UN official calls for policy reforms to tackle landlessness among Africa’s youth

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A United Nations official on Friday called on African governments to enact new policy and legislative frameworks to expand access to land and other natural resources among the continent’s youth.

Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said that land ownership among Africa’s youth is key to hasten the continent’s socio-economic transformation.

“Youth involvement in decision making and empowering them through access to land and other natural resources will unlock Africa’s economic potential and provide a pathway towards agenda 2063,” Hamdok remarked in a commentary published by the Daily Nation.

He said multilateral agencies have rallied behind efforts to reform land tenure in Africa and ensure inclusive ownership of a resource that has often been a source of conflicts in the continent.

Hamdok said the international community has supported home-grown initiatives aimed at reforming archaic laws that have sidelined women and youth in land ownership across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Inclusive land governance practices provide an opportunity for Africa to benefit from its demographic dividend,” said Hamdok.

They will help to increase the number of working age adults relative to youthful dependents through agricultural production and agribusiness,” he added.

The African Union (AU) member states have endorsed a comprehensive strategy to address challenges facing the land sector including bad governance and unfair distribution.

Hamdok said that policy reforms and political goodwill are required urgently to ensure that African youth have easier access to land.

“It is important that policy makers and researchers discuss strategies for achieving socio-economic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by youth who constitute over 65 percent of the continent’s population,” said Hamdok.

He stressed that solution to Africa’s high youth unemployment, migration to the north and radicalization lies in access to arable land and technologies to promote agri-business. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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