ILO therefore called for more increased investment in the rural areas to boost growth and
development on the African continent.
PANA reports that the ILO Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, Mr.
He stated: "Boosting agriculture and building around it a strong rural economy is crucial for
"A key lesson from ILO rural work is recognizing that rural communities have much potential, and that investment can empower them through integrated approaches. This should start with basic physical and social infrastructures such as roads, energy, education and health facilities.
"Investments should also target relevant skills development and entrepreneurship support, including through cooperatives and innovative financial mechanisms," he noted.
According to him: "It is not surprising that over 60 per cent of rural people live in extreme poverty, and many flee to the cities, where they usually swell the ranks of the unemployed or the informal workforce".
He also stressed the need to ensure proper occupational safety and health, social protection and basic rights.
He, however, noted that the reality is not lost on African leaders and the
"Promoting rural areas also means combining agriculture with industrial and service activities to stimulate synergies and diversification, and to seize new opportunities in information and communication technology (ICT), tourism, bio-technologies, environmental protection and renewable energy generation, for instance.
"Integrated approaches should include promoting links between public and private stakeholders, developing rural workers' and entrepreneurs' structures, encouraging dialogue between them and with the authorities, and giving capacities and a voice to youth and women, who are the true engines of rural innovation and growth," the ILO official stated.
He also said that another good example is the Rwandan Telecentre Network, with rural centres that provide information technology (IT) services but also serve as delivery hubs where individuals, companies and government can advertise, sell, buy and exchange products and services from e-training to banking, insurance, taxation, healthcare, electricity and information.
The ILO has actively engaged in rural work since the 1920s, with growing attention to
In 2008, the
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