Expanding Internet Connectivity, Mobile Library 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:

 

Mobile Library for Rural Communities

The Presbyterian Relief Services and Development, has inaugurated a rural mobile library project valued at GH₵12, 294 to encourage reading habits among children in deprived communities.

The project, which aims at enhancing educational support in rural communities, will also facilitate the creation of reading clubs in beneficiary communities and reading competition among children in the beneficiary presbyteries.

Expanding internet connectivity throughout rural Africa

According to the GSMA 2016 report on Unlocking Rural Coverage, ‘The internet is the most important enabler of social development and economic growth of our time.’ And, while connectivity across the globe is extensive, there are still more people not connected than those with connectivity; over 1.6 billion of them live beyond the reach of a 3G network.

The tendency is for suppliers of technology to look at the developed world, and this most commonly involves advances that enhance the lives of citizens in the wealthier nations – think Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, the Apple Watch, driverless motor cars, etc.

“Economics is what generally drives new technologies,” explains Dr Vanu Bose, social entrepreneur and former UN Commissioner for Broadband for Sustainable Development. “If it pays and can generate profits, it will succeed.”

African Heads of State issue declaration on climate resilience

African Heads of State and Governments at the first African Action Summit on climate change declared that although Africa contributed the least in greenhouse gas it is the most affected by climate change.

They said the consequences may jeopardise peace, security and sustainable development of the continent, calling for concrete and substantial commitment of Africa to contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.

The summit was at the invitation of Mohammed VI, King of Morocco on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco.

Small-scale farmers need the spotlight now: Africa Food Prize winner Kanayo Nwanze speaks out at COP22

At vast global gatherings like the COP22 UN climate conference, which has just concluded in Marrakech, the seductive grandeur of the occasion frequently strips attention from the people, in faraway places, who climate change threatens the most.

Now, on the heels of the climate conference, what does COP22 mean to Nwanze—who has in the past boldly proclaimed that ‘declarations don’t feed people’? He ponders whether COP can deliver real change, and why smallscale farmers deserve our global attention.

South Africa: Macadamia Nut Farming Takes Root in Rural Buffalo City Municipality

The Vulindlela Traditional Council in Ncera Village outside East London in the Buffalo City Municipality is breathing life into the concept of “rural economic development” through macadamia nut farming and agri-tourism. The community of about 40 000 citizens under the leadership of acting Chief Princess Nomaxhosa Jongilanga has partnered with private investors to establish a macadamia farming business to create much needed economic activity in the village.

Effects of drought linger in rural areas, aggravate urban vulnerability

El Niño-induced drought has led to a serious surge in food insecurity and hunger affecting 40 million people across the southern Africa region. Zimbabwe, one of the countries most affected, is in the midst of the worst drought in 25 years that is projected to affect 5.2 million people including 1.1 million urban dwellers during the first quarter of 2017.

Addressing some 150 participants at the 4 th national multi-stakeholders consultative meeting jointly convened by the Office of the President and Cabinet and the UN System in Zimbabwe today in Harare, the UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli said, “As we approach the peak hunger period of the lean season, inadequate funding to the humanitarian response plan will not only curtail the ongoing relief efforts to increase assistance to the most vulnerable in the rural settlements and scale-up assistance in urban areas but also risks reversing the gains made in the development and humanitarian areas thus far.”

Millions in Malawi go hungry following poor harvests

More than 6 million people in Malawi need humanitarian aid following the effects of El Nino.

Reduced rainfall and above average temperatures in Malawi have left 40% of the country hungry.

Female subsistence farmers are most vulnerable as they don’t always have access to land or equipment.

Meliya Beka is one of 9,080 people in Chikwawa District, Malawi, to receive a three-month food pack from Islamic Relief.

Mzimba Villagers protest over disturbance compensation: ‘No to induced poverty

Scores of villagers from Kanyika under Traditional Authority Mabilabo held protests at Mzimba Boma, the district headquarters, demanding that government pay them disturbance compensation for failing to resettle them during the past four years.

`Samples collected 72 metric tonnes and no feedback to the community`,  ` We say no to induced poverty` read some of the placards the villagers carried to the District Commissioner’s office.

 

 

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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