Weekly Report: Rural Africa Development So Far

As usual, every week we monitor progress and evaluate reports on how development is faring in terms of development.

This week we have been able to track down reports from different parts of Africa; from the need to curb bribery in government hospitals to the Ebola fighters who were featured as TIME magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year.

This report covers selected media coverage from December 7 to 14, 2014.



South Africa: Ambulances Scarce in Rural Eastern Cape

When emergencies happen, rural communities outside Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape say there is no one to call – and with disastrous results.

On 31 October, Kholiswa Nkume went into labour in Hombe village outside Lusikisiki and called an ambulance. It never came.

“Calling an ambulance was just a joke because it never came. I had no money to hire a bakkie, the form of transport we know in our area.”Nkeme said.

“Now, I am grieving the death of a child I carried for nine months but could not hold in my arms,” she added. “If this goes on, many people are going to lose their loved ones.”



Morocco: Curbing Bribery in Government Hospitals

Why does fighting corruption matter to development objectives? In part because it is a barrier to alleviating poverty, stifling economic growth and diverting resources. It has a negative impact on basic public services, forcing even the poorest members of society to resort to bribery to use them.

For many in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), petty corruption like this is aquid pro quo (in this case, trading goods for services). But there is more to it than that: economists see corruption as a governance issue. They place it in the chain linking the management of public administration to the use of public funds, as well as to transparency, access to information and accountability.



Isreali Embassy Inaugurates Farm in Senegal

An initiative of the Israeli embassy in Senegal recently led to the inauguration of a drip-irrigated vegetable farm in the city of Fatick earlier in December.  Managed by a group of Senegalese women, the farm plot was established following a request made by the First Lady of Senegal, Marième Faye Sall, to the Israeli Embassy.

According to the Senegalese newspaper, Enquete Plus, the farming project will be managed by a group of women.

“This agricultural area will allow groups of women of the Fatick area to conductagricultural activities,” explained Fatou Danielle Diagne, the general director of the Fondation Servir le Senegal. “The farms will enable women to improve their crop yields to meet their financial needs.”




A dynamic Zim woman lives up to Michelle Obama’s call on girls education

The day before the Brookings forum, I sat down with one of the panelists, Angeline Murimirwa, in a coffee shop at George Washington University to talk about how education has changed her life. The charming, confident Zimbabwean is the regional executive director for Camfed’s programs in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana and Malawi and a co-founder of Camfed’s 24,000-member alumnae organization.

Murimirwa is a tremendously successful woman, and her story is featured in “Half the Sky,” a book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists about how to turn oppression into opportunity for women.




Africa Must Ensure Growth for the Poor

For a majority of Africans, the Africa rising narrative is hollow. Africa’s growth is intangible for over half a billion men and women trapped in moribund rural economies. For nearly 70 per cent of Africa’s youth who lack skills Africa’s growth is intangible. For the hundreds of millions of women who eke out a living in unproductive agricultural fields and whose small-scale business are starved of credit, Africa rising is empty words.



How optimistic are Tanzanians about their future?

More than half of (Tanzanian) citizens (54 percent) think their lives will be better in 2025. This is true among young and old, men and women, and rural and urban residents.  This is in stark contrast to the United States and Europe where almost seven out of ten (65 percent) think that their children will be financially worse off than they are.
These findings were recently released by Twaweza and the Society for International Development (SID) in a research brief titled Tanzania in 2025: are Tanzanians optimistic about their future?



East Africa: Over 11 Million East Africans Homeless and Hungry, Says UN

The number of displaced people in the East African region stood at 11.4 million by end of September, a new situation analysis report shows.

According to the report, released by the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), at least 2.47 million people of the total displaced population are refugees, while another over 8.97 milion are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others severely affected by conflict.

This represents an increase of 1.4 million people.



West Africa: Hunger Comes After Ebola

AS Ebola continues to ravage West Africa, leaving approximately 5 000 people dead, the region is now on the brink of a major food crisis. The world’s worst Ebola epidemic has endangered harvests and sent food prices soaring in West Africa. If there is no timely intervention by the international community in the form of a massive humanitarian aid campaign and a comprehensive plan for long-term sustainable development, the post-Ebola food crisis will take an even bigger human toll than the disease did. Experts are predicting that over a million people in the region will require food aid to preclude food shortages, spikes in prices, and possible famine.



Arts: Religion

Five Glimpse of Faith In Time’s Story on The Ebola fighters as the 2014 Person of the Year

Is there a religion angle on Time magazine’s selection of “The Ebola Fighters” as the 2014 Person of the Year?





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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