Rural Africa Weekly Report: Migration Crisis in Africa 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:
Following the African Union-European Union summit on migration which was held at Valletta, Malta; member states of the African Union (AU) and relevant policy partners are meeting in Kenya to figure out a comprehensive approach that will help domesticate the Valletta outcome. This includes aligning the AU initiatives on migration with the post-Valletta action plan and the China-Africa forum on Migration. It was important to hold the 2-day as 20 AU Member States and 6 Regional Economic Communities (RECs) were not invited to the AU-EU Valletta summit. The Nairobi consultation therefore provides a forum for all 54 AU Member States and RECs to discuss the Migration Agenda and identify key priority areas that require immediate action in the short and medium term within the framework of AU policies and programs and Assembly Declaration (Assembly/AU/Decl.6 (XXV)) on Migration at the 25th African Union Summit in Johannesburg in June 2015, as well as other relevant instruments such as the Valletta Action Plan which was built around 5 broad areas of focus. The areas of focus are: Development, legal migration and mobility, international protection and Asylum, fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings as well as return and remission.
In a world of extreme wealth, and an age of major technological strides, it is unacceptable and absolutely scandalous that young men and women from Africa have to cross high seas to reach Europe with many perishing amidst the high tide of the merciless Mediterranean sea. Yet, more outrageous and troubling is the fact that in 2015, Africa is still poor, underdeveloped, and unable to escape the traps and shackles of colonialism. As usual the Western media will report on the casualties, the politicians drool over it with tough talk embracing photo ops along the way, the morning newspapers will provide commentary and the pages rolled over because tomorrow there will be another brand new occasion to report on; only this time with such headlines as – Russian aggression on Ukraine, Middle East turmoil in a dramatic twist, Castro’s Cuba in major rapprochement with Washington, Libya’s oil wealth disappears into thin air, Another corruption scandal engulfs Nigerian Politics, and so on. Black lives matter too and each life lost across the high seas is a tragedy, and about time African politicians recognize this!
Zimbabwe’s ministry of environment, water and climate is planning to come up with tough enforcement laws in a bid to end the growing problem of indiscriminate street littering and pollution of public places, according to Steady Kangata, Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Education and Communications Manager. Kangata told NGO and civil society representatives at a waste management consultative meeting in Harare that Oppah Muchinguri, minister of environment and Mrs Mutsa Chasi have raised concerns over the deteriorating levels of cleanliness and too much dirt especially in the city of Harare and have called for urgent action to be taken to redress the situation.
The world has slowly become conscientized as we head towards becoming a global village, more emphasis is being laid to ensure that peace, justice and human rights is achieved. Even though governments may not set out to ensure these become a reality in their countries, stakeholders such as civil society, UN Bodies and multi-lateral institutions are key players and have dedicated efforts in making this a priority across the world.
Violence against woman and other human rights violations against women and girls have become rife; to some extent we can even say endemic. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women have experienced Violence in her lifetime. This refers to sexual, physical, psychological and other forms of violence and aggression towards women and girls. Africa through the African Union just hosted the first ever Girls Summit to be organized in the region, the summit was hosted in Zambia.
The focus of the summit was to strengthen the continental efforts to end child marriage. Across the world, more than 40million girls have been married off before their 18th birthday. In Africa these figures become even soared according to countries, for example in Niger, more than 70% girls are married before their 8th birthday. This to me paints a picture of a normalized pervasive culture, one that deems it fit to violate girls’ rights, doom them to the cycle of poverty and curtail their efforts towards participating fully and effectively in their societies.
African leaders promised to prevent a “genocide” in Burundi on Thursday as the United Nations gave warning that the country was “on the very cusp” of civil war.
At least 400 people have been killed in the East African nation since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to prolong his rule by rewriting the constitution in April. Army officers briefly deposed him during a military coup in May.
But Mr Nkurunziza regained power and launched a ruthless campaign to suppress his opponents. Since then, about 3,500 people have been arrested – and scores of bodies dumped in the streets of the capital, Bujumbura. Some 87 people were killed last Friday alone.
Zimbabwe: Gwanda Villagers Grateful for Toilets
While many people take toilets for granted, it is not the case for Enesia Moyo, who for the past 40 years has been using the thorny bush near her homestead as her toilet.
According to the National 2012 Census conducted by the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency, Moyo was among the country’s 1,6 million people out of the country’s 13 million people that have no access to toilet facilities and are forced to relieve themselves in the open.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa delivered its first package of actions to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement.
Least developed, low developed or developing countries, which is which? The choice of diction here is the privilege of the report authors, the subjects usually have no pick; the same can possibly be said of the United Nations 2015 “Least Developed Countries” (LDCs) report launched at a quiet event in Kigali last week.
Authored by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the report tracks the so-called ‘least developed countries’ and its updated list has 48 countries; in the wider eastern Africa region, all but Kenya, made the list, a not quite prestigious list.
These include Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda.
Considering Africa is most vulnerable to past emissions yet its emissions are negligible, inclusion of adaption financing, and a strong review mechanism to increase the amount over time is a vital highlight.
In addition, considering the region is not locked in ‘carbon intensive growth models’ this deal is a probable win-win, providing an opportunity for sustainable industrial development with minimal or zero transition costs by leveraging opportunities in both adaptation and mitigation. But this is not a given. The onus is on governments, the private sector, development partners, academia, and all of good will to actualize this win-win by prioritizing investments that leverage the Paris Agreement Framework.
Gender inequality has been identified as a major problem confronting Nigeria, despite its abundant human capital and economic potential as the largest economy in Africa. Women and girls are still vulnerable and do not have equal opportunities as their male counterparts in many segments of the society which requires better policies and stronger institutions for women.
Stakeholders in the society made this assertion at a seminar on inequality in Nigeria for journalists organised by Oxfam in Abuja, noting that contrary to the provision of 1999 Constitution (Section 16), the commonwealth of the country is concentrated in the hands of few thereby leaving poor majority, especially women, in abject poverty.
Women and girls frequently do not have control over resources and the norms. Restricting the kind of jobs considered appropriate for women restricts their earning potential in the labour market and business enterprise.
In several rural areas in Nigeria women go to farms but do not have a control over their products and the profit of the proceeds after sales.