Creating welfare and jobs in rural areas is a development policy priority for Africa. Seventy percent of Africa 's rural populations derive their livelihoods from agriculture, and the number of young people living in rural areas is continuously growing and will continue to do so over the next decades.
The NEPAD-led Rural Futures Programme seeks to promote the well-being, gainful employment and increases in household incomes of rural populations through rural transformation. The programme builds on the successes and lessons from AU initiatives such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). Rural Futures supports the acceleration and diversification of economic growth in rural areas by expanding employment and livelihood opportunity, thereby reducing inequality between rural and urban areas and strengthening environmental sustainability. While many programmes in NEPAD follow more or less a sectorial approach, what is needed to address African transformation for development is a broad-based inclusive multi-sectorial approach. This is the approach that the Rural Futures Programme takes.
In its multi-sectorial and integrated approach, Rural Futures specifically looks at rural transformation that brings together different actors. It prioritizes territorial development through robust participatory planning and addresses complex and interwoven issues which include structural issues, human, economic and political issues. This is done in order to facilitate new thinking and broad agreement on Africa 's development pathways based on indicators for structural transformation.