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Improved land governance key to Africa’s sustainable growth: experts

NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – Janet Edeme, head of African Union Commission’s Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development noted at a virtual briefing in Nairobi on Monday that improved management of land is key to realize positive growth in the continent.

She said ahead of Africa Land Forum 2021 slated for October 26-28 that the resource, if utilized sustainably and fairly distributed, has the potential to transform economies while fostering peace and unity.

“For us land is more than an economic resource; it is part of our history,” said Edeme, adding that land has been identified as central to realization of African Union Agenda 2063 on growth and transformation.

The International Land Coalition (ILC), African chapter and partners will convene the three-day Africa Land Forum that will be attended by policymakers, representatives of women, youth and indigenous communities to discuss land tenure, rights and how they impact on the sustainability agenda.

Michael Taylor, director of International Land Coalition said the forum under the theme of “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Africa through partnerships and land governance” will galvanize diverse stakeholders to explore innovative ways to boost management of the resource.

Audace Kubwimana, International Land Coalition Africa regional coordinator, said that people centered land governance is urgent to help the continent tackle resource based conflicts, improve climate resilience and food security.

He called for improved management of rangelands, policy reforms to ensure that women and youth have equitable access to arable land in order to tackle Africa’s poverty, hunger and malnutrition crisis effectively.

Esther Obaikol, Land Governance expert at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said that bold policy and fiscal incentives were required across the Horn of African region to tackle land degradation that has escalated conflicts, water stress and food insecurity. 

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