Rural development hinges on the dictates of the growth poles theory. François Perroux introduced the idea of economic Growth Poles in 1949 whose central notion is based on the concept of abstract economic space. The theory argues that decentralization of activities from the centre to the periphery enables the general populace to access services and opportunities better and helps to curtail migration to the centre. In line with the dictates of the growth poles theory, Zimbabwe in 1980 established growth points which helped in the curtailment of rural-urban migration through the decentralization of services to rural areas and the creation of employment opportunities for the rural folk. This paper deliberates on the practicalities and challenges of implementing the growth poles theory and the theory impacted on rural development in Zimbabwe, on the backdrop of skewed rural development policies and economic malaise. The author suggests that political will and a stable economic environment would unlock the prospects and propensity held by the growth pole theory.
Key words: Rural development, Growth Poles theory, growth points, decentralisation, employment opportunities, populace, services.
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