Rural Africa Weekly Report: Accra Migration Forum and Other Reports
Every week, RuralReporters.com collates a report on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include are some of our top picks of recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week.
Travelling across border, especially within African regions or the continent shouldn’t be difficult. It should be as easy as going to the next town or community within a local area. Unfortunately, this is not so.
Yearly, millions of people face several hurdle of travelling across border, either through legal or illegal means. Prominent among these set are young people who desperately move across border for “greener pasture” – mostly in search of jobs and better opportunity.
Speaking when he addressed a special UN Summit held to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, President Kenyatta also thanked UN member states and other stakeholders for patiently engaging in negotiations culminating in a blueprint to galvanise global action towards ending poverty in all its forms.
President Kenyatta said inequality was still rife in the world and much more resources as well as policy dedication was required to mend the rifts.
“We must acknowledge that progress has been uneven across the world and across the Goals. There remains huge disparities between and within countries” said the President. “Within countries, rural poverty remains unacceptably high while urban poverty is extensive, growing, and underreported by traditional indicators” said the President.
There have been some real achievements in global education following the establishment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) by the UN in 2000. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the proportion of children enrolled in primary school has risen from 52% in 1990 to 80% this year.
However, in the dash to get children into the classroom, there was too little focus on the quality of the education once they were there. UNESCO estimates that of the world’s 650 million primary school children, at least 250 million lack even basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will replace the MDGs at the end of this year, address this issue of standards, calling for “inclusive and quality education for all” by 2030. But these will remain empty conference room sentiments if the $16bn (£10.5bn) per year required to achieve good quality universal education throughout the world is not met.
This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild polio virus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free.
As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Since then, a concerted effort by all levels of government, civil society, religious leaders and tens of thousands of dedicated health workers have resulted in Nigeria successfully stopping polio. More than 200 000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of 5 years, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralysing disease. Innovative approaches, such as increased community involvement and the establishment of Emergency Operations Centres at the national and state level, have also been pivotal to Nigeria’s success.
The Quartz Africa Innovators’ Summit in Nairobi and video by Kenyan lawyer and tech investor, Ory Okolloh brought home a critical point in discussions on innovations and entrepreneurship in Africa. According to Quartz Africa, the African Innovator honoree provoked a debate and among other things said: “…You can’t entrepreneur around bad leadership, we can’t entrepreneur around bad policy. Those of us who managed to entrepreneur ourselves out of it are living in a very false security in Africa. There is growth in Africa but Africans are not growing…”
Fundamentally, what Okolloh said was that Africa cannot pull itself out of problems using the “hype” on the popularized necessity for “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”.