Rural Urbanisation, Crowd-farming 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 .

In Pictures: Remote Berber Villages Struggle with Infrastructure and Poverty

Morocco is home to the majestic Atlas Mountains, the largest mountain range in Africa. And scattered across that landscape are Amazigh villages giving beautiful but harsh living environments to the ancient Berber people.

AP reports that at least 15 million Moroccans are Amazigh, divided into different groups according to their dialects.

Despite Morocco’s huge tourist trade and proximity to Europe, much of rural Morocco remains below the poverty line, and the country ranked 130th in the latest human development index published by the United Nations.

The remote mountainous region around Anfgou suffers from a crippling lack of infrastructure, with many roads unpassable in the winter months and residents complaining of having to transport basic supplies by mule for long distances along icy roads, as reported by Middle East Online.

Urbanisation in Kenya takes toll on Maasai communal land

As in many other East African countries, the rapid growth of urban areas has taken a toll on the ancestral lands of pastoralists, where much of the new development is taking place.

Kenya has undergone unprecedented urban growth, which has led to an increased demand for land, further exacerbated by a growing middle class population.

At the time of independence, in 1964, about 8.5 percent of Kenyans resided in urban areas, according to United Nations data. This figure had risen to 16.7 percent by 1990 and by 2015, one in four Kenyans lived in urban areas.

#ThisFlag movement targets rural Zimbabweans

As President Robert Mugabe’s party tries to woo young, urban voters ahead of elections in 2018, popular protest movement #ThisFlag is turning its attention to Zimbabweans living in rural areas, where support for the long-time president has traditionally been strongest.

In a new video posted to Facebook on Monday, #ThisFlag founder Evan Mawarire urges Zimbabweans in the country and abroad to forward videos and information to relatives living out of town to “tell them that people are now speaking out”.

Youth Employment Opportunities Rising In African Agrifood Systems

According to a new study published by Michigan State University, Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector is rapidly changing and can be a key driver of youth employment and economic transformation.

However, major efforts are needed to provide young Africans with up-to-date practical skills and access to land, equipment and finance that will allow them to transition from subsistence agriculture into higher-paying economic opportunities.

The Agrifood Youth Employment and Engagement Study is one of the first studies to comprehensively examine the potential for and challenges to expanding youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa’s agrifood systems — the set of activities, processes, people and institutions involved in supplying food and agricultural products.

13m cows, one app: the city slickers selling cattle via ‘crowd-farming’

Shezi is the founder and chief executive of Livestock Wealth, a South African startup that uses digital technology to allow the newly wealthy in the country’s rapidly expanding cities to invest in a traditional commodity: cattle.

“It was very rural where I grew up. I fetched water from a river,” Shezi says. “My grandparents owned a couple of cows. Cattle were also like a walking bank. The cows were the bedrock of the family’s finances. And that got me thinking.”

His idea was a simple one, stemming from the fact that it is almost impossible for any single investor to buy, care for and earn money from cattle. Pasture, a farm, the requisite skills and the means to have the animal slaughtered and the meat sold are all required.

NAPTIP to launch national referral mechanism for trafficked persons

The National Agency For The Prohibition Of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) says there’s need to create more awareness in order to easily identify victims.

Some participants who gathered at a forum are of the opinion that the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) will give a clearer picture about the scope of human trafficking in Nigeria and the various interventions by state and Non-state actors.

Tanzania: GSMA unveils rural connectivity project

At Mobile 360 – Africa, the GSMA announced the launch of the first active infrastructure sharing initiative in East Africa between mobile network operators (MNOs) Airtel, Millicom and Vodacom. The MNOs have committed to launch six 3G pilot sites across the country to test the sustainable provision of mobile broadband services to 13 million underserved people across rural areas of Tanzania.

How the cloud helps Camfed empower girls in rural Africa

Camfed, the campaign for female education in Africa, is a fast-growing non-profit that is committed to support one million girls in rural Africa to go to secondary school by 2020. Education has a proven role in combating poverty, improving health and fostering economic growth. Camfed’s community-led programs not only support girls to succeed at school, but also go on to empower them to become entrepreneurs and change-makers in their communities.


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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