FIG Peer Review Journal


The Challenges of Developing Cadastreal System in Eritrea (3774)

Habtemicael Weldegiorgis (Eritrea)
Mr. Habtemicael Weldegiorgis
Director General
Ministry of Land, Water and Environment
Cadastral Office
MLWE, Cadastral Office, P. O. BOX -976
Asmara, Eritrea
Corresponding author Mr. Habtemicael Weldegiorgis (email: habtemicael_weldegiorgis[at], tel.: + 291 1 124253 (Off)/202414(Home))

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


THE CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPING CADASTRAL SYSTEM IN ERITREA Habtemicael WELDEGIORGIS, Eritrea Key Words: ABSTRACT The Cadastral Office of Eritrea (COE), established at the end of the 19th century during the Italian colonial administration was intended to serve the main goal of guaranteeing security of property ownership for Italian settlers. It was organized under the Ministry of Justice (High Courts), excepting for a brief period of time under the Municipality (during the Ethiopian colonial period in the 1970s). Since the fourth quarter of 1999 it had been under the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, first as a Division and from August 2003 as a Department. It has a long history, but still retarded in becoming a modern national cadastral system, and in total employs 30 staff (permanent and temporary). The main mandate of the COE is to register all land (allocated and unallocated), rights over land and duties that emanate from such rights, register owners/right holders together with the property, register transfer of immovable property, provide information to persons enquiring whether the property has any encumbrances, charge appropriate fees for services rendered, establish registration offices or districts, etc. During its long history of existence, the Cadastral System of Eritrea did not undergo through any qualitative change in its procedures. The Registration Law of May 1997 changed the voluntary nature of registration into compulsory; however, due to inadequate capacities it has not been strongly enforced. Besides, the system is still incomprehensive: it has no national or definite geographical coverage; the spatial data is not integrated with the textual data. Despite the many challenges it faces, during the last 10 years attempts have been made to establish modern cadastre and archiving systems, open regional offices, introduce appropriate service charge fees and implement compulsory registration system. The paper elaborates on the current status of the Eritrea’s Cadastral System, provides overview of cadastral systems, and presents challenges, lessons learned and prospects.
Keywords: Professional practice; Standards; Capacity building; Cartography; Cadastre; Land management; Land distribution; Security of tenure; Access to land; Spatial planning; Informal settlements; Valuation; Real estate development; Property taxes; Affordable housing; Legislation; History; cadastre system of Eritrea; cadastre systems; compulsory registration; challenges; flexible approach