Town and country associations
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CTA. 2000. Town and country associations. Spore 88. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46855
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore88.pdf
a seminar was held in Senegal from 26 to 28 January 2000 on 'Rural-urban interactions: the flows and organisation of resources'.
Those old enemies Town and Country, whose relationships are often tinged with rivalry and scorn, actually have very dynamic links affecting each other, as much in the North as in the South. It was in order to study their mutual linkages that a seminar was held in Senegal from 26 to 28 January 2000 on 'Rural-urban interactions: the flows and organisation of resources'. It was organised by the Euro-African Association for the Anthropology of Development and Social Change (APAD), IRD (the former ORSTOM) and CTA. One hundred sociologists, economists, agronomists and geographers from twelve West African and European countries came together in the northern city of Saint-Louis, a town with a key role in the country s policy of decentralisation, itself a major topic at the meeting. The seminar aimed at strengthening exchanges between Southern and Northern researchers on the theme of rural-urban interaction in Africa, forming working groups and identifying lines of research and methodologies for their joint studies. Among the topics singled out for special attention was the return to the countryside of prodigal sons and daughters, sometimes from the diaspora, and the impact of their new ideas and unused capital funds. These non-farming rural dwellers, who are often viewed with suspicion, are keen to inject new life into rural areas. Migrants returning to their home country often have an important role to play as hubs in the agri-food chain, a factor, which is stimulating the growth of secondary towns. The expanding process of ruralising the town, where agriculture and small-scale livestock development is taking hold merited special interest, as did issues of land tenure, in which increased urbanisation is pitting the State against traditional land authorities, migrants against native, farmers against herders, and young against old. In examining governance and local development, the process of decentralisation, which is intended to improve town-country links, may also rekindle the old fire between local urban and rural bodies, since authority has sometimes been transferred to them without the concomitant means to exercise it. These dynamic relationships between town and country, expressed in the mobility of goods, people and resources, have considerable implications in terms of behaviour, profound change and improvements, and will feed more study. The main contributions and case studies of the seminar will be published in the APAD bulletin. APAD 2, rue de la Charité 13002 Marseille France Fax: +33 491 91 34 01 Website: www.Uni-Mainz.DE/~ifeas/apad-fra.html#outils