First Street, Harare, Zimbabwe | Photo By Gary Bembridge (Reused under CC)

Rural Economies, “Primitive” Primary Care and Other Reports

Every week, collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, 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 Economies key to Africa’s future

Land is the soil over which a protracted armed struggle was waged with the dear lives of young men and women being shed in the freedom struggle. With Zimbabwe’s social and economic emancipation hamstrung by the effects of sanctions and aggravated by drought due to climate change, the future of the motherland had looked precarious if not doomed altogether until God, our gracious loving Creator, inspired to the government with a new novel idea, the Command Agriculture initiative by which Zimbabwe appears to have just recovered its rhythm toward the accomplishment of the land reform programme.

The Pros and Cons of “Primitive” Primary Care in Rural Africa

If there is anything positive about living in rural Tanzania, it is the low price and availability of medicine. Even in the most remote village, there tends to be one pharmacy that sells everything from Band-Aids to tablets that treats malaria. With many generics that cost no more than a few USD for something that would cost many times more elsewhere, it makes sense for price-conscious foreigners to purchase medicines in rural Africa rather than in their home countries. What if one falls ill? In market towns across the country, district- and regional-level hospitals exist to provide basic treatments.

Africa’s Growing Off-Grid Population: The Final Frontier for Rural Electrification

The World Bank’s 2017 State of Electricity Access Report offers a number of important data updates on global progress toward universal electricity access. Among the findings, though, one is clearly the big story of the quest for universal energy access: in Sub-Saharan Africa, the off-grid population is growing.

That’s correct — the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa is growing. Although the electrification rate of the region has grown from 26.5 to 37.5 percent between 2000-2014, this growth has not been enough to cancel out the effects of rapid population growth.  While the Bank’s estimate of the total number of people without electricity was below 500 million in 2000, it was 609 million in 2014.

Botswana aims to light up remaining 20 pct of rural homes by 2020

Botswana is targeting to connect the remaining 20 percent of rural households to electricity by 2020, according to Botswana’s energy minister.

Sadique Kebonang, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, made the announcement Saturday after touring Morupule B power plant at Palapye, some 280 km north of the capital, Gaborone.

Helping to create prosperity in Rural Africa

The idea that considerable donations can treat poverty has governed our way of thinking since the 1960s, yet large aid packages have done little to break the vicious poverty circle that is dominant in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Long-term sustainable growth is needed, and the only way this will happen is if we stop gifting money and start creating sustainable communities by preventing economic institutions from blocking incentives and start encouraging foreign direct investment.

Agriculture ministers urged to address African rural youth unemployment

Youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa, the FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome.

In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market.  But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas.

Africa agriculture pioneer wins 2017 World Food Prize

African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina has won the prestigious World Food Prize for his work to boost yields and farm incomes.

Dr Adesina said providing millions of farmers with seeds and fertilisers was vital to boost development.

He added that many of the world’s 800 million undernourished people live in Africa.

Since 1986, the World Food Prize aims to recognise efforts to increase the quality and quantity of available food.


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 She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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