Surgeon Inserting Tube Into Patient During Surgery

What States Must do to Increase Access to Healthcare and Other Reports

A lot has happened in rural development in the past week. However, as part of our tradition, we bring you some of the most important 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:

More Africans Are Accessing Health Care – but States Still Have Work to Do

People across Africa rank health as the second most important national problem they believe that governments should address. Only unemployment outranks it as an issue among ordinary citizens, and only education outstrips it as a funding priority.

These are the findings of a survey, “Despite Gains, Barriers Keep Health Care High on Africa’s Priority List”, which was conducted across 36 African countries in 2014 and 2015. It is part of a series of public-attitude surveys about democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues run by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network.

On average across the countries, just over half of those interviewed listed health care among their top two priorities. It ranked first or second in 31 of 36 countries. The only exceptions were Guinea, Kenya and Liberia, where it ranked third; and Lesotho and Nigeria, where it ranked fifth. 

Welcome to the future of Internet

The future of our internet is being designed in the basement of the physics building at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.

Here, in the Centre for Broadband Communication, leading physicists are developing new optical fibre technology that will be able to send and receive vast amounts of data.

To give you an idea of the speed of the internet connectivity the research team at the centre is working with, you could download a CD or DVD in less than a second.

Africa: Experts Call for Green Industrialisation Policies for Africa

With most African countries focusing on becoming middle-income economies in the near future, experts are calling for robust structures and policies to ensure green progress ahead of the fourth industry revolution.

Experts speaking during a high-level policy debate held in Kigali on Tuesday, observed that much as African countries are experiencing economic progress, there is need to ensure green economies for sustainability and inclusive development.
Why the traditional leadership bill will entrench corrupt, rural political atmosphere

At this very moment, government efforts to enact the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill are advancing; it is up to civil society to stop this. The legislation would entrench power and further legitimacy to undemocratic structures in traditional leadership operating within an often violent and corrupt rural political atmosphere. Even if the bill were conducive towards creating a more just society, it would be useless as institutionalised criminality is able to reign freely in many parts of rural KwaZulu-Natal; basic laws are flaunted. In effect, this legislation would serve to further dispossess the already dispossessed of many abilities and channels to democratically challenge power.

Rural women battered by climate change

The effects of climate change have hit hard on rural women in developing countries. This transpired during a three-day conference on climate change effects, especially on rural women organised by UN Women Multi Country Office in Benoni, Johannesburg last week.

The conference, titled ‘Building climate resilient societies through empowerment of women’ was attended by close to 30 participants from Swaziland, South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania.

It was highlighted that rural women in developing countries are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change as drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns directly affect women’s ability to act as primary producers and collectors of staple food, energy and water for the household.

Rural E-Commerce Model Pitched for Africa

The operator of an e-commerce program which reaches deep into rural China believes that its business model could help Africans in areas far from cities.

Sun Lijun is a vice president of the giant Chinese online trading giant, Alibaba, and general manager of Rural Taobao, the company’s e-commerce wing which serves areas where the economy lags behind that in the rapidly-developing cities.

Sun recently delivered the main address at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) E-Commerce Week in Geneva, drawing admiring applause during his presentation.

App that allows rural doctors seek advice remotely from experts scoops Africa health prize

An app that allows rural doctors to seek advice remotely from experts won Africa’s first prize recognising new technology that boosts health on the continent.

The award’s main sponsor, French international public radio station RFI, said the 15,000-euro ($16,700) grant had been awarded in Dakar to Cheick Oumar Bagayoko, “a young Malian doctor and computer engineer”.

Bagayoko’s app Bogou beat more than 650 other candidates from francophone African countries for a prize that has also won support from tech giants such as Microsoft, Facebook and Orange.




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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