Internet comes to Rural Malawi 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:
This month, many Malawians, especially those in rural areas, will be able to start accessing the internet as easily as opening a tap to get water.
At least that’s the dream of C3, a communication services provider and the first commercial entity to deploy countrywide TV White Spaces-TVWS for a trial period of nine months.
Most Malawians live in rural areas. The majority of them are poor and only 6.5 percent are connected to the internet. To reach this population, C3 is building a new network that relies on unused frequencies in the television spectrum, called “TV white spaces”, with plans to extend it throughout the country.
Zamfara State government has urged the Federal Government to continue with the Rural Finance Institution Building Programme, RUFIN, for rural financial inclusion.
This was stated by the Commissioner for Agricul-ture and Natural Resources, Engr. Lawal Jangebe, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ibrahim Usman, during a visit of RUFIN delegate to the state for assessment of the programme in some local government areas.
Jangebe said the RUFIN programme should be seen as a catalyst to solve rural poverty, adding said: “Zamfara State is the home of farmers, and we are known for our slogan Farming Is Our Pride, because it is the farmers’ state in Nigeria. Over 80 per cent of our citizens are farmers.”
A number of factors bordering on the complex to the superficial may be responsible for the inability of the country to be able to feed her citizens, studies have revealed.
According to the new policy and strategy document by the Agriculture Promotion Policy tagged: ‘Agric Sector Policy Roadmap, the Green Alternative.’ APP, produced by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), the country is facing acute shortages of staple crops because of overdependence on food imports, like rice, wheat, dairy, fish and fresh fruits which gross about $22billion annually.
Citing information sourced separately from data drawn from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), CNBC Africa, Food and Agriculture Organisation and private estimates, the ministry observed that Nigeria is not food secure because a lot of wastages remain high in production areas, thus reducing supplies of feedstock to processing factories requiring them to keep importing supplies, the net effect of which is limited job growth across the agricultural value chain.
A child right centered organization has bemoaned that despite several initiatives to inform people on the importance of education, culture is still viewed as the most powerful element than education.
Speaking to the Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Monday, Save the Children’s Director, Margret Ali, said this has greatly affected education standards in the country especially in the rural areas especially for girls who are at risk of failing to attain quality education.
She said it is worrisome that most communities in Chikwawa were focusing more attention to promoting bad cultural practices other than motivating the girl child to remain in school.