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Friday, 12 June 2009

Angola's rural quest..

The Angola Government is undertaking a rural development program as it attempts to reduce rural poverty by diversifying away oil-focused economy to the country’s once-booming agricultural sector. To achieve this, the government has launched a major stimulus plan to improve farming opportunities and increase services outside of major towns and cities. Its Integrated Rural Development Plan aims to improve roads, schools, health services, access to micro-credit for farming cooperatives, training programmes and building new homes.

The NGOs are not convinced the plans are realistict :
"the best government can hope for is to slow the stem of people migrating into the cities to find work....I can’t see these new schemes making people want to go back. Families have settled in cities, they have married people from different provinces, so where would they go back to and what do they have to go back to if they left 20 years ago?".
Another NGO notes the problem is engagement :
"In Angola, I don’t think the problem is lack of investment....I think it is lack of engagement with communities where the investment is being made. We need to hear the voice of the people, not just government talking in their name, telling the people what they need."
More detail on this debate via IPS .

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