“Women are key in desertification and restoration fight”

The President of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan Africa Center, Samia Yaba Nkrumah

The President of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan Africa Center, Samia Yaba Nkrumah, has said the role of women is critical to achieving the global ambition to restore a million hectares of land and create million green jobs by 2030.

She said women must be involved keenly in the decision process while noting that inclusive authority and social justice at all levels protect the rights of all humans whether black or white.

“A future that avoids, minimizes, and reverses desertification and mitigates drought in affected areas at all levels is what we must fight towards and women must be intensely involved,” she said.

Samia Yaba Nkrumah indicated that to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought, “we must recognize the unique role played by women in regions affected by desertification and drought, particularly in rural areas of developing countries.”

She said in many of the dry, agricultural areas of the world, it is traditionally women who devote time and effort to the land – grow, process, manage and market most of the food and other natural resources that come from the earth.
She added that very often women are the poorest of the poor and lack the power and the opportunities to bring about real change.

“Poor women in the drylands have frequently been conditioned to accept their disadvantaged positions. They are the most affected by desertification, and yet the least empowered to effectively address this challenge.

They are often excluded from participation in land conservation and development projects, from agricultural extension work and from policies that directly affect their livelihoods” she said.

Samia Yaba Nkrumah believes special efforts must be undertaken to provide women with an enabling environment while effectively addressing this global problem. “It is of vital importance not only to provide women with technical and financial resources but also to promote and fully recognize their role as vital dryland stakeholders.”

The daughter of the first President of Ghana, who is also a former Member of Parliament for Jomoro, in the Western Region, made these remarks in an exclusive interview at the backdrop of the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in New Delhi India.

The Session was organized by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in collaboration with the government of India on the theme – Let’s move towards a greener future.

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