Rural Africa Weekly Report: Distinctions for Rural Pupil 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:

9 Distinctions for Rural Pupil

The KZN Department of Education inaugural High Flyers programme for top matriculants has been hailed as a great success with its first beneficiary, Lindokuhle Mazibuko, becoming the first pupil from his rural school to obtain nine distinctions.

The programme, spearheaded by KZN Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, is designed to help top achievers from rural schools attain excellent matric results by enlisting the assistance of top teachers and subject advisers.

This is How We Got to Zero Ebola Cases in West Africa

For the first time since this outbreak was detected in West Africa in early 2014, the world has now gone over 40 consecutive days without a single reported Ebola case.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Guinea has successfully halted Ebola transmission and now joins Sierra Leone and Liberia in recovering from this devastating disease. This represents a significant milestone for Guinea, West Africa, and the international community.

Today we reflect on what is possible when partners around the world come together to solve a common problem. Through the undaunted courage of local communities and heroes from around the world, West Africa was able to halt Ebola. The United States was proud to offer help along with partners around the world.

Cancer: Africa’s Silent Killer

When you walk through cancer wards of public sector hospitals in Africa, the scenes are reminiscent of the battle to get AIDS treatment under way in the early 2000s. But now, hospital beds once filled with AIDS patients are occupied by those afflicted with cancers and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs are no longer exclusively problems associated with the well-off. Worldwide, roughly 75% of deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In Africa, NCDs are projected to account for roughly 40% of the disease burden by 2030. The costly, complex and/or chronic nature of many of these diseases will fuel the rise in health care costs, underscoring the importance of taking action now.

NCDs are the silent killers with insidious debilitating complications and premature deaths. Take cancer as an example. In 2012, approximately 645,000 new cancer cases and 456,000 cancer deaths occurred in Africa. With limited knowledge and awareness, most patients reach health facilities at an advanced stage of the disease, when the prognosis and survival prospects are dim.  They travel long distances, make huge financial sacrifices, and often end up on waiting lists. The impoverishing effects of catastrophic health spending on cancer is a major concern. For example, in Kenya, chemotherapy ranges between $130 and $2000 per treatment in a country with a per capita GDP of $2776.

Without Resources, Rural Schools Will Continue to Underperform – NGO

Unless access to school resources improves in the rural areas, learners will continue to underperform, Equal Education.

Congratulating the class of 2015, Equal Education said the pass rates in the worst performing areas needed to be looked at in the context of high levels of inequality. They also called on the results to be presented differently, looking at rural vs urban, township vs suburban, former white schools vs former black schools.

Water for All Programme to Cover 80 Per Cent of Rural Population

The government-sponsored Water for All Programme, which is part of the National Development Programme, has the objective to cover 80 percent of the rural population, revealed last Thursday, in Luanda, the Energy and Waters minister, João Baptista Borges.

The minister gave this information to the press in the end of the Joint Ordinary Session of the Economic Commission and Real Economy Commission of the Cabinet Council, a gathering that was chaired by the head of the Executive, President José Eduardo dos Santos.

South Africa, a King, and the Rule of Law

A South African traditional ruler, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, reported to prison after his conviction and his appeals failed. The king was found guilty of kidnapping a woman and her six children, burning down their house, and beating four young men because their family member did not present himself before the king’s traditional court. (One of the young men died following his beating.) The king claimed he was innocent, that he was merely “disciplining” his subjects under customary law.

The king is one of ten recognized monarchs in South Africa. They play a largely ceremonial role, but many control substantial amounts of tribal lands and in rural areas often exercise arbitrary power over their often illiterate “subjects.” President Jacob Zuma has cultivated close relations with traditional rulers as part of his African populism. King Dalindyebo also is connected to national icon Nelson Mandela. He and the former president are both from the Thembu clan.

Following the king’s trial, conviction, and failed appeals, the justice minister refused his request for a retrial on the basis that there was no legal justification. The king reported for jail after a judge refused to extend his bail.


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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