United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) deputy executive secretary Abdalla Hamdok has said Africa should see land as a major resource to enhance food production, peace and security and ensure environmental protection.
Speaking at the opening of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Hamdock said African governments should invest in land through strategies and interventions that focus on the youth.
“Land forms the basis for agriculture, forestry, mining, industry, tourism and urban development. But to maximise on land benefits, inclusion of land users in decision-making on how land is governed and managed is crucial,” he said, adding that access to land by the youth means economic empowerment.
Youth and women representative from Kenya, Rachael Mwikali, noted that inheritance and customary laws make transfer of land to women and youth a challenge for sustainable agriculture.
“Why would you put extra efforts to develop land that is not yours and that you won’t be able to pass on to your children?” Mwikali asked. “More than 70 percent of the African population is made up of youth. Why are our voices neglected then?”
Malawi was yesterday expected to present a paper titled Integration of Land Tenure Monitoring in Agricultural Development Projects Using Geo-Spatial Technologies.
The paper was authored by Kefasi Kamoyo, Solomon Mkumbwa, Rex Baluwa and Harold Liversage from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and International Fund for Agriculture Development (Ifad). n