Sayeh Agegnehu, Ethiopia

Agegnehu Sayeh © Agegnehu Sayeh
  • Employment: Debre Markos University, Vice President for Business and Development of the University and staff member of the Institute of Land Administration
  • Scholarship: APPEAR – Austrian Partnership Program in Higher Education and Research for Development
  • Duration: 10/2011 – 02/2015

Curriculum vitae

Sayeh Kassaw Agegnehu resumed his work as an assistant professor at the Institute of Land Administration at Debre Markos University (DMU) in Ethiopia after completing his PhD at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). Thanks to his high academic profile he also got promoted to Vice President for Business and Development of Debre Markos University. This is one of four vice president offices with the main responsibility of coordinating and managing the income generating enterprises and developmental activities of the university. Managing, leading and coordinating all the directorates organized under this office are his main responsibilities.

During his PhD studies in Vienna he initiated the idea for the establishment of a partnership with two Austrian Universities, namely the Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), and the Research Group of Geodesy and Geoinformatics of the Technical University of Vienna (TUW). This was realized with the support of APPEAR preparatory funding and a strong partnership project EduLAND has been created with these institutions. It aims to establish a Land Administration Competence Centre at DMU in order to alleviate the shortage of trained academic workforce and to conduct problem solving research in the field of land administration for sustainable development.


Land is the basic asset which plays a crucial role in the economy. Its proper management is decisive for the socio-economic development of the nation. My M.Sc. studies in Sweden (KTH) and PhD study in Austria (BOKU) have enabled me to acquire the necessary competences towards the discipline of land administration. This discipline comprises four main functions; notably land tenure, land use, land value and land development. Acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude towards these functions helps to contribution to the social, economic and environmental development of a country. My PhD study in Austria has enabled me to have broader understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts of sound land administration system. In his book "Mystery of Capital", Hernando De Soto stated that developing countries have enormous assets, but these are dead because they are not designed to generate income. To make property rights fit the purpose, designing and implementing sound land administration system plays pivotal role. The research findings are the main inputs to policy makers to design sound land administration system. Thanks to the unreserved efforts of all my advisors (at KTH and BOKU) and my APPEAR PhD scholarship, my creative thinking on how to design and conduct problem solving research has been essentially upgraded. The research findings have been communicated to the scientific community through publications and conferences (for example World Bank 2014 on Land and Poverty Conference). Now I am advising MSc students and delivering courses to students on my subject area of specialization. Moreover, the working ethics, supportiveness and friendly approach I got from my advisers and the entire team of the institute of surveying, remote sensing and land information has enabled me to develop my rational reasoning skills. Last but not least, the different cultural interaction workshops and site visits organized by OeAD and APPEAR were very much instrumental in order to understand diversified cultural values from different countries.