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Mobility and connectivity: driving rural livelihood transformations in Africa

Griet Steel, Paul van Lindert

Briefing, 4 pages

Recent research in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania has revealed major drivers of rural livelihood transformations and local development. Thanks to improved connectivity, greater mobility and better rural-city connections, rural people are diversifying their livelihoods and transforming agricultural production systems. This has created rural non-farm labour opportunities, which in turn stimulates positive socioeconomic dynamics in the regions. But it has also triggered challenges. Without government support for large-scale investment in infrastructure and regional planning, not everyone benefits to the same extent. Positive government-led measures could foster local and regional development in sub-Saharan Africa — recognising that livelihood transformation and mobility dynamics are essential not only to individual households but to society at large.

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Urbanisation drives profound transformations in rural areas and in food systems, presenting both challenges and opportunities for poverty reduction, rural development and food security. Policies at the local, national, regional and global scales are of critical importance in shaping rural-urban linkages and the political economy of food systems.

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Urbanisation, rural-urban transformations and food systems