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National Rural Development Conference - Implementing Rural Development Policy
Start Date: Jan 29, 2014
End Date: Jan 30, 2014
Venue: East London International Convention Centre
Description: ‘Strategies, Challenges and Solutions’

This highly innovative and forward thinking event is scheduled for the 29th – 31st January at the East London International Convention Centre.

About the Conference
Since 2009, rural development has been one of the major areas of focus in the development strategy and policy of the Government of South Africa. Although previous attempts were made in this area in the preceding years since 1994 in the form of policy provisions that were encapsulated in policy instruments such as the RDP and ISRDP, the positioning of rural development to the centre of development strategy and policy in the country was signalled most clearly in President Jacob
Zuma’s State of the Nation address of 3 June 2009.

This shift towards greater emphasis on rural development came in recognition of the deepening plight of the vast majority of the people of the country who live in rural areas and who continue to face grinding poverty and inequality.

This major announcement by the President was soon thereafter followed by the formulation, under the auspices of the then newly-established Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, of a policy called the Comprehensive Rural
Development Programme (CRDP). After a period of research during which the CRDP was piloted at Muyexe Village at Giyani in Limpopo Province as well as in other parts of the country, the CRDP is now in the process of being implemented on a nationwide scale. With this flagship programme for rural development now at the stage of implementation, it is important to explore, assess and analyse its progress, and most importantly to provide workable solutions to observed challenges and bottlenecks. In essence, a sine qua non of such an exercise is to assist government departments and agencies that are currently grappling with these challenges.

It is in the light of the above that two black-owned firms, MayeCon Rural Development and Conferencing and Elwazini Conferencing, working in association with a range of partners and stakeholders in the three spheres of our government, as well as with development agencies, have initiated a process of providing platforms and facilitating a series of engagements on various aspects of this very important topic. As its theme highlighted above indicates, the conference is designed to focus
on the practical dimension of rural development, i.e. on issues that are related specifically to the implementation of programmes and projects. These include institutional capacity, resource availability and allocation, programme design,
fine-tuning of implementation models, capacity-building and skills development among various players, fostering of stronger linkages between rural development and land reform, agrarian transformation, agro-processing, as well as non-agricultural income generation strategies, incentive and support mechanisms and the empowerment of women and youth.

Key Conference Objectives
The overarching objective of the conference is to support the process of fine-tuning implementation models for rural development in the country, supporting capacity and skills development, supporting efforts aimed at mobilisation of necessary resources, and ensuring effectiveness in programme and project implementation.
The conference will thus cover the following range of issues:

• To provide an opportunity for systematic dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge on the national vision and strategies on rural development in South Africa;
• To establish a forum for the presentation of success stories drawn from the national South African, African and international experience;
• To establish a forum for identifying sustainable solutions to the known challenges and logjams that presently inhibit the successful implementation of many rural development initiatives in South Africa;
• To add value to the current efforts of government and its agencies in a number of related areas in the area of rural development through an integrated approach that will tap into the inputs made by the conference participants;
• To provide the participants with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that will be essential for their own work environments, especially in terms of developing programme and project implementation management systems, as well as effective capacity in the areas of extension and community liaison and support;
• To support the building of momentum towards the transformation of the rural economy and its integration into the wider national economy as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP);
• To facilitate processes aimed at establishment of rural-based co-operatives;
• To utilise rural development programmes to promote and ensure the effective economic and social empowerment of women and youth in rural areas;
• To enhance current efforts in stakeholder management and the establishment of partnerships between the government, civil society, traditional authorities, and the private sector for rural development; and
• To harness the contribution of research and academic institutions towards rural development in the areas of capacity and skills development support.
Website: http://www.elwaziniconferencing.co.za
Created By: CPSI
Organizers: Enabling Education for Success
Participation Requirements: Open

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