This female laborer earns about N200 per day from clearing farmlands for owners.

Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Poverty 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 Entrepreneurship: IFAD Recommendations

The IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) team in Togo since the end of June has completed its monitoring and evaluation of the National Rural Entrepreneurship Promotion Project (PNPER).

The findings were given Monday at a meeting led by Agriculture Minister Ouro-Koura Agadazi.

The UN agency made a number of recommendations. These included the reorganization of financial management and the recruitment of external experts to assist micro and small rural enterprises.

Examining the Ecological Underpinnings of Rural Poverty

The “land of a thousand hills” today has one of the continent’s strongest economies and healthiest populations. This success story is borne out by a newly developed method for modeling rural poverty that could inform interventions to improve economies, health and ecosystems.

“The livelihoods of the rural poor are literally consumed by other organisms in complex ecological systems,” said co-author Matthew Bonds, a visiting assistant professor of medicine at Stanford. “The environment’s influence on poor rural economies makes them fundamentally different from the economies of more developed countries.”

Land Reform in South Africa: Another Zimbabwe?

Among some foreign observers, there has long been concern that South Africa could go down a similar path as Zimbabwe. More particularly there is anxiety that South Africa’s robust democratic institutions and the rule of law could give way to the abolition of minority property rights, especially those of white landowners, to benefit impoverished rural dwellers. The rural poor are an important constituency of the governing African National Congress (ANC). Over the past year, party leader and president, Jacob Zuma, has resorted to populist rhetoric, including references to “white monopoly capital” and the urgent need for land reform and redistribution, even without compensation to its owners.

Snake bites cause 30,000 deaths annually in Africa

Here is a worrying statistic: Snake bites kill at least 30,000 people in Africa every year.

This is from a survey by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which also highlights challenges in access to anti-venoms.

An estimated one million snakebites occur every year worldwide, causing 100,000 deaths, three times as many amputations and permanent disabilities, according to the World Health organization (WHO).

The study by MSF shows that most rural communities in Africa where the snake bites are rampant do not have potent antivenoms to treat victims.

Microsoft eyes TV airwaves for rural internet

Microsoft wants to extend broadband services to rural America by using the buffer zones separating individual television channels in the airwaves.

Microsoft plans to partner with rural telecommunications providers in 12 states, from the Dakotas and Arizona to a far eastern edge of Maine. The strategy calls for a combination of private and public investments and regulatory cooperation from the Federal Communications Commission to get about 2 million rural Americans connected to high-speed internet in the next five years.

Rural development high on national agenda – Veep     

Ghana’s bid to ensure that the benefits of future growth reach more of its population is one of several issues explored by Mahamudu Bawumia, the country’s vice president, in a wide-ranging interview he gave to Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Bawumia, who is also chairman of Ghana’s Economic Management Team, told the global research and consultancy firm, that galvanising industrial activity outside of the country’s urban centres was high on the new administration’s agenda.

“Rural development is a major focus for the government and we have put together development authorities to try to accelerate this process,” he said. “There is a development authority for the north, for the middle belt and for the coastal region, with each one tasked to look at the specific needs of its coverage area and assign the necessary resources to improve its infrastructure.”

Ghana to suffer major food crisis by end of year – GAWU

Ghana should expect an acute shortage of food by the end of the year, this is according to the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU). The Union claims that the ongoing fall army worm invasion is not being tackled well by government.

So far, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has revealed that although about 20,000 hectares of farm yields have been affected by fall armyworms invasion, the infestation is under control but the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kariweh, has argued that the number of hectares of farm yields go beyond what government is gathering.



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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