Report of the Second International Youth Land Governance Conference (CIGOFA 2021)

The United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, the French Development Agency, the African Union, and several other international and regional organizations are through their policies, now engaged in a fierce fight against underdevelopment in some countries of the world, and especially in Africa. We are fast approaching the horizon of the United Nations Agenda for the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-Agenda 2030). Despite the many salutary efforts of each party, the achievements remain minimal in the face of pending challenges in Africa. How then can we lend a hand to the various initiatives in this area by encouraging the involvement of the most valid and able layer of the African population in the development process of Africa? It is the reflection on this issue that prompted the youth of YILAA to initiate a statutory conference called the International Youth Land Governance Conference in Africa (CIGOFA).

From the 13th to the 16th of October 2021 took place in a conference room of the Noah Garden hotel in Cotonou, the Second International Youth Land Governance Conference in Africa (CIGOFA 2021). This conference was co-organized by Youth Initiative for Land in Africa (YILAA), The African Union and the Government of Benin, with the accompaniment and support of many partners including: GIZ, NELGA, UN-Habitat, CADASTA, OXFAM, PRINDEX, GLOBAL LAND ALLIANCE, CICODEV, Landesa, International Land Coalition, Land portal, COLANDEF, Land Portal etc.

About five hundred people from across Africa attended this conference. Some focal points and members of YILAA were able to travel to Benin to participate face-to-face. The countries represented are Benin, Senegal, Burkina-Faso, Kenya, and Nigeria. Representatives of the government of Benin, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (01), the Ministry of Planning and Development (01) the National Employment Promotion Agency (01) and the Ministry of Justice represented by the Civil Society Promotion Center (01) were also present at the event.

In addition, several other focal points and members of YILAA, the partners of YILAA as well as all the other speakers invited for the occasion but who were not able to come also took part in the exchanges via zoom. Discussions were translated over time, both in French (for French speakers), in English (for English speakers), and in Arabic (for those who speak Arabic). No participant in CIGOFA 2021 had difficulty following or addressing others.

Young people, men and women from around the world gathered for the occasion around the theme: Why Youth Land Governance is key in tackling Climate Change and economic injustice? The conference took place over four days, which gave time to address different aspects and dimensions of the theme in order to shed as much light as possible on the issue. Indeed, this major theme has been broken down into four sub-themes, at the rate of one discussion per day, namely:

• Institutional relationship on Youth, Land Governance & Climate Change and Adaptation;

• What is the role of Traditional Authorities in Youth Land tenure practices and Climate Change?

• Rural Woman Land Rights, Climate Change and Training;

• Youth and Land Opportunities.

These sub-themes are in turn broken down into communication subjects and interventions are organized accordingly.

Interviews:

https://youtu.be/F8PEyyi7Ne4 ( Grace Ananda, Women land rights expert, From Kenya)
https://youtu.be/53vSqmPZTg0 (Ismaêl PARE, from Burkina-Faso)
https://youtu.be/OcXBO4VQI7Y ( Jeremiah Hinmikaye, from Nigeria)

CIGOFA 2021 was not a series of presentations; it was a meeting of interactive exchanges between young people, state authorities, traditional authorities, experts and technicians, whether in land law, youth or in the field of agriculture.

LA REDACTION
Author: LA REDACTION



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