formally documented, making it vulnerable to land grabbing and expropriation.ACCRA, GHANA, November 11, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Emerging technological breakthroughs in fields including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, nanotechnology and materials science are accelerating innovation and disrupting industries across the world. Indeed, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is creating new ways of catering to societal needs and improving the speed, quality and cost of delivering value. From self-driving cars and automated flight systems to navigation equipment and drones, societies and industries are going through a time of unprecedented technological change.
The land mapping and surveying sector, which serves engineering, infrastructure development and environmental conservation projects, is one such industry that has been transformed in the early days of the 4IR.
Modern instruments such as drones and GPS devices are simplifying the land-mapping process while improving accuracy, scope, and speed. Accurately determining land size and measurements, as well as topographic heights, is key to ensuring proper bounding, calculations, titles, easements and wildlife crossings when planning and designing new infrastructure, in construction, and in environmental monitoring. Undertaking this process at the outset saves money and time that is in many cases later spent correcting non-adherence to land zoning, overlays, building guidelines, town plans, and other local provisions. Defined property rights also foster growth and stability, stimulate access to credit and investment and drive productivity and income.
However, in Africa, about 90% of rural land is not formally documented, making it vulnerable to land grabbing and expropriation. Weak property rights also result in communal clashes and targeted killings. Similarly, only 4% of African countries have mapped private land in capital cities. This means most of the land is susceptible to vested interests from leaders and the urban elite.
Samuel Larbi Darko, the CEO of Losamills Consult, a privately-owned land surveying and engineering company based in Accra, Ghana, recognised the potential for the integration of high-level technology in infrastructure development in West Africa many years ago. In an interview with AfricaLive.net, Mr Darko explains, “I had the vision of starting this company back in my school-going days. There were only a handful of entities of its kind in Ghana at the time, so I knew there would be demand.”
“Losamills carries out location analytics to help the country in all its land-related projects. We do this by helping the government locate where exactly projects can or should be implemented. Before any project starts, our land surveyors (geomatic engineers) are the first professionals on-site to determine the exact land boundaries of the project,” Mr Darko adds. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors, a Member of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, holds degrees in Geoinformation Studies and Law, and has over four decades of experience as a surveyor.
Global Partnerships to Transform Ghana’s Geospatial Sector
With over 200 surveyors stationed across Ghana, Losamills Consult serves the geospatial industry and specialises in land information systems, surveying (mining, hydrogeomatic, engineering, topographic, photogrammetry, and cadastral), cartography and digital mapping. Although innovations in land surveying have been relatively slow to trickle into the region, Mr Darko established global partnerships to leverage on technology available farther afield. “The importance of working with foreign players cannot be taken for granted. Ghana’s geospatial sector stands to benefit greatly from some of the aerial land survey systems I have seen abroad,” he says.
“I’ve worked with some companies along the way and leveraged their technology to make Losamills one the leading land survey companies in Ghana. We have a partner based in Switzerland that is helping to bring some useful technology to Africa, to help us mark and record land details using a satellite. It is a very powerful and versatile tool that Losamills can now distribute and sell to the region, as the sole representative. We also have a potential partner in the United States that specialises in drone technology. Although drones are not typically used for land mapping and surveying, we are trying to pivot into that area because the technology can be useful to our work.”
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Read the Interview with Samuel Larbi Darko on AfricaLive.net >>