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close this bookJobs for Africa - Towards a Programme of Action - Report of the ILO/UNDP Programme on Employment Generation and Poverty Reduction (ILO - UNDP, 1997, 107 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: Technical assistance for the generation of employment and reduction of poverty
close this folder2.2 Technical Assistance at the National Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.2.1 Promoting social dialogue for training
Open this folder and view contents2.2.2 Small and medium enterprise development
View the document2.2.3 A poverty and employment monitoring action technical assistance programme
View the document2.2.4 Employment Intensive Infrastructure Programme (EIP)
View the document2.2.5 Policies and programmes to enhance women's employment
View the document2.2.6 Policies and programmes for job creation through rural development
View the document2.2.7 Job creation through cooperatives in Africa

2.2.6 Policies and programmes for job creation through rural development

Rural economies of the SSA countries can not have healthy growth unless the rest of the SSA economies achieve robust growth. Policies for employment-intensive growth of the rural economy must be designed as an integral part of the strategy of growth for the overall economy.

To ensure a high output elasticity of employment it will be necessary to adopt several measures that will provide additional impetus to equity. An important is that the total package of policies will have a far greater effect on output and employment than the sum of the effects of individual policies in isolation. This is because the package includes clusters within which policies are mutually reinforcing, rendering these clusters into virtuous circles.

9 A regional research programme in several French - and English speaking African countries is being set up to review the impact of financial sector liberalisation on the access of SMEs and microenterprises to bank services. This programme will be steered by committees composed of Central Banks, commercial banks, credit unions, business associations and other user groups; the actual research will be carried by local research institutions in partnership with Dutch and other European agencies.

· Land is the primary resource in rural SSA. Improved access to productive resources is the key to the enhancement of productive employment. In many countries peasant commitment to land improvement can be enhanced greatly by replacing the informal access to land by proper land titling. Where redistributive land reform is not feasible, progressive land tax and other measures should be implemented to discourage large landowners from keeping land unused for speculative purposes and to encourage them to use it for productive purposes.

· The SSA countries should diversify their agricultural exports in the direction of goods for which demand is more income elastic. It is highly unlikely that private flows into SSA will rise much in the near future. Thus, the SSA countries will however continue to require a substantial inflow of external resources. Since the prices of their exports are unlikely to return to the levels prevailing in the 1970s and the early 1980s in real terms, these countries will need to be “compensated” until they are able to develop new exports. Examples of such goods are cut flowers and fruits and vegetables.

· The development of new, export-oriented, farm products and the promotion of rural non-farm activities may be treated simultaneously because they need similar incentives and resources. The identification of products is the beginning. This task is clearly beyond the ability of individual farmers and small-scale rural entrepreneurs. Agricultural research systems must take the lead, in association with public or private trading agencies, in identifying these products, in providing credit and in promoting prospective entrepreneurs with assistance in design and marketing services.

· The rural economy must receive adequate reward for its effort. The first major requirement is to abandon the age-old system of imposing unfavourable producers' price on the farmers. A second area in which incentives need adjustment is the discriminatory taxes, tariffs and controls that harm smallholders and obviate the adoption of labour-intensive techniques of production.

· Peasants must have improved access to basic implements, improved seed and fertilizer. The supply of these inputs must be increased substantially and their absorption must be facilitated by peasants' access to credit. Increased access to basic inputs must be complemented by the provision of extension services.

· The improvement in infrastructure with emphasis on roads and irrigation is crucial to the accessibility of technology and its benefits.