Weekly Report On Rural Africa

Each week, we take a look at articles and stories around the world that has to do with sustainable development in Rural Africa. Here are some of the top stories headlining the development of rural Africa.

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Social Issues

Adani: A gold mine in ruin

Adani community in Enugu State is reputed for the production of rice in large quantity. 

However, Inside Adani, it was a sorry state for many of the rural dwellers as the community has reportedly been without electricity supply for many months. Even water which is another basic necessity of life was not readily available as the villagers depend on bore holes and tanker drivers for water supply.

One of the striking features of the community is that many of the people come from different parts of the country with the sole aim to cultivate rice. But the hope of producing rice profitably seems to be a mirage for the local farmers as they are the worst hit in a community neglected by its state government.

To many of them, abandoning their farm implements for other businesses is being seriously considered as other option unless governments at various levels come to their rescue.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Malawi Floods Devastation Far Worse Than First Thought

Nearly a quarter of a million people, more than originally thought, have been affected by the devastating floods that ripped through Malawi a month ago, and with rains still falling, many of the 230,000 who were forced to flee their homes have been unable to return and rebuild their lives, the UN said.

The UN children’s agency, Unicef, said new figures from the UN and the government of Malawi showed the number of people displaced stood at 230,000, compared with an original estimate of 174,000. About 64,000 hectares (158,147 acres) of land were damaged, it added.

The scale of the disaster has wreaked havoc on the densely populated country, where most people survive from subsistence farming. Crops of maize have been destroyed, villages obliterated, homes swept away and livestock killed.

Source: The Guardian UK

Development

Electrifying Africa: A View from Washington

As Western governments continue—and rightfully so—to focus on the threats to African nations from the Ebola virus and Boko Haram, policymakers are also eyeing the continent as a critical producer and consumer of energy in the 21st century.

Source: The National Law Review

 Health

Mining Companies Urged To Focus Far More On Health Of Communities

Tuberculosis (TB) is a silent killer in many communities and deserves far more attention from mining companies.

“We need to change our regulatory regime to recognise the biggest killer in our mines – TB,” South Africa’s Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, told the 2015 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Monday.

He highlighted that, in South Africa, 167 people died owing to mining accidents in 2009, a figure that was dwarfed by the 1598 TB-related deaths in the same year.

TB is a silent death. The time has arrived to change the manner in which we do things. We are faced with a world crisis that nobody notices – TB,” Motsoaledi stressed.

Source: Mining weekly

Uganda Crippled By Medical Brain Drain

At the pediatric and childcare department of Uganda’s Mulago national referral hospital, a memo advertises vacancies for nurses in a private clinic. Two points are highlighted: attractive salary and accommodation.

Another memo from the hospital management apologises for the delay of January salaries for medical staff. Delayed or insufficient salaries are not new in Uganda’s public hospitals. Medical workers in rural areas wait for as long as three months without pay. Accommodation or transport costs are a rarity.

Source: The Guardian UK

Arts & Culture

Gay Ugandans Hope New Magazine Will Rewrite Wrongs By Tackling Homophobia

Since her university days, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, an openly gay woman and activist in Uganda where homosexuality is illegal, has been a victim of vicious tabloid gossip.

“They were writing about ‘secrets inside the lesbian’s den’,” Nabagesera, 34 says. She said she had been attacked and evicted “so many times” because of the media coverage.

Now Uganda’s gay community is fighting back with Bombastic, a new magazine published and distributed privately. The free 72-page glossy publication features personal essays, commentaries and poems by “proud” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Ugandans, some using pseudonyms.

Source: The Guardian UK

My Mother’s Refusal To Undergo FGM Has Given Me License To Dream

I am the second generation of a family whose mother chose to shun female genital mutilation (FGM). As a nine-year old, and then again as an 18-year-old, she refused to undergo the tradition, a mandated rite of passage for girls from the Marakwet of Kenya. The Marakwet have long practised FGM to mark transition from girlhood to adulthood.

Known as kapkoro, the ceremony involves cutting the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora. After undergoing the cut, nine- to 13-year-old girls remain in seclusion for a period during which older women teach them the traditions and secrets of the community. Thereafter, girls as young as 14 consider themselves adult women ready to get married and start a family. FGM has ushered them into a new social role.

Source: The Guardian UK

Business

Scourge of Power Outages Holding Business Back in Africa

Power outages are a fact of life across much of Africa, with the near-daily blackouts affecting rich and poor countries alike.

A small business in Nairobi that began as a party supply outfit has expanded to serve restaurants and supermarkets – moving more than a ton of ice a day, while their custom-made ice sculptures decorate State House events.

It’s an entrepreneurial success story. But Betty Mbithe, office manager of The Ice Man company, said the limits of the country’s power supply puts the business in jeopardy.

Source: VOA

CBN to partner NIPOST on financial inclusion of rural poor
As part of its ongoing financial inclusion programme, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to facilitate a partnership with the Nigerian Post office (NIPOST) to increase financial inclusion services in rural and remote areas.
Source: Daily Independent

Agriculture

Agriculture Insurance Turning Around Farmers’ Lives In East Africa

Jackie Kiconco sits in her garden with her right hand supporting her chin. Her eyes are gazing across the maize garden that she had planted but because of late rainfall, the seeds failed to germinate.

The 50-year-old smallholder farmer gazes to my direction with a stare that suggests: ‘come and I tell you my story’. When I ask her what happened she responds ‘My son, I am ‘finished’. This is the only maize garden I had planted. The rains did not come as I expected. My other garden of beans suffered the same fate and now I have nothing to feed my children,” she sadly narrates.

Kiconco is just one of the millions of small hold farmers in East Africa who face several risks, including erratic rainfall, flooding and subsequent diseases as a result of climate change; land tenure; access rights; and land management; credit access; access to input and output markets; infrastructure; extension services; institutional problems; and more recently the global financial, food, and fuel price crises.
Source: New Vision

Mobile Technology Turns African Farmers Into Suppliers

A partnership between GeoPoll and Control Union will bring these small farms into broad supply chains.

An American based company called GeoPoll is now partnering with an international agricultural inspection and safety services provider, Control Union, in order to use mobile technology to make it possible for African farmers to make their way into the global supply chain.

Source: Mobile Commerce News

 

 

 

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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