Lantmäteriet's International Services focus on the Balkans and Africa

26 January 2023

The focus areas for the International Services of Lantmäteriet are the Balkans and Africaparts of the world where the authority's competence and ability can contribute to significant development and sustainable solutions. The projects are highly esteemed, thanks to the competence and way Lantmäteriet are implementing the projects, especially how Lantmäteriet acts in the cooperation with the beneficiaries.

Lantmäteriet's ongoing projects abroad are in North Macedonia, Serbia, Rwanda and Liberia. In addition, two international training programs are ongoing in Africa, covering Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia and Zimbabwe. The ambition is to have projects that are up to five years long, with a combination of employees on site and employees from Sweden on short-term missions abroad. This entire operation is financed by Sida, and is an important part of the Swedish Development Cooperation.

– Some of the projects will be completed this year and next year. Meanwhile, planning of future work is underway. We have submitted proposals for a new project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we have good experience from projects 2013-2022, and we have also started to look at the possibilities for new projects in Zimbabwe and Montenegro. Since last summer, we started a new five-year project in Rwanda and since the turn of the year we started a new three-year project in Serbia, says Mikael Lilje, head of Lantmäteriet's international department.

As a pioneer country when it comes to legally secure land and property ownership, Sweden and Lantmäteriet is well positioned to support countries that in varying degrees needs a modern, legally secure and transparent land and real property sector. For example, in some countries it has been difficult for women to own land. In those cases, Lantmäteriet’s work may focus on more equal property ownership. In other countries, Lantmäteriet's work may involve transferring knowledge about digital property registers or legislation.

The focus of Lantmäteriet's projects abroad is capacity building and helping improve people's land ownership, especially for the poor. In short, Lantmäteriet’s projects in the Balkans are often focused on supporting measures for approaching EU, and on developing geodata services and on various forms of registers and mass valuation of land and real property. In Africa, projects are usually about developing the land and real property sector for sustainable and long-term land ownership for all, which may include everything from developing organizations to registers, infrastructure and methodologies.

– Basically, it's about us developing, supporting and leading organizations and employees so that they can manage on their own without the help of us, says Mikael Lilje.

Participating in a foreign project is almost exclusively a positive experience, according to participating Lantmäteriet employees. Of course, It can be challenging in the beginning, understanding how to contribute as an individual employee in a new and often very different context.

– The employees of Lantmäteriet are well equipped to contribute. Our efforts are immensely appreciated, both by the beneficiaries, Sida, Swedish Embassies and other donors as well as internally at Lantmäteriet. The employees feel that the assignments develop them as a person, and gives them new insights and abilities which they can use and improve their work at home.

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