Rural Folks, Health and Other Reports

Happy New Year to you our readers!

As it is our now, every week, we 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:

Rural folk starved into submission

The ruling party of Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, is accused of perpetrating violence and denying drought-stricken opposition supporters food ahead of crucial by-elections in the ancient province of Masvingo.

Zanu (PF), which is increasing unpopular over economic crises, is contesting the Bikita West seat alongside several opposition parties and independent candidates. Rivals have accused ruling party candidate, Beauty Chabaya, and her campaign team of violence and denying known and opposition supporters food aid.

Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), the non-governmental organisation, said the situation was dire ahead of polls set for January 21. “Communities are being intimidated and mostly by being reminded of the past violence.”

More Africans at risk of dying from chronic illnesses, warns WHO

More Africans are at risk of chronic illnesses due to increasing urbanisation and unhealthy lifestyles, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Consequently, more people from developing African nations are likely to die of chronic diseases than infectious diseases by 2030, according to a new study.

The WHO survey that involved 33 countries was released last week.

It shows that most adults in the continent have at least one risk factor that increases their chances of developing deadly lifestyle diseases such as heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.

What Are The Economic Implications Of Legal Marijuana In South Africa?

South Africa’s Department of Health said on Nov. 23  it plans to introduce regulations as early as April 2016 that will make cannabis available to patients with some medical conditions and to also issue some licences for the weed to be grown.

“We hope that through this the South African public will not be solely beholden to Western medicine and its associated astronomic costs, but have a viable alternative medicine that is just as, or more, efficacious than its Western treatment counterpart,” said Narend Singh, chief whip of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimates up to 9.1 percent of the South Africans use cannabis. Tax revenue would be a key benefit of legalizing it, said Vladislav Lakcevic, an analytical strategy development professional specializing in economic studies in Africa.

How Nomads Can Save North Africa

The decline of nomadism in North Africa goes back to the nineteenth century. When French forces starting making inroads in the region, it was nomadic chiefs who led the insurgency against them. Subdued by the superiority of French artillery, they would be squeezed by the policies the French introduced. Drawing on the agricultural policies of their homeland, French officers tipped the scales in favor of Africa’s sedentary communities. There are numerous examples of mass killings perpetrated against rural populations (the VouletChanoine mission from Dakar to Lake Chad, which exterminated thousands, is the most notorious) but the French attitude to the colonial nomadic life is best reflected in the borders they left behind.

If nomadic life flourishes, the desert will have its guardians; the incentive to cooperate with jihadists will shrink, along with the rate of drug‐trafficking, arms‐smuggling and migration.

 

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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