Skip to main content

Can We Still Only Think ‘Rural’? Bridging the rural–urban divide for rural transformation in a globalized world

Abstract

The international debate on structural change remains focused on sector–based approaches. The discussion on rural transformation is most often limited by the same long-standing bias. In order to answer the major challenges of their demographic and economic transition, many developing countries need to address their new rural-urban dynamics and to adopt territorial-based development strategies.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. AfDB, OECD and UNDP (2013) Structural Transformation and Natural Resources. African Economic Outlook 2013 Paris: OECD.

  2. AfDB, OECD and UNDP (2014) Global Value Chains and Africa’s Industrialization. African Economic Outlook 2014 Paris: OECD.

  3. AfDB, OECD and UNDP (2015) Regional Development and Spatial Inclusion. African Economic Outlook 2015 Paris: OECD.

  4. Agergaard, Jytte, Niels Fold and Katherine V. Gough (2010) Rural-Urban Dynamics. Livelihoods, Mobility and Markets in African and Asian frontiers. London; New York: Routledge.

  5. Alvergne, Christel (2008) Le défi des territoires – Comment dépasser les disparités spatiales en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Paris: Karthala.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bhorat, Haroon and Karmen Naidoo (2013) ‘Africa’s Jobs Challenge’, DPRU Policy Brief, PB 13/30, Cape Town: University of Cape Town.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Birdsall, Nancy (2006) ‘Stormy Days on an Open Field: Asymmetries in the global economy’, Working Paper 81, Washington DC: Center for Global Development.

  8. Brooks, Karen, Sergiy Zorya, Amy Gautam and Aparajita Goyal (2013) ‘Agriculture as a Sector of Opportunity for Young People in Africa’, Policy Research Working Paper # 6473, Washington DC: World Bank.

  9. Bélières, Jean-François, Philippe Bonnal, Pierre-Marie Bosc, Bruno Losch, Jacques Marzin and Jean-Michel Sourisseau (2014) Family Farming around the World: Definitions, contributions and public policies. Collection: A Savoir Paris: AFD.

  10. Chaléard, Jean-Louis and Alain Dubresson (eds.) (2000) Villes et campagnes dans les pays du sud. Géographie des relations. Paris: Karthala.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Christiaensen, Luc and Yasuyuki Todo (2014) ‘Poverty Reduction during the Rural-Urban Transformation – The role of the missing middle’, World Development 63(C): 43–58.

  12. Collier, Paul (2008) ‘The Politics of Hunger: How illusion and greed fan the food crisis’, Foreign Affairs 87(6): 67–79.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Collier, Paul (2009) ‘Africa’s Organic Peasantry. Beyond Romanticism’, Harvard International Review 32(2): 62–65.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Cotula, Lorenzo, Sonja Vermeulen, Rebeca Leonard and James Keeley (2009) Land Grab or Development Opportunity? Agricultural investment and international land deals in Africa. London; Rome: IIED-FAO-IFAD.

    Google Scholar 

  15. de Bruijn, Mirjam, Rijk van Dijk and Dick Foeken (2001) Mobile Africa: Changing patterns of movement in Africa and beyond. Leiden: Brill.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Delgado, Christopher, Jane Hopkins and Valerie A. Kelly (1998) ‘Agricultural Growth Linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Research Report 107, Washington DC: IFPRI.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Denis, Eric and François Moriconi-Ebrard (2010) Africapolis: Dynamique de l’urbanisation en Afrique de l’Ouest, approche géo-statistique 1950-2020. Paris: AFD.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Devarajan, Shantayanan (2013) ‘Africa’s Statistical Tragedy’, Review of Income and Wealth 59(S1): S9–S15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Diao, Xinshen, Peter Hazell, Danielle Resnick and James Thurlow (2007) ‘The Role of Agriculture in Development: Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa’, Research Report 153, Washington DC: IFPRI.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Dinh, Hinh T., Vincent Palmade, Vandana Chandra and Frances Cossar (2012) Light Manufacturing in Africa: Targeted policies to enhance private investment and create jobs, Africa development forum. Washington DC: The World Bank – Agence Française de Développement.

  21. Dorosh, Paul and James Thurlow (2014) ‘Can Cities or Towns Drive African Development? Economywide analysis for Ethiopia and Uganda’, World Development 63(C): 113–123.

  22. Filmer, Deon and Louise Fox (2014) Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Development Forum. Washington DC: The World Bank – Agence Française de Développement.

  23. Fioramonti, Lorenzo (2013) Gross Domestic Problem. The Politics Behind the World’s most Powerful Number. London: Zed Books.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Ghani, Ejaz and Stephen D. O’Connell (2014) ‘Can Service be a Growth Escalator in Low Income Countries?’, Policy Research Working Paper No. 6971, Washington DC: World Bank.

  25. Headey, Derek, Dirk Bezemer and Peter B. Hazell (2010) ‘Agricultural Employment Trends in Asia and Africa: Too fast or too slow? The World Bank Research Observer 25(1): 57–89.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. IFAD (2014) A Rural Transformation Agenda. IFAD Post-2015 Overview Document. Rome: IFAD.

