A view of the proposed droneport from the village that would host it, via Foster + Partners

Rural Africa Weekly Report: How Lion Guard Program is Helping to Protect Rural Villages and Other Reports

Every week, Rural Reporters collate reports 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.

Zimbabwe’s Lion Guard Program Helps Protect Rural Villages

Standing 20 feet (six meters) from a lion, Charles Tshuma was armed with just a plastic horn. He and some neighbors blew the vuvuzelas to frighten away the lion, but the big cat did not budge.

They kept blowing their horns and shouting and screaming until the lion turned away and ambled back into Hwange National Park, leaving Tshuma’s rural community.

It’s not always so easy, said Tshuma.

“Sometimes people in the village do not want to join in to chase away the lions, choosing instead to lock themselves indoors,” he said.

That is the life of Zimbabwe’s lion guards, brave community members selected and trained to prevent attacks on humans and cattle by big cats who stray from the unfenced Hwange park, which sprawls over 14,500 square kilometers (5,625 sq. miles) in western Zimbabwe.


Powered by caffeine and adrenalin, hundreds of Kenyan and Canadian geeks will compete over Skype in a 28-hour ‘hackathon’ to develop apps to improve rural Kenyans’ health, farms and access to education.

Hackathons are marathon brainstorming sessions where computer programmers get together to write software.

The November 20-22 Poverty Hackathon will be the first international development-focused virtual hackathon – taking place on two continents simultaneously, the organisers say.

“While it’s not common for hackathons to have virtual teams working together, we think it’s a core component of actually making impact,” said Canadian Danielle Thé, who set up the charity Devs Without Borders in Toronto earlier this year.

Have Rural Women Been Forgotten?

According to current U.S. statistics, about 17 percent of the nation’s population lives in rural counties. And, those living in rural areas face high unemployment rates, lower incomes and higher poverty rates than those living in urban counties. Many also lack access to reliable transportation, health care and advanced educational opportunities.

Globally it’s even harder for rural women. Here are a few other important facts about rural women.

Stanford Study Shows Effects Of Toilet Facilities On Child Health In Rural Africa

Roughly one out of four people worldwide has no access to a toilet. A program underway in 50 countries could provide a solution, by motivating communities to build latrines and stop open defecation. The approach increases access to – and use of – sanitation facilities, according to a study co-authored by a Stanford researcher.

Botswana’s Mobile Phone Operator Connects Rural Farmers

A new mobile application m-Agric, designed for farmers in underserved communities in Botswana has reached over 10 000 registered users at the end of September..A press release from mobile operators in the country, Orange Botswana states that the agricultural mobile application which is supported by Orange Botswana registers about 260 new users on a daily basis. It says the application is the idea of a young entrepreneur, a certain Martin Setimela, under his company Brastorne Group.



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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