oa Africa Insight - Rural development seminar

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



This seminar, held in Maseru (Lesotho) on 22 August, 1975, was the second in an ongoing series of seminars on rural development arranged by the Africa Institute at the request of Dr Simon Williams (in Mexico), chairman of the Section on Agricultural and Rural Development of the Society for International Development (SID. The previous seminar was held in November 1974 at Luyengo, Swaziland (cf. report in issue 1/1975, p. 89-92, of this Journal). This time Lesotho hosted the seminar and participants came from Swaziland, Gazankulu, the Ciskei, Bophuthatswana, Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. Benefits of economic growth in many countries have been confined to a small minority of the population. Unemployment has reached crisis proportions in a large number of countries and, in quantitative terms, the problems of underemployment and inadequate incomes are even more serious. Although it is now evident that a considerable effort will have to be made to transform the rural sector, international strategies and reports are in fact conspicuously weak when it comes to spelling out the ways in which the rural sector might playa more dynamic role in developing countries. It is recognised that in the long term an increasing proportion of the labour force will move from agriculture into industry, but the crucial problem lies in the management of the intermediate period.

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