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Rural Access to Power, Migration, 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:

Living in the dark in rural Nigeria

The village of Unguwar Dogo, comprised of some 2,000 households, has never been connected to the electricity grid. Jamilu Sanusi, a 34-year-old resident, says the villagers are in dire need of electricity.

“We have to travel to another village to charge our mobile phones. It usually takes 40 minutes to reach the place. But if there was electricity here, we could charge the phones from the comfort of our homes,” says Sanusi.

The people of Unguwar Dogo depend largely on subsistence farming, but during dry spells the young among them have to move to urban areas to make a living. Youth leader Adamu Haruna says the absence of electricity is fueling the exodus.

Africa faces vast rural-urban gap in access to power, clean cooking

About half of the people in Africa have access to electricity, but the remaining half i.e, about 580 million Africans, still rely on inefficient and expensive energy sources. What’s even worrying is the large gaps and inequalities among income groups, varying across geographical locations, with more people in urban areas having access to electricity compared to those in rural areas.

The average urban electrification rates in Central, East, Southern and West Africa was about 71 per cent compared with the rural electrification rates of about 22 per cent in 2016, reveals the Africa Sustainable Development Report 2018. While 32 per cent of urban population in Africa, excluding North Africa, has access to cleaner fuels for cooking, around 90 per cent of the rural population cooks with charcoal.

Invest in Africa’s youth before migration to Europe doubles, says UN official

Economic migration from Africa to Europe driven by poverty could double in the next decade unless urgent investment is made in job creation for young people in rural areas, the head of a UN financial body has warned.

Gilbert Houngbo, the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said that with 60% of Africa’s young people living in rural areas, global leaders need to prioritise investment in their futures to curb forced migration, feed a growing population and help smallholder farmers – who are facing the added burden of climate change – become not only self-sufficient but profitable.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “If today Europe is struggling with economic migration [driven by poverty], can you imagine the extent of migration 10 years down the road with the African population set to double?”

Millions of Poor City Children Worse Off Than Rural Peers – Unicef

Millions of poor urban children are more likely to die before their fifth birthday than those living in rural areas, according to a U.N. study out on Tuesday that challenges popular assumptions behind the global urbanisation trend.

Although most urban children benefit from living in cities, the study identified 4.3 million globally who were more likely to die before age five than their rural counterparts, and said 13.4 million were less likely to complete primary school.

Cyber Security Campaign Taken to Rural Areas in South Africa

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is spearheading a cybercrime and security campaign that aims to get South Africans, especially those in rural areas, to be aware when they make use of technology.

The Minister on Thursday was in Sakhela village in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, to spread the message of the importance of exercising vigilance in the digital space.

Five farm attacks in 48 hours leave rural communities in shock

A spate of farm attacks across South Africa has left rural residents living in fear, after five separate incidents were reported between Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Ian Cameron is the head of community safety for AfriForum. He has confirmed that the first attack took place in Honingnestkranspad – a small rural village in the heart of Gauteng – and the most recent occurred in Bela Bela, Limpopo.

No murders have been reported as of 8:30 on Thursday morning. A total of 62 farmers were killed in attacks last year, accounting for 0.3% of the entire murder rate of South Africa.

Agriculture Act to advance rural energy efficiency

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) applauds Congress for passing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

The 2018 Farm Bill funds programmes that advance and support energy efficiency in rural communities, where energy burdens commonly have an outsized impact on quality of life.

The legislation approves and updates two programmes that could benefit rural America: the Rural Energy Savings Programme (RESP) and the Renewable Energy for America Programme (REAP).

How Early Pregnancy Has Affected Girl Child Education in Africa

Despite all the positive achievements the continent has achieved, the rate of teenage pregnancies across the continent still remains high especially for rural populations where poverty levels are still high with families struggling to make a living. Compared to urban populations, girls in rural Africa have fallen victim to early pregnancies. Unfortunately, when this happens, the young mothers are incapable of adjusting to their new lives and effectively taking care of their children because of lack of knowledge and resources. In addition, because of poverty, these girls fail to receive proper medical care and attention during the course of the pregnancy.


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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