  27. Johnston, Bruce F. and John W. Mellor (1961) ‘The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development’, American Economic Review 51(4): 566–93.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Johnston, Bruce F. and Peter Kilby (1975) Agriculture and Structural Transformation: Economic strategies in latedeveloping countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Kuznets, Simon (1966) Modern Economic Growth. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Losch, Bruno (2012) Crisis Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agriculture: The key to the employment challenge. Perspective no.19 Montpellier: CIRAD.

  31. Losch, Bruno, Géraud Magrin and Jacques Imbernon (eds.) (2013) A New Emerging Rural World. An Overview of Rural Change in Africa. Atlas for NEPAD‘s Rural Futures Program. Montpellier: Cirad.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Losch, Bruno (2015) ‘The Elusive Quest for Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Regional Challenges and Policy Options’, in Lawrence Haddad, Hiroshi Kato and Nicolas Meisel (eds.) Growth is Dead, Long Live Growth: The quality of economic growth and why it matters. Tokyo: JICA Press.

  33. Losch, Bruno and Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh (2013) ‘Quelles agricultures face aux défis des transitions africaines? Le small-scale versus large-scale en débat’, Cahiers Agricultures 22(1): 10–15.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Losch, Bruno, Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh and Eric Thomas White (2012) Structural Transformation and Rural Change Revisited. Challenges for Late Developing Countries in a Globalizing World. Africa Development Forum. Washington DC: The World Bank – Agence Française de Développement.

  35. McMillan, Margaret, Dani Rodrik and Íñigo Verduzco (2014) ‘Globalization, Structural Change and Productivity Growth with an Update on Africa’, World Development 63: 11–32.

    Google Scholar 

  36. OECD-SWAC (2013) Settlement, Market and Food Security. Paris: OECD.

  37. PAI and AFIDEP (2012) Population, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development in Africa. Policy & Issue Brief Washington DC and Nairobi: Population Action International and the African Institute for Development Policy.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Paulais, Thierry (2012) Financing Africa’s Cities. The Imperative of Local Investment. Africa Development Forum. Washington DC: The World Bank – Agence Française de Développement.

  39. Proctor, Felicity and Valerio Lucchesi (2012) Small-Scale Farming and Youth in an Era of Rapid Rural Change. Knowledge Programme. The Hague; London: Hivos; IIED.

  40. Rist, Gilbert (2003) The History of Development: From Western origins to global faith. London: Zed Books.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Rodrik, Dani (2013) ‘The Past, Present, and Future of Economic Growth’, Working Paper 1, London: Global Citizen Foundation.

  42. Rostow, Walt Whitman (1960) The Stages of Economic Growth: A non-communist manifesto. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Sourisseau, Jean-Michel (ed.) (2014) Family Farming and the Worlds to Come. Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Sumberg, James, Nana Akua Anyidoho, Jennifer Leavy, Dolf J.H. te Lintelo and Kate Wellard (2012) ‘The Young People and Agriculture “Problem” in Africa’, IDS Bulletin 43(6): 1–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Tacoli, Cecilia (1998) Bridging the Divide: Rural-urban Interactions and livelihood strategies. London: IIED.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Tacoli, Cecilia and David Satterthwaite (2003) ‘The Urban Part of Rural Development: The role of small and intermediate urban centres in rural and regional development and poverty reduction’, Rural-Urban Working Paper 9, London: IIED.

  47. The Economist (2014) ‘Economic Convergence: The headwinds return’, 13 September.

  48. Timmer, C. Peter (2009) A World without Agriculture: The structural transformation in historical perspective. Washington DC: The American Enterprise Institute Press

    Google Scholar 

  49. UN-DESA (2014) ‘World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision’. Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, CD-ROM Edition.

  50. UN-DESA (2015) ‘World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision’. Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, CD-ROM Edition.

  51. UNCTAD (2006) ‘Developing Productive Capacities’, Report on the Least Developed Countries, New York and Geneva: United Nations.

  52. UNCTAD (2015) ‘Transforming Rural Economies’. The Least Developed Countries Report, New York and Geneva: United Nations.

  53. UNECA (2011) ‘Governing Development in Africa: The role of the state in economic transformation’, Economic Report on Africa 2011, Addis Ababa: UNECA.

    Google Scholar 

  54. UNIDO (2008) ‘Breaking In and Moving Up: New industrial challenges for the bottom billion and the middle-income countries’, Industrial Development Report 2009, Vienna: UNIDO.

    Google Scholar 

  55. UNRISD (2010) Combating Poverty and Inequality. Structural change, social policy and politics. Geneva: UNRISD.

  56. World Bank (2007) World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for development. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  57. World Bank (2008) ‘Reshaping Economic Geography’, World Development Report 2009, Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  58. World Bank (2012) Inclusive Green Growth: The pathway to sustainable development. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bruno Losch.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Losch, B. Can We Still Only Think ‘Rural’? Bridging the rural–urban divide for rural transformation in a globalized world. Development 58, 169–176 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41301-016-0015-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • demographic transition
  • urbanization
  • employment
  • territorial development
  • agriculture
  • development strategy