Rural Reporters tweet chat, Flood Prediction App and Other Reports

Every week, Rural Reporters 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 .


At Rural Reporters, we hosted a day-long [well, almost a full day event] Tweetchat with two young agripreneurs and leaders to discuss Youth Engagement in Sustainable Agriculture and the 2030 Agenda. We discussed how Farmers and Government can work together to ensure that we achieve the much talked about Food security across Nigeria. We would explore the realities of running an agribusiness in Nigeria and the role of young people in fostering sustainable consumption and production. We also be discussed how government leaders, financial institutions and investors can foster public and private investment in new technologies and training that would improve agricultural value chain and its competitiveness in expanding government revenue in this critical time when the dwindling prices of oil are failing to expand Nigeria’s economy.

In case you missed the tweetchat, read it up here: or visit our tweeter page @rural_reporters

Women at the Forefront; Scaling up Solar in Rural Africa

I recently travelled to Zanzibar, Tanzania to meet up with a group of women, known locally as the Solar Mamas, who have been installing solar panels throughout their rural, coastal community. I was awarded the Patricia Sullivan Travel Grant, established to provide junior NRDC staff with the opportunity to research a topic of interest, for the purpose of professional and personal growth. I used this opportunity to take an in depth look at the gender dynamics of energy and to see how access to solar electricity is impacting women and girls in rural East Africa.

The island of Zanzibar, located off the coast of Tanzania, is almost completely off the grid. Less than 4 percent of the island’s population has access to electricity and even those with access, don’t have enough. Life in rural Zanzibar, as in much of rural Africa, is a race against the clock—daily chores and activity must be completed before the sun goes down. After sunset, it’s totally dark and evening work and studies are impossible. This is particularly impactful to young girls and women who spend daylight hours fulfilling domestic responsibilities. Without access to light after dark, there is no time for girls to keep up with school work or for women to partake in income generating activity.

Raw materials in rural areas can address unemployment deficit 

As unemployment stares the growing army of at least 60 million Nigerian in the face, a concerned Nigerian and UK-based African-in-Chief of African Secretariat, Ben Oguntala, says raw materials within rural communities can empower the citizens and address this problem that has undermined the economy of the nation

Although he is based in the United Kingdom, he is so passionate about Nigeria and how her economy can grow. Lamenting the economic woes that have befallen the country, African-in-Chief and founder, African, Ben Oguntala, said the Olooni of Eti-Oni and Chairman of Africa Secretariat in the United Kingdom, Oba Dokun Thompson, in an address at a London event, ‘Celebrating Africa’, noted that: “For the past 300 years or more, Africa has been defined by several different perceptions others have and not by those she has of herself. One of the greatest challenges of Africa is how to properly craft out an identity and define herself in the context of the contemporary and modern world we have found ourselves in today.”

$100m required to support farmers in southern Africa

Over US$100 million is required to support farmers in southern Africa to enable them produce sufficient food for over 20 million people in the region which includes Zambia, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said.
The financial boost is aimed to avoid dependency on humanitarian assistance to Zambia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe by 2018.
FAO sub-regional coordinator for southern Africa David Phiri said the organisation has since come up with a response plan aimed at ensuring that farm inputs and services are provided to smallholder farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralists.

Nigeria: Govt. unveils smartphone App for flood prediction

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria has launched a smartphone application, which has been dubbed “Wetin App” for flood forecasting especially along the Niger and Benue rivers, this is according to a report via

The application will be available on the Google App Store, and is a collaborative project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).


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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