Banning Child Marriages Gains Traction in Africa 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:

Here’s a rundown of the top stories making headlines in rural Africa this week.

Banning Child And Forced Marriages is Gaining Traction in Africa

The Zimbabwean Constitutional Court has delivered a landmark decision outlawing all marriages below the age of 18. This includes customary marriages.

Predictably, the move generated a great deal of comment and questions. There were even suggestions that the Zimbabwean decision was the first of its kind in Africa.

Telling Africa’s Agriculture Stories Through Radio, TV, Film

Showcasing African farming through TV, radio, and film can help engage the public in conversations about agriculture, food justice, and sustainability, according to a report in FoodTank.

These forms of media allow information to cross geographic boundaries and reach a wide audience. From reality TV shows to radio broadcasts, media can be a way for the world to learn more about African farming and the food system.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, campaigned for his new job partly by calling on African governments to engage African youth in agriculture.

Leaping into the future: Nigeria’s Rural Microfinance Community Gets Connected

In the 1970s, microfinance took off as people started extending credit to small businesses and farmers as a way of getting them out of poverty. Microfinance works: the only problem is it’s hard to scale; it’s time-consuming and expensive to disburse and collect loans for instance. People are not able to transfer money within countries like Nigeria because they can’t get normal bank accounts or afford to pay 20% for traditional remittance/money transfers.

The conditions to have a bank account are difficult and banks are not that accessible in rural areas. (According to the Gates Foundation, 95% urban Nigeria has access to financial services, while rural is 24%). Money transfer is a financial service that is needed but not accessible.

 

Tanzania Advancing with Rural Electrification

Minister of Energy and Minerals, Sospeter Muhongo, has stated that the third phase of rural electrification is on the cards for Tanzania

Addressing parliament on Tuesday, Muhongo revealed the government’s plans of launching the third phase of rural electricity through the Rural Energy Agency (REA), Daily News reported.

Sixteen Reasons to Campaign for Women’s Rights in 2016

Cows are given more rights than women in many parts of the world. Even though they constitute half the population, women’s very existence can be under threat from the time they are in the womb, especially in regions where people kill or abandon baby girls. Click to read sixteen reasons why empowering women will make the world a better place in 2016.

Open letter to an African Youth

Look around you and you will see something else. You will feel a shared recognition of the power of education to lift the human spirit, to broaden horizons, to bridge differences. My message to you today is simple. Our nation needs your skills, your passion, your compassion, and your talents to compete and prosper in a knowledge-based, globally competitive economy.

To thrive, our communities need your leadership and commitment to civic engagement. And our families need you to succeed in college and careers — so that one day you can support your own families and strengthen your own community.

 

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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