Photo Credit: CGIAR

Rural Ventures, Land Right 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:

Drought drives rural ventures out of business       

With Namibia hard hit by drought, severely affecting agricultural production, Namibian northern-based rural business entrepreneurs say that profits are declining, raising concerns about their small rural-based businesses’ prospects and sustainability.

Few years back, the wooden shelf in the rural entrepreneur’s concrete structure shop would be half empty as dwellers would spend and buy basic household commodities, he told Xinhua on Wednesday. Today, the wooden shelf is fully packed with stock of basic commodities such as bread, biscuits, soap, salt, sanitary towels, sugar, milk and canned fish amongst others.

“I bought the stock a month ago hoping that business would improve. But to my dismay, dwellers are only buying an item or two. They don’t have much to spend. As a result, my products are on shelf for a long time, to our disadvantage,” he said.

‘Walking into the unknown’: Rural England weighs up the reality of Brexit 

The landscape around Crediton in Devon is picture-postcard perfect – a patchwork of fields, thick hedges, woods, rolling hills with rivers, streams and deep lanes meandering through.

They have farmed the rich red soil here for centuries. Romano-British farms have been discovered and in the middle ages Crediton (the name comes from the river Creedy and the old English “tun” meaning farm) was a thriving wool town.

This mild, damp corner of England is a living, working landscape. Cattle, sheep and poultry are reared; there are well-stocked fishing rivers; good cider and cheese is produced; bees, goats, geese are nurtured. Scores of businesses, from the feed producers to the garages that fix farm vehicles, depend on farming and other rural concerns.

Women Are Climbing Africa’s Highest Peak to Fight for Land Rights

In acts of resistance and solidarity, U.S. protesters have crossed bridges, marched to the seashore, and assembled at the reflecting pool of the nation’s capital. Mass protests are always symbolic, but on Oct. 10, a group of 30 women farmers will challenge the status quo with an attempt to move mountains by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

“We are not just climbing the mountain,” tweeted Action Aid, the organizer of the climb. “We are taking the issues of rural women farmers to the top.”

From plate to plough: Rural change challenge

Eradicating poverty from the planet was the top-most target in a set of 17 goals adopted by the UN last September as a part of its sustainable development agenda. Nations across the globe, including India, endorsed it. The strategies to achieve this goal have been left open to countries. In this context, the Rural Development Report (RDR) 2016 of the International Fund for Agricultural Development is timely.

The RDR’s Asia and Pacific Region (APR) release will be in India on October 17. The report is among the more comprehensive documents that try to understand the role of rural transformation in eradicating poverty and securing food and nutritional security within the context of economy-wide structural transformation in several countries. It is based on an empirical analysis of 60 countries drawn from various regions.

Bid for strongest protection for all African elephants defeated at wildlife summit

South Africa’s environment minister, Edna Molewa, said rural communities must benefit from elephants if they are to tolerate the damage caused to crops and the lives sometimes lost. “We dare not ignore their voices,” she said. “Trophy hunting is the best return on investment [in elephant protection] with the least impact.”

Nigeria: ‘Govt. should develop rural communities in FCT’

The trend is that development is concentrated in city centres. Any city you go to, you will see flyovers, water, electricity, hospitals, schools, while the rural community are denied  of these amenities. So, our advice is what we are doing with government, it is our advocacy, influencing government and telling them that it is also important you develop the rural communities because if you develop the rural communities, it will stop or reduce migration from rural communities to the city centres. For example, if you go to some rural communities, people still dig and they wait and scoop water from the ground. It is still happening within the FCT. What will it take to construct or drill boreholes in the rural communities? What will it take to build primary health centres? Knowing fully well that women in those local communities are married and they can also be pregnant. A woman is pregnant and when it is time to deliver, her community is about three hours away from the nearest hospital, what do you think will happen?
Government should build heath centres in every community; at least a community where we have more than  500 persons, and not just building  primary health centres, equipping the primary health centres with the basic facilities and drugs and qualified personnel is also important. As we speak, there are some primary health centres that are built in this FCT right now but there is no doctor to attend to patients. There is one like that in Tungan Nasara, I was there like four weeks ago and I don’t know if things have changed there. It is a big primary health centre, I think it was built under the MDG but it’s  been taken over by weeds.

Nigeria to establish agency for cancer control

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said that the Federal Government was exploring the possibility of setting up the National Agency for Cancer Control. He said the institution, when established, would be responsible for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care for cancer patients.

Mr. Adewole said the ministry, in collaboration with other interested parties in cancer control, was working hard in creating awareness at the rural areas on early detection of cancer.

New rules to help end child marriage in Cameroon

Child marriage unleashes a cascade of human rights violations. Child brides are more likely to be forced to leave school, depriving them of their right to an education. They are more likely to become pregnant as adolescents, which puts them at increased risk of maternal health complications. And they are also more vulnerable to abuse.

It is the most disadvantaged girls – those living in poverty, in rural areas and with few prospects for empowerment – who are most likely to become child brides. More than half of Cameroonian girls who have no education are already married, for instance, compared to 9 per cent of girls with a secondary education.

Malawi: No Single Borehole in 9 Nsanje Villages, Resort to Unsafe Water Sources

As the country strives to achieve some of the Universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include goal number six on Clean Water and Sanitation, some communities are still struggling to fetch safe water.

Communities around nine villages in Chididi in the area of Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje are experiencing serious water woes relying on hazardous and unsafe water points which are also accessed by wild animals including cattle, goats and dogs.

Margret Fodya, from Group Village Head Mchacha in the area, said since she was born, she has never seen a borehole in her village and only relies on water points which are not safe.

Declining fortunes restrict opportunities for rural children

Ghana’s current economic circumstances and its declining fortunes in the quality of accessible education make it unlikely for children in rural parts of the country to make it in life, two distinguished personalities have observed.

According to the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sir Sam E. Jonah, and a former Minister of Finance in the Kufuor administration, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the performance of public basic schools is so poor that they are almost incapable of producing students who can easily gain admission to the top senior high schools.


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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