Land experts debate the role of young people in land governance

Addis Ababa, November 14, 2017 (CEA) – The Second Africa Land Policy Conference opens with a call for proper land management for the benefit of present and future generations of Africa.
The topics addressed by the speakers at the opening of the conference are: land planning and governance, the land certification system, technological application for agriculture, conflict management, access to land for women and youth and environmental management.
The Addis Ababa conference is organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank and is coordinated by the African Center for Land Policy (CAPF) ).
Africa is in high hopes not only because of its youth, but also because of the widespread discovery of natural resources, said Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of ECA.
Mr. Hamdok explains that Africa is home to abundant natural resources representing at least 30% of the world’s natural resource wealth, 12 percent of the oil reserves, 40 percent of the world’s gold reserves, 60 percent of the land uncultivated and 70 percent of the coltan deposits from which electronic chips are made.
“The 420 million young people between the ages of 15 and 35 can be involved in the process of exploiting these resources, particularly in the agricultural, manufacturing and industrial sectors,” said Mr. Hamdok.
The theme of the conference is, “The Africa we want: Achieving socio-economic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land for young people”.
Speaking on behalf of the Youth and Women Representative, Rachael Mwikali said that the will to achieve the objectives of the African Union’s land program was strengthened in October 2016, when the African Center for Policy has been created.
“This center will create links and partnerships to bridge the technical assistance and funding gap and create continental and regional platforms that will strengthen coordination in the land sector,” she said.
Conference participants stress that land is essential for livelihoods and sustainable development.
“Without good governance of natural resources, including the land, it is very difficult to achieve sustainable and equitable growth,” said Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the African Development Bank for East Africa.
In his opening address, Dr Eyasu Abraha Alle, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ethiopia, recalls that land is one of the major resources that we have in Africa and that must be managed and used for the benefit of current and future generations.
The current conference on land policy in Africa brings together government officials, academics, representatives of the regional economic communities, African centers of excellence, civil society organizations and the private sector.

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