A blueprint to implement rural development policies in Africa has been endorsed at the 2nd Africa Rural Development Forum (ARDF) in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The document serves as a vehicle for advancing rural transformation across the continent and to accelerate the pace towards the visions of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – a strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans.
The blueprint, under the “Yaoundé Declaration and Plan of Action”, will support member states and regional players towards an integrated, cross-sectorial, and coherent set of actions based on local realities, priorities and a shared African vision and narrative.
The Second Edition of the Atlas was also launched under the theme “A new Emerging Rural World: An Overview of rural Change in Africa” providing information and analysis on cross-sectorial factors and dynamics to inform public policy debates and decisions on rural transformation.
According to Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, “It is increasingly clear that advancing rural transformation is not pity or charity to the rural populations. It is critical and integral success factor for Africa’s sustainable economic growth and inclusive development agenda”.
He added that attaining Arica’s aspirations and goals, to a large extent depends on the change in Africa’s rural areas – both in location and people terms.
The 2nd ARDF was organized by the NEPAD Agency under the theme “Transforming Africa’s Rural Areas through Skills Development, Job Creation and Youth Economic Empowerment”.
Among the key thematic issues the Forum highlighted include: Youth Economic Empowerment and skills Development; Rural Development – Policies and Institutions; Rural Infrastructure and ICT; and Green Economy and job creation in advancing Rural Development in Africa.
The Forum also adopted the overarching strategy for rural transformation.
It includes: that rural transformation has to be driven by the whole economy as overarching approach to graduating from the structural limits of dualism; Growing the domestic market base through land and agrarian reforms and agriculture-led rural industrialization; and the crucial role of the State, especially in policy reforms and legislation that reforms the public expenditure architecture towards rural transformation investment priorities.
The Plan of Action will operationalise the Blueprint including adoption by Heads of State and implementation by member states; Establishing a support network for expanded use of the Atlas across all regions; and examine and consider support to strengthen local capacity for generating quality data on rural development.
An implementation and performance management framework will also be developed for the Yaounde Declaration and Plan of Action, and generate evidence-based indicators of the envisioned rural transformation based on mapping and scenario planning based on of Agenda 2063.
The Forum was attended by Ministers of state, experts, civil society including youth and private sector, development partners and local authorities.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh | 3news.com |Ghana