Rural Africa Weekly Report:  Sierra Leone is free of Ebola 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:

Rural Pulse: Community Participation is key!

The first edition of Rural Pulse this month will draw lessons from Solomon Mwendwa, the Director of Slum Film Festival — the first ever community-based film platform featuring stories from slums, about slum realities and made by filmmakers from the slums in Africa and beyond.

According to a 2013 UN-HABITAT report, 327 million people live in slums in commonwealth countries. A  majority of these dwellers have poor access to education/health and are in need of social activities to reduce their daily harsh living conditions.

As a festival, one of Slum Film Festival goals is to raise public attention to pertinent issues affecting those living in rural communities while promoting and celebrating the creativity of the people who live in these communities. As someone who grew up close to the slum (Mathare Slum) and has actively worked with people living in the slum for about five years, including Africa’s largest slum, Kibera; Mwendwa shares lesson on what people working in rural communities should note when carrying out development work.

Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, 18 months and 11,000 deaths After Outbreak

About a year and a half after it emerged, the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone has officially ended.

More than 11,000 Sierra ­Leoneans died of the disease, and at least 17,000 survived it. It came upon some slums and villages like a wave, infecting scores overnight and posing one of the most significant public health challenges in recent history.

 

The Last Place on Earth With Ebola: Getting Guinea to Zero

Sirens blared as the convoy of government vehicles made its way down a narrow dirt road nearly encased by tall weeds. The prime minister had arrived, and he was there to give this rural community a serious scolding.

“I demand the cooperation of the population,” said the prime minister, Mohamed Said Fofana, nearly hollering from his perch on a makeshift bamboo stage.

“Ebola is gone everywhere — except here,” Mr. Fofana told the nearly 300 people gathered around him. “The eyes of the world are on Tana village.”

This is the last known place on Earth with Ebola.

We Are the Solution: African Women Organize for Land and Seed Sovereignty

In the agricultural sphere, development rests in the hands of the women, and their role is being proven repeatedly. We Are the Solution raises awareness and consciousness, key to changing the mentality of the people, on the importance of women in family farming and agricultural production.

Women are the primary workers of the land and the majority of the workforce in agriculture, involved in every step of agricultural production: in the fields, 70% of African agriculture is done by women; in conservation, women are the ones making efforts to conserve the native seeds; in animal husbandry; in food processing; in marketing; in selling food at the local level; and as consumers.

Transforming Rural Areas Is Key to Reversing Youth Migration From East and Southern Africa

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Madagascar will bring policy makers and development practitioners together 10 -13 November in Antananarivo, Madagascar, to discuss innovative approaches to transforming poor rural communities.

During the four-day workshop participants will review the implementation of IFAD-funded projects and programmes in East and Southern Africa, share development-related experiences and lessons learnt, identify challenges faced during implementation of rural development interventions and pave the way to further advance rural development and agriculture-related activities.

 

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