Rural Businesses, Climate Change 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:

Zimbabwe: Rural Businesses Embrace Plastic Money

Gaisha Furusa runs a butchery and grocery shop at Chachacha Business Centre in Shurugwi and when the cash crisis set in he nearly lost most of his invaluable clientele; among them staff working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

NGOs involved in aid and developmental work in Shurugwi district regularly hold seminars and workshops at Chachacha and some engage Furusa to supply meat from his butchery.

But as the country’s cash crisis set in they were no longer able to do business with him because they could not access cash at banks owing to the prevailing cash shortages.

Africa: How Climate Change Inaction Hurts Tanzania

Getting nations to agree on concrete steps to reduce global warming has been a long-fought battle. Even some prosperous countries adopted with reluctancy measures which governments originally feared could lower company profits or increase unemployment. Fortunately, the tide has turned–logic prevailed.

Finally, even the world’s worst polluters and political leaders initially concerned about climate change measures’ effects on their economy decided to take action as they could not deny that inaction would cost their nations dearly. Although the world’s poorest are most affected by global warming, the wealthy will not escape the consequences in the long run either.

 People Living in Rural Areas Face Extreme Danger: DA

South Africa is in urgent need of a rural safety policing strategy and a specialised rural safety unit in the South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to be re-established, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

“The Democratic Alliance is shocked and saddened by yet another brutal farm attack,” DA spokeswoman Annette Steyn said. “On Friday, Mr Hannes Kidson and his wife Ester Kidson, both 69 years old, were brutally murdered on their farm Oortjies between Jachtsfontein and Westonaria in Gauteng, she said.

Zambia Tries New Way to Beat Drought: Solar Grain Mills

Across Zambia, drought that swept across the region last year, leading to widespread crop failure, has sent cereal prices soaring.

The high cost of buying food has persuaded a share of small-scale farmers to hang onto their maize, rice and cassava harvests and mill them for their own household use and for their livestock, rather than selling the grain into the market.

But a combination of higher fuel prices and unstable electrical supplies – both the result of lack of rainfall hitting hydropower – mean many small grain mills are charging higher prices for milling, or don’t have sufficient capacity.

Making Sense of Invisible Advantages in Rural African Communities

Many rural African communities have seen development programmes and business models come and go. What has kept these communities alive is their invisible advantages in the form of local culture. A community’s culture is basically a collection of unwritten rules, norms and values that influence people’s behaviour.

The fact that these are unwritten rules makes them remarkable, in a world that is becoming obsessed with documents. From encounters with rural communities in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, eMKambo has discovered a distinct feature connecting all these communities.

Democracy for Rural People Under Threat

The new year has ushered in a dangerous time for millions of rural dwellers in South Africa as they face the prospect of losing precious democratic rights enjoyed by their urban fellow citizens.

The government is contemplating revising a law that imposes two systems of governance in one country.

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill is meant to recognise Khoisan communities and provide structures and leadership, while at the same time revising the existing Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act.

Forced Out of Towns in the Sahel, Africa´s Jihadists Go Rural

Jihadist groups have regrouped in the neglected hinterlands of Sahel countries and are launching attacks from them. To regain control of outlying districts, regional states must do far more to extend services and representation beyond recently recaptured provincial centres.

Armed jihadist groups have developed a dangerous new strategy after being chased out of most major towns they once held in Africa’s Sahel, the vast expanse of arid, sparsely populated brushland that crosses the continent along the southern edge of the Sahara desert.

Rather than trying to hold towns or urban districts, these groups – which include al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Boko Haram, the Macina Liberation Front (FLM) and al-Murabitoun – are using bases in the countryside to strike at provincial and district centres, often forcing national armies to retreat and local state authorities to abandon immense rural areas to jihadist control.

 

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