The course is aimed at catalysing vibrant rural economies. It focuses on the changing roles of rural policies and services in sub-Saharan Africa. It introduces the participants to a set of five generic types of interventions that boost local market demand. Each generic intervention type will be illustrated by real, life cases in the course by the case owners themselves. The case illustrations will assist in appreciating the rigidity of reality. The participants will also practice with a tool through which newly proposed interventions can be tested on the likely impact these generate. The course is highly interactive and will build on the participant's own experiences and personal cases. These will serve as building blocks for ‘bankable’ project proposals that will be developed during the course. The program offers a balanced ‘diet’ including introductions to concepts, practices, participatory group work, guestlectures, case study presentations and excursions. Course objectives Upon completion of the course you will: have good understanding of conceptual frameworks to identify development opportunities for rural communities and spin-offs for rural wealth creation; be able to appreciate the linkages between poverty and livelihood strategies, the role of agribusiness development and effective services delivery, and the potential of local-to-local markets and value chains to ‘work for the poor’; be able to facilitate participatory approaches and methodologies for innovation and change processes; be able to apply tools and instruments for strategic and effective interventions catalysing processes that boost rural economies. Target audience This regional course is designed for mid-career professionals of government departments, non-governmental and civil society organisations, business associations, development agencies, universities and colleges for higher education, and for other professionals working in the domain of market-driven local economic development.