How Far With Rural Development In Africa?

What are those things that need to be done to move rural Africa forward? The answers are right here!

Every week, Rural Reporters chronicle reports and opinion on rural Africa to draw attention of stakeholders to the needful, that is, areas that need development and those that are receiving desired developmental attention.

Here is a report from the previous week (December 1-7, 2014):


Another Hurdle In Liberating Africa’s Women: Land Claims

Land has long been identified as a crucial foundation thread to advance women’s rights. According to Monique Villa, the fittingly female CEO of Reuters, globally, only 20% of owned land is in the hands of women. In sub-Saharan Africa, where men tend to travel to cities to find work, the majority of smallholder farmers are female; however, most do not own titles to their land.  And this, argues David Norman, is directly detrimental not only to women’s empowerment, but also to business interests.

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For more food and more resilience, turn to women

Research has shown that addressing gender inequality in agriculture would see a much-needed increase in global food security.
The same is also true in the context of climate change. For example, rural women are often more vulnerable than men to climate shocks – but given the right support, they can significantly boost yields and help make farming more resilient.

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Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation in Our Lifetime: The Vision of Efua Dorkenoo (1949-2014)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a 5,000 year-old harmful cultural practice that affects over 130 million women and girls, mostly from Africa, but also in some countries in the Middle East, Asia and in every nation to which FGM-practicing communities emigrate.

FGM, which causes lifelong health consequences, is the removal of parts or all of a girl’s genitalia, including her clitoris, for the purpose of controlling her sexuality and ensuring her virginity until marriage.

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Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa: Why mHealth Should Take Security Seriously

The world’s pharmaceutical industry remains focused on finding efficient ways to distribute life-saving products to hospitals and patients across the continent. Simultaneously technology companies are exploring ways of using technology to provide greater access to healthcare, particularly for individuals based in the more rural areas across the continent who are removed from healthcare facilities impacting on their access to medical professionals and medication. One technology that is gaining significant traction in emerging markets is Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, it enables devices to exchange data without human intervention. M2M is providing the healthcare industry with greater control over medical data and enabling patients to take a more proactive role in their own treatment. This is done through speeding up and simplifying workflows and enabling healthcare professionals to spend less time keeping tabs on data and more time on patient care.

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Harmonizing Agriculture, Trade Policies And Research Sharing Key In Africa’s Development

As you move deeper in African rural grass root communities, you will come cross millions of children suffering from stunted growth emanating from malnutrition, which is a common phenomena in millions of households in rural Africa, many households regularly sleeps hungry, despite toiling hard everyday, to become food secure.

In all grass root communities in Africa that I have been and worked in training smallholder farmers in adopting evolving methods of productive and profitable farming, farmers have shown eagerness, to embrace agricultural science- led training, and are keenly interested to be linked to markets, financial institutions, and to be helped acquire, good quality planting seeds, seedlings, animals, and post harvest technologies,  to make them boost their agricultural production levels and become food and financial secure.

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African Family Farmers, Curbing Hunger Get A Boost From UN

The crucial role played by African family farmers in the eradication of hunger can not be underscored. But local farmers have little incentive to increase production if they can’t sell their crops because of cheaper imports.

The World Farmers’ Organization thinks this is a shame, noting: “Farmers, better than anybody else are able to select and produce the best food at the highest quality, in accordance with the seasons, climate, and geographical origin of the products.”

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Unlocking the future of African agriculture

It is often said that a house is only as strong as the foundation upon which it sits. The same may be said for the importance of soils in keeping our agricultural sector productive, sustainable and resilient.

Agricultural transformation in Africa will require both smallholder farmers as well as commercial farmers to symbiotically work together. More critically, it will also require the commitment of African political leaders to live up to the commitments they made in the 2003 Maputo Declaration, where they adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as a framework for the restoration of agriculture growth and food security and where they further pledged to increase budget allocations to agriculture to 10 percent of GDP expenditure.

Source: Business Day Nigeria



Opinion: Akwa Ibom -Uncommon transformation indeed

I saw many other things too numerous to mention here. I leant that primary and second­ary school education is free and compulsory in the state. I also was told that much has been done in rural development, electricity, health care, tertiary education, human capital devel­opment etc. I told myself that uncommon idea has given birth to uncommon transformation in the state. This is perhaps why many groups and organizations fall over themselves to have their events at Uyo, with the assistance of the state government in some cases, I was told.

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Community Champion

Women step up to join the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone

Young men, usually students at loose ends due to the nation’s schools and universities being closed for months, make up the bulk of the burial teams. However, a growing number of women like Fatmata are joining the fight against Ebola.

“I used to study but had to stop because I had no money to continue studying. I chose to volunteer because it is important and I wanted to help my country,” explains 28-year-old mother of two, Fatmata Sowa.

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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 She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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