The Women and Youth Dialogue on Land Reform kicks off in Boksburg this morning under the theme ‘Land, Our Heritage’.
Hosted by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the dialogue is intended to create a platform to discuss the participation of women and youth in the economy through land reform programmes.
Another objective of the Women and Youth Dialogue on Land Reform, which ends on Friday, is to make a holistic assessment of tools and equipment needs that make a business enterprise viable and measure the availability of the basic requirements against what tools and equipment are in the possession of women, particularly those in the rural areas.
According to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, this yardstick exercise will be conducted through various reports from women at the conference. It will be used to determine whether women are empowered and the different levels of empowerment, as well as the lack of empowerment and its extent.
The youth unemployment rate is currently sitting at around 36%, which doesn’t augur well for the national aspiration of having a generation that will inherit the task of running the country in future.
The dialogue will explore different avenues of involving the youth in projects while simultaneously making a dent on the youth unemployment rate.
Stakeholders from different public and private sectors, including NGOs, are expected to converge at the conference to discuss and map a way forward for the creation of an enabling environment for women and youth empowerment and development in the land reform sector.
There will be presentations by expert specialists and speakers, and panel discussions by key stakeholders focusing on the challenges faced by women and youth in the sector such as access to land and finance, tools and equipment; markets for products; further training and knowledge development and linking women and youth to players within the agricultural sectors and relevant government entities to help them run viable and sustainable businesses.
The women and youth will be made up of those who are active participants and beneficiaries in the rural development and land reform space, smallholder farmers, cooperatives, final-year tertiary students, National Rural Youth Service Corps participants, academics, researchers, the legal fraternity, Land Claims Court officials and women and youth traditional leadership, among others. - SAnews.gov.za