Ogiek walk along the road after harvesting honey in Mount Elgon reserve, April 2016. Photograph: Katy Migiro/Reuters

Rural Midwives, Farm Dwellers and Other Reports

Every week, RuralReporters.com 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 Midwives Plead For Electricity at Local Health Centers

Traditional midwives also known as traditional birth attendants (TBA) in electoral District 5, Grand Bassa County say the lack of electricity during delivery is a ‘death trap’ for many pregnant women in the area.

They then made an appeal for electricity at clinics in the area, calling on the county administration and other philanthropists to intervene.

Parliament Passes Bill to Protect Farm Dwellers    

The National Assembly has passed a bill aimed at curbing the illegal eviction of farm workers.

The Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill will now go before the National Council of Provinces for Approval.

The bill provides for proper consultation before a landowner can evict farm dwellers or occupiers and for negotiations with municipalities for alternative accommodation.

Africa Mobile Networks gets EU funds for rural connectivity

Africa Mobile Networks seeks to connect nearly 4 million people in rural Africa to telecommunications for the first time, supported by the EU Bank, to build 1000 new solar-powered mobile phone base stations. It is targeting remote, rural areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon, backed by a EUR 24 million long-term investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

This One Thing Could Solve Rural Unemployment in Nigeria

New data from the Bureau of Statistics continue to show a high level of unemployment and underemployment in the rural areas of the country compared to the urban areas. In the absence of traditional white-collar opportunities in the rural areas, most persons resort to independent means of subsistence, ranging from agriculture, crafts and temporary engagements at construction sites.

What then could the options of fixing rural unemployment be? Improvements in the education offered to rural dwellers would enable them get the required set of skills to develop more commercially viable means of income and sustenance.

Sustainable Use of Oceans Requires End to Illegal Fishing

The world’s oceans offer both challenges and solutions to the world’s Sustainable Development Agenda, and managing them more carefully is essential for global food security today and tomorrow as well as the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today at the United Nations Ocean Conference.

More than three billion people rely on fish for critical animal protein, while 300 million people depend on marine fisheries, the vast majority being linked to small-scale fisheries that are the backbone of marine and coastal social and ecosystems in many developing countries.

Tanzania: Govt to Invest in Rural Areas to Curb Urban Migrations

The government plans to establish many industries as well as improve the agriculture sector in rural areas in order to reduce number of people, who are migrating to urban areas. This was revealed by the minister of finance and planning Dr Philip Mpango, when he was tabling the 2016/17 state of economy in the Parliament on Thursday morning.

Dr Mpango the increase of population in urban areas, which is highly contributed by rural-urban migration, has hindered provision of social services.

Namibia: Land Tenure Hampers Rural Development

Land tenure remains a challenge for rural development, according to the recently launched fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

Namibia inherited its land tenure system from the colonial era, reads the document.

“Land in Namibia is either freehold, communal, or state-owned. As a result, the distribution of land tenure is extremely unequal,” it is stated.

UN Women Sponsors Capacity Building For Rural Building

Congo Town-Women from the fifteen political-sub divisions have begun a three day capacity building training organized by Liberia National Rural Women Structure at the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Congo Town.

The capacity building training, which is being backed by the UN Women and Kvinna till Kvinnais, is aimed at highlighting the essence of female leadership in the country.

The Little Shrub Making a Big Difference in Rural Senegal

In India, its dried leaves are used as a hair conditioner; in east Africa it’s fed to livestock; Mauritanians smoke its seeds; and in rural Senegal, where it goes by the name of leydour, its medicinal uses are helping many make up for the agricultural losses brought about by climate change.

Senna (or Cassia) italica is a deciduous perennial herb that can be harvested year-round – one of the reasons its cultivation is catching on in parts of Senegal.

Is the Inability to Easily Fire Workers a Reason for Rural Africa’s Lack of Formal Jobs?

“The guy was not doing so well, so we had to let him go…” casually quips the converser when speaking about the recent goingons at work. Back here in California, firing incompetent people is an everyday phenomenon that one simply lives, so much so that no one assumes that s/he would not be targeted by managers when periods of low performance and intra-office conflicts persist. Even when one performs well, structural changes or financial problems at one’s workplace is enough of a reason to fire people, and people, while angry or anxious, simply get on with their lives afterwards.

The casual attitude toward firing employees is something that I, quite honestly, sorely missed while living in rural Tanzania for the past two years. Firing people is a big deal, for a multitude of reasons. First, given the lack of available formal sector jobs, any local who manages to get a formal job would like to keep it for life. Since they do not expect themselves to quit (especially since farming and starting their own businesses tend to be risky and pay comparatively little), they also reciprocally expect whichever companies that hire them to also play their part and keep them as employees for the entire duration of their careers.


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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