African Migration, Rural Consumers and Other Reports
Every week, Rural Reporters collate reports on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles which have been carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues. Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:
Africa faces a surge in internal and cross-border migration in the coming years due to increased climate change and its impact on life and livelihood.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Director for Africa, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, environmental factors have an impact on migration flows from rural areas to cities to avoid harsh or deteriorating conditions.
“Such migration can have positive and negative impact on the past local coping capacity and environment and also in areas where migrants originate or in areas for temporary or permanent destination,” she explained on the sidelines of the COP 22 climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco.
Rural markets are being transformed by the remittances from migrant workers. Then there is government intervention, which may be improving their lot.
Published by Sage, his book is titled Rise of Rural Consumer in Developing Countries and professor Mahajan is John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin.
The book is all about the growing power of consumers in rural markets in developing countries in Asia and Africa. It examines the forces that are adding to rural prosperity, including the billions of dollars in remittances. And the young man waiting on Mahajan in the coffee lounge of a prominent New Delhi hotel becomes an instant case study. He comes from a village in Uttarakhand and landed in Delhi looking for work. His father tends to his farms back home. But the young man who is being quizzed says he sends money to his parents. And the money is transferred online. “That’s a live example of remittance going back to the village and adding to the rise in rural consumption,” says Mahajan as he concludes his conversation with the waiter.
The energy and food sector cross-over is fast tracking its way in West Africa, with the impetus being placed on electricity access and job creation – with energy access a key priority for many African regions, creating an economically sustainable production of renewable energy remains high.
Establishing a ‘sustainable industry within the community’ remains the key theme for newly formed energy and agriculture group, Wesaf Energy, who are exploring this growing market. The founders have identified ethanol, a bi-product of sugarcane, as a reliable and sustainable feedstock, which will be a huge driver for local content.
Lack of access to cooking fuel has a major impact on the continent’s environment. Poor rural people have no choice but to burn wood and charcoal for cooking – accelerating deforestation and soil degradation, which in turn speeds up the warming of the planet. An estimated 600,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa die every year from fumes emitted from cooking stoves, most of them under the age of five.
If current trends continue, fewer than half of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050, but the 58 per cent of Africans who do not have access to an energy grid are also the green energy consumers of the future.
THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, have concluded plans to sustain the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme initiatives by establishing Rural Outreach Coordinating Committee (ROCC) to enhance financial inclusion in rural areas after the exit of RUFIN.
Last week, GroundUp accompanied four Durban University of Technology (DUT) students as they set out in the pouring rain from Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg for Bhekuximba High School. It is a 55km drive ending in a slippery gravel road that passes many small rondavel homes. The school has a few broken windows.
“Parents have no money to buy sanitary pads and girls miss classes. Some of them use old cloths and that don’t last the whole day. It’s a very difficult situation,” said Thanda Ncalane, a teacher . “We know that each month we will have a number of girls absent, and that is because they don’t have sanitary pads. It is a situation that is beyond our control. There is nothing that can be done but we wait for them to be finish their cycle and they come to school when they are done.”
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Minister of State, Office of the President, Republic of Ghana says Africa has the capacity to pull the youth out of the development quagmire.
This follows the commemoration of the 7th Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) took place on October 28, 2016.
The call is for enhanced efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition in Africa, through investment in child nutrition.
Quoting the AU Agenda 2063 that, “Envisions an Africa whose development is people driven and hinged on the potential of its own people especially its women and youth.”