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Land access key to economy

WITH agriculture top on the agenda in most government plans for economic development, many young people are increasingly showing interest in full-time farming or agro-related entrepreneurship. But for many, access to land is a major constraint.
“Women, too, have been facing such challenges for a long time, and yet they have within them the ability to start up innovations that can transform the region’s economic situation if they had equal access to land,” said South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thokozile Didiza, recently in Gaborone, Botswana.
Ms Didiza was speaking at a high-level policy dialogue themed ‘Land policy reform and socio-economic transformation in southern Africa’ organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNECA SRO-SA) with support from the Botswana Ministry of Land Management, Sanitation and Water Resources.
As special guest at the dialogue, Ms Didiza gave a trajectory of the history of land reform in the region, sharing unique experiences of land reform processes in member states and emphasising the key roles women play in ensuring land is put to good use at individual and family level.