Top 5 Pick: Rural Africa Weekly Report

It’s the beginning of a new week and as part of our tradition, Rural Reporters collates a weekly report on development in rural Africa and its environs. The reports include are some of our top picks of recent must-read research, interviews, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. Here are top updates from the previous week.

South Africa and China sign ICT plan

South Africa and China have signed a Plan of Action on areas of cooperation in information and communications technology (ICT) to implement broadband infrastructure in rural areas.


Tanzanian Chemical Engineer Wins Engineering Innovation with Nanofilter

A Tanzanian chemical engineer has won the first Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation with his specialised water-filtration system.

Dr Askwar Hilonga’s innovation – a sand-based water filter that cleans contaminated drinking water using nanotechnology – has earned him prize money of UK £25,000 (TZS79 million.)

Each Nanofilter is engineered for a specific body of water and absorbs the contaminants present – from heavy metals or minerals such as copper and fluoride, to biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses, and pollutants such as pesticides.

South Africa: Teachers gets Scripted Lessons on Sex Education from Government

The hit-and-miss manner in which HIV and sexuality education is taught in many life-orientation classrooms has prompted the government to develop scripted lessons for the subject.

Teachers uncomfortable with sexuality education, squeezed school timetables and gaps in the curriculum content meant life orientation was not adequately addressing HIV and sexuality education, the Basic Education Department acknowledged on Monday.

The national department on Monday held a meeting on HIV and sexuality education at schools, ahead of the start of the seventh SA Aids Conference in Durban on Tuesday.

Women at centre of African Union summit

The African Union (AU) has stressed the importance of mainstreaming women in all development activities as Africa seeks to attain integration, prosperity and peace under its Agenda 2063 framework.

AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in her statement to the opening session of the AU’s Executive Council in Johannesburg yesterday, called for the acceleration of gender transformation in order to achieve women’s empowerment and development towards Agenda 2063, which is the theme of the African Union for 2015.

Africa Innovates On Rural Water Issues

Africa is home to more than 1,2-billion people, and all the continent’s nations share a common concern: how to maximise the use of water and preserve a resource that is essential to prosperity and growth.
It is these concerns that prompted inventors from across the globe to take part in the recent Standard Bank Water 4 Africa challenge. The competition concentrated on seeking global inputs in major areas of water conservation. These varied from ensuring the sustainability of groundwater, sanitation, and purification of water including solar, through to filtration and innovative solutions to promote wise water use.

One of the categories in the challenge centred on early stage solutions (new and promising concepts) to solve these issues, with three winners being awarded prizes of $2 000 each.


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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