Rural Youths, Financial Inclusion 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:
The incoming president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says he cannot rest while young rural people face the same challenges he encountered 40 to 50 years ago.
Gilbert F. Houngbo, the former Togolese prime minister whose term at IFAD begins this month, is well-placed to understand the trials facing rural people in Africa. He was born and raised on a small family farm in rural Togo.
“When I was a youngster of eight years old, I had to walk 4km every morning to go and get water for the house,” he said. “A few years later I had to walk 20km every day to get to high school.”
“It is unacceptable that kids today have to go through the same thing 40 to 50 years later,” said the incoming president of IFAD, the specialised United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries.
When it comes to humanitarian aid for Africa, traditionally it has meant taxpayer-funded programs like PEPFAR or privately-funded shipments of medical supplies, food and other goods. A non-profit organization called GiveDirectly is pioneering another approach in eastern Africa: giving cash unconditionally to the needy.
The latest project involves providing what’s called a “universal basic income,” whereby every adult in a designated area receives a regular cash payment.
Even with these positive stories, growth inspired by digital technology still faces a myriad of challenges like lack of power, illiteracy on how to use, network reach, and lack of internet connectivity. However, we can still succeed by providing green energy solutions like solar panels, civic education on how to use the applications, and creating simple applications that do not need internet connectivity to function. More so, there is a need for partnerships between the various governments, private sector, and civil society in the digital space for development. With proper systems, digital technology is the sudden jolt that will lift poor Africans out of the cycle of poverty induced poverty, as well as bring about sustainable development even in remote areas of the continent.
Chief of Party, Feed the Future Nigeria, Agro Inputs Project IFDC, DR Kofi Debrah has said Nigeria will save $206 million in import substitution, if farmers adopt the new inputs and right fertilisers which have been tested by the organization in collaboration with the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS).
He assured that they had worked with the NPSS and done soil analysis using the soil doctor kit , provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and found all the soils need in order to grow plants very well.
Former Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has urged financial institutions operating in Ghana to make their services and products accessible to people living in rural areas of Ghana.
According to Dr. Duffuor, expanding financial services to a large number of people, especially those in the rural areas, where over 60 percent of the population are affected by poverty is one of the surest ways of promoting inclusive development and reducing poverty.