This debate, which comes at a time of increased focus on Africa’s demographic boom and rapid urbanisation, sought to consider the implications for rural jobs and youth, migration and economic transformation in the continent. Employment, especially for youth, agricultural transformation, and the use of peri-urban areas and small intermediary cities as service hubs emerged as the dominant talking points of the Briefing.
The discussions pointed out the importance of infrastructure to link rural, peri-urban and urban areas, particularly the construction of good roads that can reduce transportation costs and promote development of the off-farm economy. Furthermore, a strong emphasis was placed on the need to make rural transformation inclusive through the right policy interventions and finance mechanisms.
Several examples of successes from producers, young entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers highlighted new opportunities for value-chain actors in the context of urbanisation and stronger rural-urban linkages. Of significance in terms of emerging trends is the growing demand created by urban consumers, which offers new markets for farmers and entrepreneurs in fresh and processed foods.
“The greatest opportunity for transforming African agriculture into a highly productive and profitable sector that creates value for smallholder producers and jobs for young people will come from establishing strong rural-urban linkages essential to meet the rapidly growing demand of urban consumers for fresh and processed foods ”.
Michael Hailu, Director of CTA
Find out more
- Read the interview on rural-urban links with Steve Wiggins, Researcher at UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- Visit the Brussels Development Briefing 48 website for the presentations, resources and other media
- Read the Spore Magazine No. 176 Marketing and packaging: the retail revolution (2015)
- Find out about CTA’s support for sustainable agricultural development: helping young people in business
Watch the video streaming of the Brussels Briefing 48