Updates On Rural Africa


School Lessons By Radio In Sierra Leone, Liberia

With the nationwide closure of schools in Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the Ebola outbreak, and with no immediate prospect of them reopening, a growing number of students are receiving their lessons via radio.

“Right now, in the midst of Ebola, the Ministry of Education has embarked on this programme – Teaching by Radio – because we want our children to be engaged academically,” said J. Maxim Blateen, the director of communications for Liberia’s Ministry of Education. “Our school-going children were just sitting at home, idle. So we wanted to bring them something to keep them learning.

Read More: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100838/school-lessons-by-radio-in-sierra-leone-liberia



On The Front Line Of The Fight To Save Lives

The villagers of Pusangi are members of the Masai tribe. With their distinctive red cloaks, beaded jewellery and, for the men, carved staffs, clubs and swords, they are as majestically African as the lions, giraffes and elephants which roam the plains of the Masai Mara National Park, over the escarpment.

But behind what to the tourists is an idyllic image of Africa at its finest, is a bitter truth.

For the Masai, like so many others on that continent, are denied even basic healthcare – forced to rely on expensive taxis and motorbikes to reach the nearest hospital or clinic. Most can’t afford it so stay at home. And, all too often, die.

More: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/life/11601318.Giving_birth_to_a_better_future/



Drawing More Women Into Agribusiness

Women have never been found idle, especially now that a majority of them have become breadwinners due to the global economic downturn that made the supposedly heads of families jobless and unemployable as a result of age. As born economists, women would go to any length to reduce capital flight.

Now that Agribusiness is the beautiful bride, how will women go beyond the level of subsistency to a more sustainable means of farming, through which the fortunes of the economy could be turned around?

Read More: http://www.tribune.com.ng/component/k2/item/21425-drawing-more-women-into


Fairtrade Focuses on African Farmers

For Fairtrade to make a major difference, its involvement in strengthening grassroots rural organisations is key, alongside a concerted effort to raise agricultural wages.

Africa plays a central role in Fairtrade’s success. In 2013, 61% of all farmers and labourers working under Fairtrade provisions lived in Africa according to a Fairtrade report.

Roughly 30 percent of global Fairtrade premiums are provided to African producers, but the prominence of the cocoa sector means that two thirds of those premiums are channeled to Ghana and Kenya alone.

Within Africa, Fairtrade products are marketed in only two countries – South Africa and Kenya.



African Development Bank To Contribute To Food Security In 11 Countries

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Kenya have signed on November 14, 2014, in Nairobi, a grant agreement to support the growth and formalization of 54 African seed companies in eleven countries. The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) managed by the Bank has provided US $1 million to fund a technical assistance project in the form of Business Development Services for the 54 seed companies. This technical assistance project will help the seed companies increase their production of quality seeds for rural farmers ultimately contributing to ensuring food security and the reduction of poverty in rural areas. Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director, East Africa Regional Resource Centre, and Agnès Kalibata, President, AGRA, signed on behalf of the Bank and AGRA, respectively.

Read More: http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/african-development-bank-to-contribute-to-food-security-in-11-countries-13757/



Empowering Change in Rural Africa Through Technology

As advances in phone, computer and other technologies make living and working in economically developed countries easier, it’s natural to wonder if technological advances have a role in development in the poorest areas of the world, particularly Sub Saharan Africa. The answer is a resounding, yes.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/empowering-change-in-rural-africa-through-technology.html#ixzz3JBmS49Yv


Arts & Culture

In Rural Uganda, Conservative Prayer Services With An African Lilt

Wait, Uganda has Jews?

For decades, Uganda’s local Jewish community was isolated from the larger world, struggling for survival after the brutal dictator Idi Amin outlawed Judaism and other small religions during his 1971-1979 reign. Since 1995, Jewish groups and rabbis have visited the community in increasing numbers. Rabbi Gershom Sizomu was ordained at the American Jewish University in 2008, and the community is a recognized member of the Conservative Movement. After years of fighting for their own survival, Uganda’s Jews are now dealing with a very different challenge: maintaining their unique Abayudaya identity while following the traditional halachic practices accepted by the wider Jewish world.

Read more: In rural Uganda, Conservative prayer services with an African lilt | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-rural-uganda-conservative-prayer-services-with-an-african-lilt/#ixzz3JBmo3r3y


Catalysing Human Development Through Cultural Preservation

Morocco is being lauded today as a bastion of stability in a troubled time and region; while the future is unforeseeable, there are certainly specific factors that have helped bring about this significant situation.

Morocco, especially its rural regions, is beset by challenges arising from systemic poverty that is rooted in subsistence agricultural practices, for example, that of growing barley and corn, which only generates between ten and fifteen per cent of agricultural revenue yet occupies seventy per cent of agricultural land.https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/15273-morocco-catalysing-human-development-through-cultural-preservation



How Broadreach Is Using Analytics To Improve Healthcare In Africa

Many parts of Africa are no stranger to shortages, be they a lack of food and water in areas stricken by drought or conflict, or of medicines and materials due to logistical problems.

Less well known, however, is a shortage of data – at least the sort of comparative data that allows authorities to make informed decisions about their healthcare systems.

It is this gap that the social enterprise BroadReach Healthcare is aiming to bridge, providing an easy-to-use system by which administrators can compare key metrics across multiple facilities and districts to identify those interventions and clinics that that are most (or least) successful.



Liberian President Ends State of Emergency

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is ending the state of emergency she instituted because of the Ebola crisis.

In a speech Thursday, Sirleaf said the fight against Ebola is not over and that some restrictions will remain in place.

“Until the national goal of zero new cases by Christmas is achieved all across the country, we will keep many of the previous measures in place with appropriate adjustments consistent with the progress in our fight,” she said.


Rural Development

Zuma Launches Projects To Transform Rural Life For The Better

South African President Jacob Zuma has launched $7.0 million worth of rural infrastructure projects which are expected to change the lives of many rural residents for the better, the Presidency confirmed on Monday.According to the high office, the multi-million dollar projects would further catalyse development, job creation and investment in Msinga District of KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The rural infrastructure projects form part of the government’s Comprehensive Rural Development Programme aimed at tackling issues such as underdevelopment, food security, unemployment, poverty, lack of basic services and other social ills which have become synonymous with rural areas

Read More: http://en.starafrica.com/news/zuma-launches-projects-to-transform-rural-life-for-the-better.html



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 Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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