This Week’s Top Stories On Rural Africa

Every week, we look at stories making headlines on rural development in Africa. These stories are not necessarily based on rural locations but are sometimes those that can improve the lives of rural dwellers in Africa directly or indirectly.

Here are the top stories for this week (October 5-11, 2014):


Are Bad Leaders Worse Than Ebola?

Youth leaders at the grassroots have started mobilizing their peers to vote for credible leaders in the upcoming 2015 elections. This is clearly not about the elections alone, but to ensure that the Nigerian youths are rightly empowered after electing government leaders. Some young Nigerians recently stormed the street of Lagos under the platform of a youth pressure group called Advocate for Collective Transformation.

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HEALTH: South Africa: Deadly Delays in Breast Cancer Treatment

October is breast cancer awareness month. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer among South African women and one in 35 women will be diagnosed with the cancer in their lifetime.

Pink Drive’s Corporate Relationship Manager Antoinette Joubert says the greatest challenge is linking the clinic’s patients to nearby hospitals for further tests and treatment.

“Early detection can save lives.. When our nurses find a lump, we refer the person to the nearest hospital, but sometimes patients can wait up to three months for a mammogram appointment,” Joubert said.

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UNFPA Urges Inclusion of Ageing Issues in Post-2015 Agenda

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has disclosed that by 2030, there will be more people over the age of 60 than children under 10, saying by 2050, the global ageing population will be two billion strong.

“We are working to include ageing issues in the post-2015 development agenda, in national development frameworks and poverty reduction strategies, and to ensure that the voices of older persons are heard.”

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Zimbabwe: ‘Beekeeping Key to Rural Development’

Beekeeping has the potential to increase employment, while the value addition of the apiculture industry will spur rural development and increase income and economic growth as outlined in the Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset). This was said by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made at the Beekeeping Expo (APi-Expo 2014) which is being hosted in Harare, for the first time.

Participants include beekeepers, researchers, honey processors and equipment suppliers from Mozambique, Italy, France, China, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.

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Climate change: 15m farmers to get crop insurance by 2017

To reduce the vulnerability of small scale farmers, especially to floods and droughts, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed that the Federal Government has launched a Planting with Peace Programme where 15 million farmers would get access to crop insurance.

2.5 million farmers would be covered by crop insurance in the country, starting from 2015, Adesina said in a keynote address recently in New York during the first CGIAR Development Dialogues, organised by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research at Columbia University, New York.

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Illegal Mining Killing Cocoa Farms

A field trip to some mining and cocoa growing communities such as Bogoso, Prestea, Tarkwa, all in the Western Region, have revealed how the activities of the illegal small-scale gold miners are impacting negatively on cocoa farms, as the indigenes are abandoning their crop farms in search of the metal with impunity.

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Namibia: San and Zemba Children Vulnerable to Child Trafficking

Former Ombudsperson, Advocate Bience Gawanas, says that children of minority groups, such as those from San and Zemba communities are more vulnerable to child trafficking from region to region in Namibia where they are used as domestic workers and labourers, while also sexually abused in many instances.

“Many traffickers go to villages where they say they tell the parents they will take their children for education opportunities, only to stop any contact with the parents once the children leave,”

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In Africa, Church Leaders Responding to Climate Change Locally and Globally

In eastern Kenya, villagers are constructing structures known as sand dams with support from the Mennonite Central Committee. Working through the Utooni Development Organization, a self-help group, villagers in the largely Christian Utooni area are building large concrete walls across a dry riverbed, stopping or slowing down the rapid flow of rainwater to the Indian Ocean.

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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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