A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

A Toolkit for Developing Countries

image of A New Rural Development Paradigm for the 21st Century

Three billion people live in rural areas in developing countries. Conditions for them are worse than for their urban counterparts when measured by almost any development indicator, from extreme poverty, to child mortality and access to electricity and sanitation. And the gulf is widening, contributing to large-scale migration to urban areas. This situation exists despite half a century of rural development theories and approaches, and despite the global momentum built around the Millennium Development Goals between 2000 and 2015. Without greater progress on rural development, it is unlikely that the new Sustainable Development Goals will be met. This book calls for a new paradigm for rural development that is equipped to meet the challenges and harness the opportunities of the 21st century – including climate change, demographic shifts, international competition and fast-moving technological change.



Experiences on rural development from Sub-Saharan Africa: Côte d'Ivoire and Tanzania

OECD Development Centre

Sub-Saharan Africa faces many rural development challenges. Its demographic transition has come late, and the sub-continent has the highest fertility rates in the world. The process of structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa is also still in the early stages, with agriculture being the predominant livelihood activity. This chapter explores the challenges and opportunities of two sub-Saharan African countries – Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania – and draws out some wider lessons. The two countries have taken different approaches to rural development. Côte d’Ivoire has prioritised agricultural development and diversification as the engine of the economy, rather than implementing an explicit rural development strategy. However, despite strong agricultural performance, extreme poverty is entrenched and the country has seen human development levels decline since the 1990s. Tanzania has adopted different approaches to rural development over time but, even if the country has recorded sustained economic growth since the mid-2000s and levels of extreme poverty have fallen substantially, this has not translated into a substantial increase in the living standards of the rural population. Inadequate implementation and governance are some of the main factors holding the country back from making significant advances in rural livelihoods.


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