Rural Africa Weekly Report: Why Villages are Left Behind and Other Reports
Every week, Rural Reporters collates a report 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.
I went back to my village in Nigeria this year, after an absence of 10 years. The Igbo are a travelling people: we cross towns, cities, nations and continents in search of new opportunities. Thus there is a saying in Igboland: Agaracha (the traveller) must come back. No matter how far-flung a person, no matter how many waters he has crossed, he must eventually make his way home. And here I was, 10 years after I left Nigeria for England, Agaracha returning to Ubulu.
A country is not measured by the number of millionaires it can produce, or the number of private jets its citizens fly, or the gallons of champagne they can guzzle. A country is judged by how it treats it poorest and weakest. The people of Ubulu are still waiting for change.
A government survey conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC), the United Nation Children’s’ fund (UNICEF) and US centers for disease and prevention (CDC) has revealed that over 60% of Nigerian children have experienced one or more forms of violence.
The survey also found out that at least six out of every 10 Nigerian children experience some form of violence before they reach age 18.
Fifty percent of children experience physical violence, one in four girls and one in 10 boys suffered sexual violence while one in six girls and 20% of boys suffered emotional violence by a parent, caregiver or adult relative, the survey revealed.
Far from global negotiating tables where the United Nations will approve its final Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Christophe, a water technician in the Central African Republic, removes a tree that has fallen across a rough dirt road. He is on his way to visit a water project that provides 300 rural people with clean water, and the downed tree is blocking his route.
In the dry rural north of Limpopo, a new industry is growing from very old trees. In an area with up to 98% unemployment, 1,000 people earn an income collecting the fruit pods of the abundant baobab.
They supply the baobab to a local business, EcoProducts, which last year produced several tonnes of baobab powder for the global food and cosmetics industry.
Every week, the American tech sector uses the most advanced mobile technologies in the world to create some new meaningless distraction. Tinder for dogs, Airbnb for boats, Yo — all sorts of luxury convenience tools created to manufacture and solve problems that don’t exist and extract some in-app purchases along the way.
Meanwhile, in Africa, a budding generation of technologists, coders and entrepreneurs are rising to solve their continent’s most pressing problems. Entire new industries around payment solutions, crowdsourcing and entertainment media are springing up in tech hubs in Kenya, Nigeria and other countries.
This is the rise of Silicon Savannah — and a few ways it’s going to change the global face of technology.