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Abstract

This paper examines the intersections between youth access to land, migration decisions and employment opportunities using nationally representative and multi-year data from multiple African countries. We document evidence on the evolving dynamics in land distribution and ownership patterns, the effect of land access on youth livelihood choices and development of rental and sales market in the region. The report highlights six key findings: First, a progressively smaller proportion of young people are inheriting land due to land scarcity. Second, rural youth who do inherit land will need to wait longer to gain access to it because of significantly longer adult life spans. Third, land scarcity has been driving rapid changes in the land ownership and distribution patterns over the past decade and shaping the employment and migration decisions of rural youth. Fourth, the share of individual labour time devoted to farming is declining over time across age categories and gender, signifying that continued economic transformation processes are underway in Africa.

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