Why Data4Youth Land Access ?

Listening to Youth Voices, Hope and Aspirations to access to secure land in Sub-Saharan Africa

The youth population does not have access to secure and sufficient land that can bring transformational changes in sub-Saharan Africa. The data tell us that currently 10 -12 million of young Africans enter the labor force each year, and by 2050, the African population is expected to be around 2.6 billion meaning that 2 in every 5 children in the world will be born in Africa. It is predicted that this rapid population growth will accelerate the urbanization of the continent with 2/3 of the population will be living in cities; and the predicted climate change impacts by the IPCC could be devasting to Africa if bold and transformational actions and decisions are not taken in this upcoming decennial. The recent IPCC report described these potential impacts as following: (a) increases in temperature particularly in the southern Africa; (b) decreases in precipitation, declining by more than 20% compared to the levels 20 years ago; (c) intense tropical storms—parts of the continent will see a 20% increase in cyclone activity; (d) million people exposed to water stress Agriculture fed by rain could drop 50% in some African countries. In addition, the level of tenure insecurity is very high in Africa compared to the rest of the world particularly for the youth and vulnerable groups. This situation is aggravated by the Covid19 pandemic with ripple effects that are deteriorating democracy and increasing political instability in many African countries.

This whole picture associated with the lack of data that focuses on youth and access to secure land are pushing governments, development organization and international donors to rush political decisions without incorporating youth hope and aspirations into their documents. In fact, little work has been done to listen, understand, document, and integrate youth hope and aspirations into political actions and decisions that can bring transformational on the ground. Indeed, the young Africans are not present on the table when political decisions are enacted besides the facts, they constitute the most important part of the demography. They have the majority in every African country.

 The main objective of this research agenda is to develop a new narrative centered around listening to the voices of youth and access to secure in land in sub-Saharan Africa. We want to use these data to improve and advocate for policy reform in land governance in Africa. We want politics to hear the voices of youth that can harness the power of bringing transformational policy decisions that lead to sustainable changes in the continent.



Benin is a French-speaking country in West Africa in the tropical zone between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The country has an area of 114,760 km2 with a population of approximately 12 million inhabitants. The capital is Porto-Novo and its currency is the CFA franc. Benin’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and informal re-export and transit trade with Nigeria (20% of GDP). The poverty rate was 45.9% in 2020. With the COVID-19 crisis, real GDP declined by 3.8% in 2020. In Benin, as in most countries, access to employment for citizens, particularly young people, remains a real problem. More than 50% of the working-age population is unemployed or underemployed . The rate of underemployment of young people, which was 50% in 2011, is close to 70% in 2013. The majority of young people aged 15 to 35 are affected by underemployment, or are without decent jobs. Many who can find work are working in precarious jobs under difficult working conditions. Thus, the invisible underemployment rate in 2010 was 58.1%. The situation is even more worrisome for young people aged 25 to 34, where the invisible underemployment rate is 61.7%. The most promoted sector today is Agriculture. However, young people are confronted with their access to land, even though Article 6 of the Land Tenure Code requires equal opportunity for access. So, there is an enormous work of information, sensitization, training and involvement of young people. These different decisions will be taken on the basis of quantitative and qualitative data which are almost inexistent. This is where the challenges lie.


Tanzania’s youth population is exploding – the number of youth almost doubled from 4.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2010. It is expected to swell to 11 million by 2020 and 15 million by 2030.

Challenges are :

▪ Skills mismatch between formal education and job market requirements,

 ▪ Accessing capital as well as high costs of running a business in Tanzania.

▪ Unfavorable land policy which facilitate land access for youth access for youth

▪ Poor awareness of youth on their lights to land

 ▪ Poor unplanned procedures for youth which assist them to own land

National land policy and National Youth Development policy do not state clearly on how youth can have access for Land in Tanzania instead of waiting inheritance of piece of land for their parents alive or after their death due to the fact that a large number of youth cannot afford to buy land for their economic activities such as agriculture and livestock keeping so as to meet solution to their challenges of unemployment.

Donors should facilitator in different essential activities based on enabling youth rights access for land such as conducting research activities so as to prove is to what extent youth are vulnerable to the challenges associated with un-accessing land for youth and its effects and impact to the development socially and economically for youth in Tanzania


The population of the Democratic Republic of Congo is estimated at over 90 million, of which about 68% are young people. (République Démocratique du Congo, Ministère du Plan, 2021. Annuaire statistique RDC 2020.) In the DRC, unemployment affects mainly young people who make up the bulk of the population. The unemployment rate is 19% (Ministry of Youth).

 Young women also seem to be more prone to unemployment than young men, with unemployment rates of 20% and 12% respectively (onas Kibala Kuma. Pauvreté et chômage en République Démocratique du Congo : état des lieux, analyses et perspectives. 2020. hal-02909695).

Congolese youth face many challenges when accessing land, including :

  1. The emergence of an unregulated land market to the detriment of the present and future generations of young people (despoiling of communal pastures and fields, sale of family land by heads of families/parents, etc.)
  2. Young people’s ignorance of the value and importance of land as well as of the laws governing access to land (procedures for obtaining and securing land) ;
  3. Young people’s low economic capacity to access land and exploit it sustainably
  4. Land grabbing and immobilization (under exploitation) by a powerful minority of individuals (political elite, businessmen, militarized) to the detriment of the great mass of landless peasants including young people ;
  5. Inaccessibility to arable land by young people due to insecurity and lack of infrastructure in areas of high land availability; and
  6. The agricultural sector is unattractive and burdensome to young people.

Young women in the DRC face even more Challenges, including :

  1. Discriminatory traditional practices, habits, and customs in terms of access to and management of land;
  2. Stigmatization of female landowners;
  3. Lack of a spirit of conservation of land inheritance;
  4. Early marriage, limiting their intellectual and social development, coupled with land tenure practices that do not promote girls’ land rights and;
  5. Ignorance that girls’ rights to land inheritance are equal to those of their brothers.

Purpose of this Study in the DRC :

The collection of rigorous and reliable statistical data will allow donors and the government to create reliable solutions and appropriate programs targeting young people, leading to inclusive and sustainable development. This study will produce clear documentation on land accessibility, helping the sector understand issues including land categorization, recognition of youth land rights as a factor in technology development, and other factors of good land governance.


The Youth Initiative for Land in Africa (YILaA) was formed in accordance with the law 1901 which relates to; the constitution and regulation of Associations, the declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union on land issues and the youth. Its main headquarters are in Benin (Porto-Novo).

The mission of Global Land Alliance is to enable the sustainable prosperity of people and places by advancing learning and practice of land governance to achieve healthy relationships with land, life and natural resources, emphasizing local and Indigenous knowledge.

Prindex, the Global Property Rights Index, is a collaborative initiative between Global Land Alliance and ODI to develop and implement the first global measurement of peoples’ perceptions of their property rights. Prindex has established the first ever global and national-level baseline of perceptions of land tenure security.

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