Africa’s development transformation can only be possible through fast rural development, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, said.
According to Dr. Mayaki, Africa’s transformation will not be possible if not driven by development in the rural areas of the continent where the majority of the population lives.
“Africa is a young continent keeping majority of its population in rural areas and that will be the case in the next 50 years” said Dr. Mayaki, adding the continent needs to be ready for its young population who soon will take over the continent.
Dr. Mayaki further said that even though the continent enjoyed economic growth over recent years, “we are still the most unequal continent in the world because progress has not been inclusive”. Rural development must be addressed and demographic and socioeconomic changes must be assessed in order to feed policy design processes.
Dr Mayaki announced the launch of an Atlas entitled ‘New Emerging Rural World’ produced by NEPAD in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) which is said to assess the rural inclusive growth and change in Africa. The publication is a mechanism to monitor the transformation and dynamics of development in rural areas of the continent.
“Figures and actual facts in the atlas help us to monitor the development and the impact at the yearly basis and report back what has and [has] not been done and this help us to formulate policies that benefit our rural population” said Estherine Lisinge Fotabong, Program Director of NEPAD.
Human settlement and urbanization, economic dynamics and agricultural performance and rural resources and regional dynamics are among the topics that the Atlas included.
“The paradox in increase of rural poverty, even if economic growth is being witnessed, is an indication that we need to have a different thinking,“ Fotabong says, adding future development thinking should have people in its centre so that the growth benefits everyone.
Caption – Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki
Photo Credit – Addis Standard/Emnet Assefa