Rural Connectivity, Agric Data 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 . 

‘Agric data vital for sustainable development’

Nigeria must improve the quality and quantity of its data on agriculture if it is to continue meeting the demands of a growing population, a consultant to the World Bank, Prof Abel Ogunwale, has said.

Ogunwale of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTHEC), Ogbomoso, stressed that strengthening agriculture statistics is crucial to long-term development of the sector.

He said data was vital for effective planning and strategy as they determine the nature of agricultural and rural development policies in the region.

According to him, the  government needs reliable baseline information on determining the implementation strategies while availability of accurate comparable agricultural data would enable farmers to make better production and marketing choices. This, in turn, will boost productivity and incomes.

Tanzania: Fake Notes Big Problem in Rural Tanzania – BoT

Tanzania’s counterfeit money problem is on the rise, particularly in rural areas where many lack knowledge of how to identify fake notes.

Speaking at Nanenane show grounds in Nzuguni just outside Dodoma municipality, BoT senior officer, Ms Rehema Zongo, said: “Counterfeit money is a big problem in rural areas and dishonest businessmen have been using this loophole to prey on innocent villagers.” Given the challenge, the bank has started offering small workshops in rural areas on spotting counterfeit money.

Tanzania: Mkapa Foundation Hires 21 Medics for Rural Deployment

Determined to curb shortage of health personnel at the Lake Zone’s health centres, Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) has hired 21 new medical officers who will serve in various stations under Mkapa Fellows Programme (MFP) II.

BMF Program Manager, Health Workforce, Issuja Killian said here yesterday that the districts which will benefit from the new recruits are Bariadi, Itilima, Maswa and Busega in Simiyu Region and Msalala in Shinyanga.

The new manpower will be deployed to help improve health services in areas of HIV/AIDS, mother and child maternal health, which has lately became among the main focus of the Foundation’s program.

Over 7,000 new villages in rural Tanzania to be connected to electricity

More than 7,000 new villages in rural Tanzania will be connected to electricity in a 3.5 billion-US dollar third phase implementation of the east African nation’s rural electrification programme, an official said on Monday.

Boniface Nyamo-Hanga, Acting Director General of the Rural Energy Agency (REA), said the implementation of the third phase is expected to be completed by 2021.

About 4,395 villages out of 12,268 villages in the country, east Africa’s second largest economy, have been connected to electricity, an equivalent of 36 percent during the implementation of the first and second phases of the programme, said Nyamo-Hanga.

Local effort to provide bikes to rural Africans

A diverse cross-section of domestic and international business leaders have formed the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, a nonprofit which will raise money to buy and distribution free bicycles to needy students, small farmers and entrepreneurs in rural Ghana.

The group will partner with the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, of Kumasi, Ghana, which was founded by Bernice Dapaah, a Ghanaian businesswoman, whose company currently manufactures 100 bamboo bicycles per month and employs 35 workers and an additional 10 bamboo farmers.

The foundation’s chairman, A. Bruce Crawley, said the group has been well-received by local elected officials, business and community leaders.

Ebola after-effects threaten food shortages in West Africa: U.N.

Farmers in West Africa still reeling from the impact of Ebola, urgently need help or they could be forced to leave their farms to seek work elsewhere, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Wednesday.

During the epidemic, many farmers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were unable to grow or sell their crops because of measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, border closures and quarantines, as well as fear of infection.

Rice, cassava and other crops went unharvested. Food production in Sierra Leone’s bread basket and epicenter of the epidemic stalled, and weekly markets ceased trading because there was nothing to sell, according to the World Bank.

Although the epidemic has ended officially, experts are concerned about its long-term effects on food production and agriculture in the region.

Nigeria: Delta Govt Assures On Rural Healthcare Insurance Scheme

Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, has said that the 405 primary healthcare centres in the state were being revived to form a base for the take off of the state Health Insurance Contributory Scheme.

Azinge, in a chat with newsmen in his Asaba office, insisted that the free rural healthcare scheme of the state has not been discontinued, saying it was being reviewed to make it more sustainable to meet the needs of the people.

Noting that all Deltans would be captured under the State Health Insurance Contributory Scheme, he said that the insurance scheme would form a platform for the administration of free healthcare for rural dwellers.

US-Based 11 Year-Old Zimbabwean Donates Sports Kit To Rural School

 An eleven year old Zimbabwean swimmer and young sportsperson, Maka Chikowero, has donated a sports kit to Magaya Secondary School in the country’s Murewa district after being touched by the plight of the needy children at a United Nations meeting held in New York at which she was a participant.

Maka saved her allowances to buy the sports kit for a girls soccer team at Magaya secondary school in Mashonaland East province.

 

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

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