Ukerewe market women plan to have access to bank loan. Photo Credit -Oluwabusayo Sotunde/ Rural Reporters

Rural School, Cross-border Trade and Other Report

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:


Government looking at separate curriculum for rural schools

The Department of Basic Education has published a new “Rural Education policy”, looking at introducing a number of changes to how rural schools are managed across the country.

The policy follows a 2005 report by the Nelson Mandela Foundation which argued for a holistic response to the special circumstances facing rural communities.

The report recommended that state provision of rural schooling should be resourced and organised differently from urban schools, as a necessary measure to meet the needs of rural learners.

In Africa’s Great Lakes region, UNCTAD helps build peace through cross-border trade

Cross-border trade between nations in the Great Lakes region is crucial to sustaining peace and security in central Africa, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on 23 January.

Ms. Durant was representing UNCTAD at a management board meeting of the United Nations Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework which helps build peaceful links between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda after years of unrest and instability.

“With our trade and development contribution, we must join forces and support such a beautiful, diverse, fertile area, where, unfortunately, political crises and severe conflicts continue to shake the region with unprecedent consequences for its population,” Ms. Durant said.

NSE seeks infrastructure development in rural areas

There is an urgent need for accelerated infrastructure development in rural areas in order to curb poverty and its related challenges across the country, the Nigerian Society of Engineers has said.

Participants, who spoke at the recent pre-investiture colloquium organised by the NSE for its 31st President, Adekunle Mokuolu, in Abuja, observed that the widespread poverty in rural communities was inimical to the country’s development.

The Africa Regional Manager, International Road Federation, Dr. Amoah Bekoe, who was the lead speaker at the event, called for the establishment of a rural development authority to initiate, plan, coordinate and monitor rural development projects and programmes with the sole aim of bringing the needed focus required for the development of rural areas.

He said, “Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has about 51 percent of its population living in rural areas who face the challenges of poverty, income inequalities, high rural-urban migration, high unemployment, poor health care, high maternal and infant mortality, among others.

As clean energy prices fall, rural communities in Asia, Africa benefit

With the costs of creating electricity from solar power and wind continuing to fall, electricity from renewable energy will soon be “consistently cheaper” than electricity from fossil fuels, according to the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

By 2020, most wind and solar power technology now being commercially used will be priced in the same range as fossil fuels, “with most at the lower end or even undercutting fossil fuels,” said Adnan Amin, the director general of the IRENA.

That is particularly good news for communities in parts of Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world that remain unconnected to power grids and without access to modern energy, experts said.

The rural people must be assisted against climate change

Climate change remains one of the most pressing issues across the globe, with Africa being the most vulnerable continent to its menace.

With all the efforts, the rural people in The Gambia are still being faced with numerous climate change problems including food insecurity and unpredictable rainy season. This signals that more and more resources have to be committed to help the rural poor such as putting in mitigation and adaptation methods.

Food and Agriculture Organization at the 30th African Union Summit

The Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is an important event that brings leaders together to discuss issues vital to the continent’s progress and prosperity. In that framework, several events related to ending hunger and boosting nutrition will be held on the margins of the Summit, and at which the United Nations will be represented.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva is travelling to Addis Ababa from 26-28 January. The highlight of the Director-General’s mission will be the high-level meeting Achieving Zero Hunger in Africa by 2025, on Saturday 27 January. The ambitious target of ending hunger in Africa by 2025 is currently not on track. FAO’s 2017 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report found that despite a prolonged decline, world hunger is on the rise again. The increase is linked to conflicts and drought that affected many countries and hit rural areas particularly hard.

Grouse shooting season gives rural economy a boost

Richard Bailey of the Peak District Moorland Group said: “We have witnessed a good year with most of our estate members welcoming both domestic and international visitors right into the final weeks of the season.

“Grouse shooting is a lifeline for many in our rural community in the form of economic, social and community interaction. It offers employment opportunities and supports many local businesses, with shooting-related tourism bolstering trade during the winter ‘off-season.”

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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