On 4 July, more than a hundred people gathered in Brussels to explore ways to address the rural development challenges for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

Convened by CTA and other partners, this first ‘Brussels Development Briefing’ discussed the macro-economic environment and its impact on the rural poor in ACP countries, regional integration processes in Africa, and issues of aid effectiveness and harmonization amongst donors.

Participants actively quizzed speakers on their assessments of the issues and on the promising directions to follow.

The good news is that agriculture and rural development look to be back on the international agenda. A key message was that we need to start by really looking at poor people as producers contributing to growth and prosperity – part of the ‘solution’ rather than the problem. Further, national governments need to put their pledges into practice and give support to rural development. Donors donors need to urgently address the coherence of the ways they provide development assistance, and pay closer attention to the needs of rural communities.

Download a report of the meeting (pdf)

More reports on the discussions, as well as substantial background information, interviews, presentations and video recordings of the presentations are accessible at www.brusselsbriefings.net.

The next briefing in October will discuss the European Commission’s recent communication on ‘advancing African Agriculture.’

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