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African leaders’ begin review of land governance in Addis Ababa

From yesterday, Tuesday to Friday, leaders in Africa started under the Africa Land Policy Centre (formerly the Land Policy Initiative) in collaboration with partner organizations began International Conference in Addis Ababa.

The conference coming on the theme: “The Africa We Want: Achieving socioeconomic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by the youth”, will among other things, present a roadmap on better ideas that will govern sharing, as well as advocacy on land policy development, implementation and monitoring.

Besides, AU said the Land Conference will have particular focus on youth and how they can be mobilized to benefit from land and its resources. It is anticipated that the Conference will bring into discussion new land policy issues and how they can be addressed in an inclusive manner.

Analysts are upbeat that inclusive land governance practices provide an opportunity for Africa to benefit from the continent’s demographic dividend.

They will help increase the number of working age adults relative to youthful dependents through enhanced agricultural production and agribusiness. Further, holistic land policy practices can contribute to maximal utilization of land based resources. Where large numbers of working age adults are engaged in productive activities, livelihoods are secured and families are able to invest in a sustained manner. This will lead to improvements in education, skills development, public health, economic growth, job creation and accountability in governance.

According to Dr Abdalla Hamdok, a land development consultant, he said “There are other reasons why we must invest in innovative land policies. Land is a strategic resource in industrialization. But for maximal utilization, clarity of policy on its management and use is needed. In the discharge of its mandate, the African Land Policy Centre has provided principles and guidelines for Large Scale Land Based Investments (LSLBI) in Africa”.

“Using these guidelines, African states have an opportunity to leverage the abundant natural resources on the continent to propel economic growth and industrialization. With determination and focus, the continent can take strategic control over its resources and seize the opportunities provided by advances in technology to maximize its value from this capital. We know that land has been used as the foundation of economic development elsewhere in the world and promoted food production. We can learn from these experiences to increase production, investment and opportunities in Africa,” Hamdok averred.