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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Striving for Growth, Bypassing the Poor? A Critical Review of Rwanda's Rural Sector Policies
Author:Ansoms, An
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:poverty reduction
rural development
agricultural policy
Development and Technology
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Economics and Trade
Abstract:The commitment of the international community to the millennium development goals has placed the fight against poverty as the top priority on the agendas of international donor and recipient countries. This paper studies the Rwandan case to address some of the challenges and pitfalls in defining pro-poor strategies. Rwanda entered the poverty reduction strategy programme (PRSP) process in 2000. The paper first looks at the danger of a purely growth-led development focus (as in Rwanda's first PRSP), and evaluates the extent to which the agricultural sector has been a pro-poor growth engine. It then studies Rwanda's current rural policies, which aim to modernize and 'professionalize' the rural sector. There is a high risk that these rural policy measures will be at the expense of the large mass of small-scale peasants. This paper stresses that the real challenge to transform the rural sector into a true pro-poor growth engine will be to value and incorporate the capacity and potential of small-scale 'non-professional' peasants into the core strategies for rural development. The lessons drawn from the Rwandan case should inspire policymakers and international donors worldwide to shift their focus away from a purely output-led logic towards distribution-oriented rural development policies. In other words, the challenge is to reconcile efficiency in creating economic growth with equity, and perhaps, to put equity first. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]