An Africa-Europe agenda for rural transformation
This report (PDF) by the Task Force Rural Africa proposes strategies and policies, harnessing cooperation between Africa and Europe, to enable the African agri-food and rural economy to respond to the challenge of generating sufficient jobs and incomes for the African workforce. Four strategic aresas of action are proposed: 1) A territorial approach for income and job creation. Look beyond the agricultural sector per se, unlock the potential of rural areas and secondary cities, strengthen the capacity of local people and empower local/regional/national institutions. 2) Sustainable land and natural resources management. Adopting a food systems approach to agri-food policies and investments allows targeting of economic, invironmental and social sustainability. 3) Sustainable transformation of African agriculture. Measures to achieve rapid inclusive agricultural growth, using and preserving the full potential of ecological resources to co-design with local actors. 4) Development of the African food industry and markets, via local and regional value chain development, better access to finance and the creating of an enabling environment. The combination of short and long term proposals represents a policy sequencing, with short term measures representing ‘early wins’ in terms of development outcomes, followed by sustainable gains from longer term investments of agricultural intensifcation, agro-industry, infrastructure, intra-regional trade and increased investments. Africa and Europe should implement and innovative partnership for the inclusive and sustainable development of Africa’s agri-food sector and rural economy, where African political and policy leadership should be a key element. It should operate at three levels: people-people, business-business and government-government. Another central message of the report is that there needs to be sustained and substantial investment in Africa’s people and the full growth potential of Africa’s agri-food and rural economy must be realised if the jobs challenge is to have any change of being met. For follow-up, first high lelvel political commitment to implement the recommendations is needed. Second, an implementation plan should be drawn.