Rural Health in Nigeria, Financial Inclusion 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 Tanzanians need better access to credit, states World Bank report

World Bank Group has released a report that says supporting the greater financial system in Tanzania is crucial for the growth of the country’s businesses and access to credit.

In less than eight years, an inexpensive mobile money-transfer system has given most Tanzanians the chance to take part in the mobile money revolution, according to the report, titled “Money Within Reach: Extending Financial Inclusion in Tanzania.”

“The mobile money revolution has made a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of people who can now send and receive money and thus save at low cost,” Bella Bird, the World Bank director for Tanzania, Somalia, Burundi and Malawi, said in a press release.

Rural health in Nigeria, reality or mirage?

A strong, accessible Primary healthcare (PHC) system reduces pressure on hospitals by supporting people to manage their health issues in the community. It is the cornerstone underpinning population health outcomes and key to ensuring we have a high-quality sustainable health system into the future. Yet, despite its critical importance, decades after PHC was accented to in Nigeria, many challenges had made it fail in tackling the “politically, socially and economically unacceptable” health inequalities, especially at the rural communities.

Improving the rural healthcare was the thrust of the 30th memorial of Chief Obafemi Awolowo organised by Dideolu Specialist Hospital, Ikenne and held at his Ikenne residency. It was sponsored by Obafemi Awolowo Foundation. Chief Obafemi Awolowo believed that the state should channel Nigeria’s resources into education and state-led infrastructural development; hence he introduced free education for all as well as free health-care in the Western region to cater for the health needs of the people. He believed that a healthy man or woman will contribute positively to the development of the region.

Somalia War Intensifies While Nation on Verge of Famine

Relief Web stressed in a recent report that:

“Massive drought-related displacement continues across Somalia, with most of the displaced people moving from rural to urban areas or other rural areas. According to the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN) more than 680,000 people have been displaced by drought since November 2016. In the last week, a total of 63 people crossed into Dollo Addo town of Ethiopia. Nearly 420 people were displaced from Xarardheere district to Cadaado town as a result of forced child recruitment and heavy taxation by non-state armed actors.”

South Africa: Draft Rural Transport Strategy Approved

Cabinet has approved the Draft Reviewed Rural Transport Strategy which responds to the priorities of rural district municipalities and provinces.

Addressing a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said the strategy will address the inadequate provision of Rural Transport Infrastructure and services which limits socio-economic development.

“Implementation of this strategy will contribute towards the development of the local and provincial economy by improving access to public transport.

Seeds of Rural Renewal Sown in Senegal            

veteran of the Senegalese peasant movement now in his seventies, Lamine Biaye founded and chairs the Association Sénégalaise des Producteurs de Semences Paysannes, which uses local knowledge and trading systems to boost biodiversity through the promotion of seed production.

Having set up projects among women’s groups in different parts of Senegal, Biaye is currently focused on Fuladu, a region in Upper Casamance. Five years ago, he moved to the Fuladu village of Djimini, where he started an educational farm that specialises on seed production and market garden techniques.

Some 350 women from a dozen villages in the area now benefit from the farm’s training programmes.

World Telecom Labs urges Rural African Grid Development

World Telecom Labs has called on regulators to use Universal Service Fund money to build wholesale networks in rural Africa, and to reallocate unused spectrum for these networks.  With infrastructure sharing now common across the continent, WTL firmly believes that the removal of the capex cost of building a rural network will enable regulators to pressure previously reluctant operators to start offering services in these areas.

How a Rural South African Village’s DIY Telco Lowered Its Communication Costs

The isiXhosa word “Zenzeleni” means “do it yourselves,” which is precisely what the village of Mankosi, located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, has been doing to address their high costs of telecommunications. Through a community-owned, solar-powered mesh network, residents of this rural village now have access to more affordable telephone and internet access.

Zenzeleni Networks, as the initiative is called, is registered as a cooperative in the rural traditional community of Mankosi located within the Nyandeni Local Municipality in the Province of the Eastern Cape, considered to be one of the more disadvantaged areas of the country.



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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