Today’s most significant global concerns are all tied to the land in some way—climate change, hunger, and poverty, to name a few. Youths might resolve all of these issues with improved land governance. The topic is critical because land mismanagement is gaining momentum, particularly in Africa.
Young people are increasingly aware that their futures are unclear, to the point that some believe they have no future at all. Concerned about the situation, youthful Africans have started to speak up.
Numerous youth organizations, notably the Youth Initiative for Land in Africa (YILAA), strive to ensure that land policy considers the unique problems that young people face in gaining access to land and natural resources. The International Conference on Youth Land Governance in Africa (CIGOFA) is YILAA’s primary initiative that acts as a learning platform/event for the organization.
What is the CIGOFA?
For over a year, YILAA, which is represented in every region of Africa, has found a means to bring together governmental and inter-governmental entities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and youth groups to debate land and climate change concerns in Africa. The first edition of the INTERNATIONAL YOUTH LAND GOVERNANCE CONFERENCE in Africa (CIGOFA in French) took place in Cotonou, Benin, in 2020. NELGA West Africa, GIZ, and numerous other partners, not to mention the government of Benin, have all contributed to the success of this first event.
CIGOFA has increased the visibility of YILAA’s actions. Indeed, YILAA already has over 20 country members and over 300 young experts in a variety of professions, as well as 20 volunteers. The Government of Benin, UN-HABITAT, NELGA, Landesa, Land Portal, COLANDEF, CADASTA, the International Land Coalition, Prindex, the African Union Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUDREA), the Blue Economy and the Sustainable Environment Department.
What should we anticipate from CIGOFA?
This conference aims to address the question of “Why youth land governance is key in addressing climate change and economic justice.” Additionally, it strives to involve young people in land-use decision-making processes. It is a timely theme in light of today’s environmental challenges. What actions should young people take to combat climate change? How can youth contribute to the alleviation of economic injustice through land governance? What resources would they require to accomplish this?
Additionally, it strives to involve young people in land-use decision-making processes. It is a timely theme in light of today’s environmental challenges. What actions should young people take to combat climate change? How can youth contribute to the alleviation of economic injustice through land governance? What resources would they require to accomplish this? We must never lose sight of the reality that the goal from the start was to make our voices heard and thereby kick-start Africa is inclusive and harmonious sustainable development process. Among other things, CIGOFA enables young Africans to have their opinions heard.
- It enables all country members to exchange information about their difficulties, experiences, and best practices.
- Through exchanges, one can decipher the secret of one system’s success as well as the reasons for another’s failure and learn from both.
- It provides a chance for everyone to gain knowledge about sustainable land policy and practices.
- The harmonization of land policies across all member states remains a primary objective of this conference;
CIGOFA 2021: Africa’s MDGs 8, 13, and 16
In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, this critical event, the Second International Conference on Youth Land Governance in Africa (CIGOFA2), will be a hybrid conference. The conference will take place from October 13 to 16, 2021. Registration is now open.
Africa’s most valuable resource is its youth. Therefore, these young people must recognize their significance and take a position against anything that threatens our continent. However, they must have the correct information to do so.
CIGOFA’s objective is to make accurate information available to youths. Experts from a variety of countries will weigh in on the subject. Twelve (12) experts will moderate the debates.
- Mounia TAGMA, Advisor, Affordable Housing Institute;
- Faith ALUBBE, Executive Director of Kenya Land Alliance;
- Innocent Antoine HOUEDJI, Coordinator of YILAA and expert in land governance from Benin;
- Ameth DIALLO, Assistant Coordinator of YILaA and researcher at NELGA;
- Hillary K’ODIENY, Head of Community Land Rights Protection Programme, Kenya Land Alliance;
- Ms Helene BAHATI, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, member of YILaA;
- Dr Abderrahim ID-RAIS, Expert in Land Governance, Department of Housing and Urban Planning in Morocco;
- Grace ANANDA, Expert on Gender and Women’s Rights in Land Tenure, from Kenya;
- Shadrack OMONDI, Land Expert;
- Mr Pranab CHOUDHURY, Founder and Coordinator of the Centre for Land Governance in India;
Without a doubt, this conference will eliminate all doubts about the critical role of youth land governance in sustainable development. The participants will leave with the tools necessary to advance economic and climate justice as legitimate growth drivers in their nations.