Starving Communities, Rural Demographics 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:
People have been reduced to eating toxic locusts as a result of the food shortages affecting Madagascar, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Anglican mission agency USPG, which is supporting local Anglican churches respond to the crisis, say that the extensive hunger has been caused by a combination of drought and erratic rains across the region.
The Bishop of Toliara in Madagascar, Todd A McGregor, said that people in rural communities are so desperate for food that they are eating locusts even though they know they are toxic.
A Washington State University-led research team found households in rural Africa that vaccinate their cattle for East Coast fever increased their income and spent the additional money on food and education. Researchers also found that when fewer cattle died from the fever, girls were more likely to attend secondary school.
“When households vaccinate, it increases their wealth and income and sets them on a trajectory to provide education for their children,” said lead author Tom Marsh, professor in WSU’s School of Economic Sciences and the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. “Vaccinating is a way for households to pull themselves out of poverty.
With only 7.1 percent of Mozambique’s population connected to the Internet, the South African nation still faces huge challenges in developing the appropriate information and computer technology infrastructure to connect its spread-out population.
Consequently, Mozambican tech startup Kamaleon has introduced a new project dubbed “The Community Tablet,” which is delivering portable Internet to remote parts of the country.
More than 250 people were baptized as the result of a Facebook invitation to a three-week evangelist campaign held in a rural region of Uganda. The Facebook group entitled SDA-U, with a following of more than 9,000 Adventist youth, recently used social media to invite hundreds of people to the evangelist outreach event, which was held in Agago, a region located approximately 400 miles north of Uganda’s capital Kampala. An estimated 400 people attended the nightly meetings.
Rogers Kaggwa, communication and education director for Central Uganda Conference said “Our hearts have been touched to see God at work through through the meetings. We praise God for youth that are dedicating their social media for ministry and outreach.”
Almost 40 years after its independence, land reform remains at the heart of Zimbabwe’s political and economic challenges. But perhaps more than any other issue in Zimbabwe, it has historically been met with inertia from government and the international community.
Governments throughout the world have found difficulty devising economically successful land tenure models that incorporate landless populations meaningfully into food and cash crop production. Zimbabwe is no exception.
In Southern Rhodesia, the development of the settler agricultural economy was based on the widespread expropriation of land and the forced removal of native populations to reserves. Settler populations maintained access to the best land in the colony, where land holdings were based on colour and ethnicity.
In East Africa, rural off-grid demographics, extensive telecommunications network coverage, and the prevalence of mobile money provide fertile ground for markets and Kenya and Tanzania markets are seen as the strongest in the region.
It is against these backdrop key players in Africa’s off grid energy space met in Dar es Salaam for a two-day Africa Energy Forum: Mini & Off the Grid summit to explore the intricacies of providing reliable power in the region.
The key players including pan- African rural electrification agencies, electricity regulators, philanthropic business foundations, banks, regulatory bodies, multilateral organisations and off grid businesses had discussed growing opportunities in the off-grid across the region and challenges faced by the private sector which include the need for appropriate legal and regulatory framework to attract private investments in the sector.