Photo Credit --Zimbabwe Daily

Village Tourism, Rural-Urban Drift 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:

Charmed by Zimbabwe Village Tour

The thought of visiting Zimbabwe for the first time might not entice a foreigner because of the negative publicity the country gets from the outside world. Some international media organisations paint a negative picture of the country and many visitors that come to the country get surprised about the sharp contrast between the images and the reality on the ground.

Many tourists that visit the country have confessed that they were given wrong impressions about the situation in Zimbabwe and most of them always show enthusiasm for more tours. Such was the case in a recent visit by New Zealand tourists Susan and her husband Graham Galger, his brother Bevan, and Markus Hadipurnomo.

Village tourism is one aspect that many tourists to Africa consider, yet in Zimbabwe most visitors decide to keep their destinations to known resorts because of preconceived bad images.

Rural-Urban Drift: Ghost Villages Versus Over Crowded Cities

In the last four decades, there has been a phenomenal upsurge in Rural-Urban migration around Nigeria. This has led to the rapid spread of urban slums.

This has become so bad that, the hitherto bubbling rural communities in the country have become more of ghost villages. The energetic young men who constituted themselves into farming, trade and thrift groups for economic prosperity of individuals and their communities have since embarked on a mass exodus villages to the metropolis in search of greener pasture. The villages have gradually become ghost villages with many grey-headed men and few energetic young men. 

Liberia Free, Compulsory Education Quandary in Rural Areas

Liberia free and compulsory educational is facing a quandary in the face of increment in fee for kindergarten kids.

There are serious concerns by citizens in the country over the $3,500 Liberian Dollars increment pronounced by government as well as reduction in the number of students in some public schools as being recommended by some of the partners contracted to manage the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program.

The Liberian government, through the Ministry of Education had open up a new method of schooling through partners reducing the numbers of students in classroom in an effort to fast-track education by technology.

Paychecks Haven’t Changed Much in Rural America

In the mostly very positive report on U.S. income and poverty in 2015 that the Census Bureau released last week, there was one sour note. As the Wall Street Journal reported: “Income gains were spread across nearly all age groups, household types, regions and racial or ethnic groups. One exception: Incomes didn’t rise for households living outside metropolitan areas.”

In fact, the Census Bureau reported that the median household income outside the nation’s metropolitan areas fell from $45,534 in 2014 to $44,657 (both in 2015 dollars), although it didn’t make a big deal out of that because the difference was less than the survey’s margin of error. The increase in median household income inside metropolitan areas, from $55,920 in 2014 to $59,258, was way more than the margin of error.

More voices join #DataMustFall Parliament Debate    

Over the past week, South Africans have taken to social media to voice their displeasure with the high cost of communication in the country, under the slogan: #DataMustFall. R2K said it wholeheartedly supports this call, which is central to achieving freedom of expression and media freedom for millions of people in SA.

“Too many ordinary South Africans are deprived of their right to receive and impart information because of rip-off airtime and data costs in this country. It is human to communicate, and to be deprived of the means of doing so, to be excluded from the digital economy and online world, is an affront to one’s dignity.”

Enugu Votes N522m for Rural Streetlights

The Enugu State government has approved the contract for streetlights in some satellite towns to Messrs Vec Tek Nigeria Limited, for N522.39 million.

The approval followed a memorandum presented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Gab Onuzulike.

Beneficiaries of the first phase include Nsukka.

The government said the initiative would boost the economy, reduce rural-urban drift and check criminal activities.

Opinion: Nigeria – Boosting Tourism with local Palm wine Production

Nigeria is a country blessed with so many natural and agricultural resources. We are so much blessed that we seem to have these resources in excess as compared to almost all the countries in the African continent. Whether we’re using these resources to our advantage or not is a different ball game entirely. I recently stumbled on United Nation World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) website to check out some of the programmes it has lined up for the last quarter of the year. In the coming months, the apex tourism body will be organizing a wine tourism conference in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration. The press release on its website stated: “Georgia’s unique winemaking traditions date back 8,000 years and are considered by UNESCO as intangible heritage, making the country an ideal host for the Global Conference on Wine Tourism. The country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists and its development of tourism products, branding and marketing, combine to present an excellent platform for sharing best practices, experience and knowledge.” Wine tourism, did you say?

Female Farmers Seek Favourable Agricultural Policies

Women farmers have called for the introduction of robust agricultural policies that favour females into agribusinesses to inject dynamism in farming practices towards ensuring food security.

The female champions in agribusinesses, therefore, urged the Government to come out with comprehensive programmes to aid women access credit facilities, secure lands, receive special training to facilitate their farming activities.

The policies should also seek to remove inimical traditional and cultural practices that prohibit females, particularly, rural women farmers, from owning landed property and business entities.

730 000 Namibians Face Food Insecurity

Close to 730 000 of Namibia’s rural population are expected to be food insecure by early next year, up by more than 150 000 from the current 578 000 inhabitants who rely on food aid in the 2015/16 financial year.

According to the latest SADC Vulnerability Assessment Committee Results, 57 percent of Namibia’s rural population of 1.3 million is currently food insecure.

The report noted that 1.66 million tonnes of maize will be required for immediate food assistance in the SADC region over the next few months, up until March 2017.

Zimbabwe: Villagers Fined Goats, Cockerels for Bush Defecation

In a move that aims at promoting proper hygiene standards and ending open defecation in rural Masvingo, a Bikita chief is now imposing fines of goats and chicken on villagers for using bush toilets to relieve themselves.

Speaking at a community meeting in Bikita recently Chief Marozva – Philip Mudhe – said he would work with government officials, particularly the ministry of health and child care, to promote better health facilities in his area.

The chief said headmen in his area without blair toilets at their homesteads would be fined a goat each while ordinary villagers must pay with chickens for the same offence.

South Africa: State Is Reinforcing Apartheid Injustices in Rural Areas

Traditional leaders have jurisdiction over land within the same apartheid boundaries that were carved out under Bantu Authorities Act

It appears that government has no intention of undoing apartheid injustices in rural areas. Not only do post-apartheid laws reinforce apartheid tribal boundaries and governance systems that promote the hegemony of traditional leaders over communities, they also disregard the concerns of the affected communities.



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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