14/05/2016

According to UN-HABITAT, the rights to 70% of land worldwide remains unregistered.

“It is now well-recognised that secure land and property rights for all are essential to reducing poverty, because they underpin economic development and social inclusion. Secure land tenure and property rights enable people in rural and urban areas to invest in improved homes and livelihoods.  They also help to promote good environmental management, improve food security, and assist directly in the realization of human rights, including the elimination of discrimination against women, the vulnerable, indigenous groups and other minorities.” UN-HABITAT, Secure Land Rights for All.

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As someone who grew up in Cameroon, Serge Poueme knows more than most the impact of land rights issues on development. Now based in Canada, Serge is the founder of land tenure software company Camidus. Their land information platform allows municipalities and Governments to secure citizens’ property rights and improve land tenure management.

Land information can be captured on a mobile device and added into an online database. Parcel registration dates, ownership information and data about the land itself is stored, allowing land to be registered, often for the first time.

In Europe and North America we take property records for granted. If we’re buying a plot or simply wish to find out more about one, we can. It’s as easy as identifying the address. However, for many countries there is no such standardised addressing. Addresses are often informal, not recognised by consumer maps and are sometimes little more than descriptions. Whilst GPS coordinates are accurate they are prone to error when transcribing and communicating them.

To overcome this challenge, Camidus integrated what3words into its flagship CALAR platform.

what3words is a global addressing system that is the simplest way to talk about location accurately. It has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique 3 word address. 3 word addresses are easy to say and remember. All addresses have already been allocated and are fixed and unchanging. what3words works offline and 3 word addresses are available over 30 languages.

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The 3 word address for the centre square of each land parcel is displayed. This 3 word address becomes both the simple, unique identifier for the property and can also be used as an address to navigate to.

Using what3words in Camidus, Governments can enjoy the benefits of both land tenure administration and the social benefits of each parcel having a 3 word address.

Camidus is currently working on projects across Africa and was awarded the Total Startupper of the Year in Cameroon, alongside the LOJIQ Prize 2016.

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