Rural Africa Weekly Report: Towards better rural development in Africa 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.
With keynote addresses from former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, a group of delegates gathered for “Beyond Africa 2015,” the 15th International Economic Forum on Africa in Berlin, Germany, last month.
It was convened to discuss further the findings of the African Economic Outlook 2015, a publication that noted that, while Africa is a continent that has recently provided some of the most eye-catching success stories in international development, there is a more striking nuance beyond these impressive headline figures.
You know that time you kill on your phone? Candy Crush blah blah, or just vacantly swiping through a negative news feed? The Elbi community are putting that time to good use and helping a new school in Ghana with English and Art lessons, straight from their phones.
Village By Village is this fabulous charity that recently built a new school in Abenta, a rural Ghanaian village. Before, the school was falling down, there was poor sanitation and little in the way of hygiene education. Now there are two primary school blocks, a well, a kindergarten block, a toilet block, scholarships and more.
Charities don’t really work in Africa, said Akon, 42, a Senegalese-American rap star, entrepreneur and co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa, in an interview with TheGuardian.
“I think (charity) just holds the people down longer than it should,” said Akon, who just completed a Canadian tour. “I think the only way to build Africa is to build for-profit businesses that create opportunities and jobs for the people locally.”
The U.S.-based musician made his fortune as a multi-platinum recording artist with hits such as “Smack That” and “Locked Up.” Inspiration to sell solar lighting in Africa came from his memories growing up without electricity in Kaolack, Southern Senegal.
Two years ago, 27 year old Gladys Mwangae delivered a healthy baby girl. Eight months later, her baby, Faith Mwake, contracted a respiratory infection, which kept her in hospital for two months.
“We have been in and out of hospital until July this year. It has been a painful experience to be admitted with her and being away from home,” Mwangae, a mother of three explained.
Medical examinations showed that baby Mwake was exposed to and inhaled poisonous kerosene lamp fumes.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in partnership with the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in the North West Province, today launched a YouthBuild programme involving 100 unemployed rural youth from Taung and surrounding villages who are being trained in plumbing and welding.
“This programme is another example of the real work carried out by the NYDA in rural areas with life-changing impact for the participants. As the NYDA, there is nothing more fulfilling than witnessing young people involved in building a better South Africa for all. Our YouthBuild volunteers are embarking on possibly one of the greatest skills transfer programmes of their lives for what they are about to learn is practical, real-world expertise. This programme represents the very first of its kind in this community,” says Yershen Pillay, NYDA Executive Chairperson.
The urgent need to prioritise girls’ education is, at last, gaining momentum and finding support around the world. From Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai to pop icons and political dignitaries, rallying support for educating the Girl Child is beginning to find traction. It is becoming recognised that investing in girls pays significant development dividends. As a leader in global education policy, the Brookings Institution affirms that “educating a girl in particular can kick-start a virtuous circle of development. More educated girls, for example, marry later, have healthier children, earn more money that they invest back into their families and communities, and play more active roles in leading their communities and countries.”