Access to land is often cited as one of the barriers that restrict the ability of young people to be productive participants in the agricultural system. Most governments in Africa, have laws & customs governing the access of land, and this legal statutes do not consider or protect the land rights of the youth. Rural youth in Africa have traditionally acquired land through inheritance in customary tenure systems.
Also, with emerging evidence that climate change is indeed a threat to the livelihoods of young people, with its increased negative impact on rural poverty, food security and driving young people from farming, it has undoubtedly become obvious that a better land governance can be the best way to tackle climate change and economic injustice.
The Youth Initiative for Land in Africa (YILAA) and its partners has for two consecutive years organized the CIGOFA conference. CIGOFA aims to offer an opportunity for governments, youth, private entities etc., to reflect and discuss land related issues, focusing on ways on how to increase youth involvement at all levels.
The first CIGOFA conference was held in December of 2020, in Cotonou, Benin. This year the 2nd CIGOFA conference will kick-off on the 13th October 2021 until the 16th October 2021. Discussions will mainly be focused around- why land governance is key in tackling climate change and economic injustice. This year the CIGOFA conference will be held as a physical & virtual meeting, a link will be shared and interested groups from the public, partners & members can join, to be part of the conference.
At CIGOFA2, YILAA will also present to its partners the different projects the organisation is working on already to help young people across Africa face Climate change. Precisely, YILAA is developing a project to fight desertification in Africa that include a pilot research phase that will be conducted in Benin.
The conference aims to provide a platform for the participants to discuss and share ideas on good land practices that can be beneficial in land governance and youth economic justice. It also seeks to look at ways on how youth can play a vital role in the climate crisis fight, through their involvement in land tenure systems and hopefully creating networking and partnership opportunities.
Ultimately the conference CIGOFA to achieve common grounds for the youth and their governments to tackle the issues of land, climate change and economic justice. However, all this can only be achieved if the youth are incorporated in the governance of policy-making processes and decision-making, and if the youth are allowed to take part in initiatives aimed at tackling climate change and economic justice through secure land tenures.
Participants in this conference will leave with a vast knowledge on how to promote economic and climate justice, and have a clearer direction on how to successfully implement this tools to their various national/regional systems, in order to achieve good land governance and practices which puts the youth into consideration.
Register for CIGOFA2 here!
Written by: Selma Amadhila