Welcome speech by the president of YILAA

Hello/ good morning colleagues. I would like to welcome you all to the international conference of youth land governance in Africa. Thank you to each one of you for being here with us today. We are very pleased to be able to welcome those of you that have been with us for a long time now as well as those who are new to the land governance in Africa.

A few basic facts: there were 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 in the world in 2015, or one person in six in the world. By 2030, the target date for achieving the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDOs), the number of young people is expected to increase by 7%, reaching nearly 1.3 billion. Given the size of this population, the world will never be able to achieve Goal 1 (eradicate poverty in all its forms throughout the world) without focusing on youth. Moreover, the creation of livelihoods for these young people will depend heavily on the agricultural sector. In most African countries, the agricultural sector employs on average 54% of the labor force. One of the most important obstacles that these young people face when embarking on a career in agriculture is the difficulty of access to land, the lack of knowledge of land tenure professions which is intrinsically linked to the inadequacy and unsuitability of land tenure training offers to the market demand. This is a problem that the development community needs to address. Despite the numbers, young people are politically invisible. Young people remain marginalized in formal decision-making processes and in informal and cultural decision-making processes, where older males remain predominant. In the coming decades, this situation is likely to change as young people become more active in demanding global and systemic internal changes. To address these challenges, it is important to create crucibles for exchange and sharing of experiences to give hope to young people and strengthen their capacity to identify opportunities in the land governance sector.

Today marks our FIRST international youth land governance CONFERENCE in Africa and we are proud to be able to host it today here at this wonderful place with all of you

Before we get started, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you who generously helped us make this event come together to become a success. (NELGA, CADASTA, LANDESA, ACCARD, COLANDEF, YILLA, FAO just to mention a few).  We couldn’t have done it without you!

This meeting has been made possible with the support of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) west Africa chapter.

The aim of the meeting is to create a melting pot of exchanges and sharing of experiences in order to give hope to young people and to strengthen their capacity to identify opportunities in the land governance sector.

You will agree with me that Young people remain marginalized in formal decision-making processes where older men remain predominant. In the decades to come, this situation will likely change as young people become more active in demanding global and internal systemic changes. To meet these challenges, it is important to create crucibles for exchange and sharing of experiences in order to give hope to young people and to strengthen their capacity to identify opportunities to be seized in the land governance sector.

I would like to share a brief of who is YILAA, YILAA is an international organization with its headquater in Cotonou Benin. In YILLA We value the potential of young people for land governance; create the synergy of action between youth associations to become an international Youth network for the promotion and protection of the rights of young people and women; help young people identify and benefit from opportunities relating to state projects and support training and research for young people in the land sector.  Our membership is through registration.

One of the most important obstacles that these young people face when embarking on a career in agriculture is the difficulty of access to land.

The 2020 edition of CIGOFA, a statutory conference of the Youth Initiative for Land in Africa (Yilaa) in partnership with the NELGA Node – Francophone West Africa and the University of Abomey-Calavi of Benin, has as its global theme “YOUTH AND FUNDAMENTAL GOVERNANCE: CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY OF AFRICAN STATES.” It is therefore intended to be a meeting for multidisciplinary scientific exchanges on land governance.

This conference is structured around the following research axes: Land tenure governance and gender, Promising niches in the land sector (employment and land), Youth and land investment, Youth, Agriculture and Land, land governance and training among others. I believe that you will find this conference useful to address youths land governance in Africa as a contributing factor in achieving the African union agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals (SDG).

Well, I don’t want to take too much of your time, I need to leave some time for (moderators and panelist) to fill you in on some of our up coming activities. This conference will be fun and full of learning.

So a very warm welcome to each and every one of you and I hope you will enjoy your stay here in Benin for the next four days. Thanks you.

LA REDACTION
Author: LA REDACTION



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