Drought stricken plantation Photo Credit: Namwiza Ritah

Farm Attacks, Health Cover and Other Reports

Every week, RuralReporters.com collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.

Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:

 

Rural Folks to Use Livestock As Health Cover

Cabinet has approved a framework under the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme that will result in people in rural communities using livestock for health cover, a Government official has said.

The scheme will also target those not formally employed, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira revealed on Monday.

Farm attacks on the increase in South Africa

The murder of a Dutch citizen on a farm in the Barberton area, Mpumalanga, last week has again placed a spotlight on the worrying phenomenon of murders of farmers and farm workers in South Africa.

The final crime figures for the years 2016 and 2017 (April 2016 to March 2017) haven’t yet been released by the South African Police Service (SAPS), but for the years 2015/16 the murder ratio was 34 per 100 000 people for the general population, 52:100 000 for police officers – and 97:100 000 for farmers, their families, farm workers and others residing on or visiting farms.

According to statistics from the Transvaalse Landbou Unie van Suid-Afrika (TLUSA) there has been an increase of 48% in farm murders over the past five years;  in 2011/2012 farm attacks were at their lowest level in twenty years but have increased year on year since then to 71 in 2016.

Follow The Money’ wins $100,000 as best initiative for SDGs in Africa

Follow The Money, an initiative of Connected Development [CODE] has won $100,000 as the ONE Africa 2016 best initiative for  achieving sustainable development goals  (SDGs) in Africa. The award, which was presented in Morocco at the Mo Ibrahim Forum, is aimed at recognizing, rewarding, and advancing the exceptional work of organizations, founded by Africans and based in Africa, dedicated to helping Africa achieve the SDGs.

Bono, the lead singer of the UK group U2, and co-founder of ONE Campaign, presented the award to Follow The Money, the largest volunteer grassroots movement on transparency and accountability in Africa.

CODE won the ninth ONE Africa award, which is granted to civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and other groups based in Africa, that have demonstrated commitment and success in advocacy to promote the attainment of one or more of the SDGs.

The countryside needs a better image

According to BMZ division leader Gunther Beger, the future of humanity will be decided in the countryside. Most of the world’s hungry live there. Further, half a billion people in Africa will enter the workforce by 2030. His colleague Stefan Schmitz warned: “Throughout the world, rural areas have been neglected for far too long.” These regions now lack streets, electricity, schools, and hospitals. Businesses and well-educated people have therefore shied away from investing in rural areas.

The panelists agreed that farmers need better access to financial services. Getting a loan for consumer goods such as a refrigerator or a television is not a problem. But when it comes to loans for agricultural endeavors, banks are often skeptical.

IDs 5 policies to end rural energy poverty in Africa

A new report ranks the policy readiness of Sub-Saharan African countries to lift their people out of “energy poverty” and identifies for the first time 5 clear policy measures that national governments can take to achieve clean, affordable power for all before the UN target of 2030 (known as Sustainable Development Goal 7, or SDG7).

The report, produced by Power for All and its research partner RAEL, University of California, Berkeley, shows that most national governments remain a far distance from solving the energy poverty problem (our findings show that almost two-thirds of the most energy-poor countries lack a rural energy access target).

Huawei pushes rural coverage with lower-cost gear

Alex Zhang, vice director of wireless marketing operation at Huawei, said high input costs and low ARPU in emerging markets make it unattractive for mobile operators to deploy networks in many rural areas. About 20 per cent of the world’s population is still not covered by mobile networks.

With an estimated 1.7 billion people without a voice connection and 50 per cent of the world still on 2G networks, Zhang said there is strong demand for lower-cost network gear capable of increasing operators’ return on investment (ROI).

 

 

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