By Abdi Ali
Published November 23, 2017
Africa’s youth should be involved in land ownership and management as land is central to livelihoods on the continent.
Africa is hopeful not only because of its youthfulness but also due to the widespread discovery of land-based resources.
Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) , while addressing the Second four-day Conference on Land Policy in Africa in Ethiopia, explained that Africa is home to abundant natural resources accounting for at least 30 percent of the world’s natural resource wealth; 12 percent of oil reserves, 40 percent of global gold reserves, 60 percent of uncultivated land and 70 percent of coltan deposits.
“Africa’s 420 million young people aged 15-35 years can be gainfully involved in the exploitation of these resources especially through agriculture, manufacturing and industrial sectors,” said Dr Hamdok at the conference that was attended by government officials, academia, representatives of Regional Economic communities, African centers of excellence, civil society and private sector associations.
While tackling topics such as land planning and governance, land certification system, technology application for agriculture, conflict management, access to land for women and youth and environment management, participants concurred that land is central to livelihoods and sustainable development.
“Without proper governance of natural resources, land included, it is very difficult to achieve sustainable and equitable growth, Gabriel Negatu, Director General of African Development Bank in Eastern Africa, said.
The conference, in Addis Ababa, was organised by UNECA, African Union Commission (AUC) and African Development Bank under the coordination of the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC).