Photo Credit: CGIAR

Youth Employment, Rural Poverty 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:

Cameroon: FAO committed to stimulating youth employment in rural areas as part of NEPAD

The Managing Director of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, and the Executive Secretary of the Planning and Coordination Agency (ACPN) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, signed on 20 October 2016 an agreement to stimulate youth employment in rural areas in Cameroon, Benin, Malawi and Niger.

“This joint effort is meant to promote decent employment for the youth in rural areas and entrepreneurship in the agricultural and food industry sectors. This is another important example of cooperation initiative spearheaded by Africa whose objective is to guarantee food safety and living means on the continent”, declared Mr José Graziano da Silva, Managing Director of FAO.

Mushroom farming lifting rural group out of biting poverty

When a group of 15 villagers from Emusala in Kakamega County came together 14 years ago to raise some money from planting mushrooms, their neighbours casually wrote off them off.

Through tilling on their neighbours’ farms, the group members set up an investment group (chama) in 2002 and later the Millennium Mushrooms for Life, an environment conservation group.

In 2010, this initiative got a Sh50,000 loan from the Women Enterprise Fund, money they used to set up the mushroom farm. Four years later, the group applied for another Sh100,000 loan to expand the project.

Young Skaters in Rural South Africa Shred It Up in ‘Valley of a Thousand Hills’

“Valley of a Thousand Hills” is a recent mini documentary about Indigo Skate Camp, an effort to create the first generation of Zulu skaters in the village of Isithumba, in the Kwazulu-Natal region of South Africa. The village is surrounded by 1,000 hills, hence the title of the film.

About 30 to 40 kids taking part in the programme are taught self-respect, health and safety, art and music.

Rural farmers should be celebrated- FONG

Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana (FONG), and other farmers’ organisations, have called on Government to institute “Rural farmers Day”, to celebrate and appreciate the immense contributions of rural farmers to national development.

According to them, rural farmers, majority of them women, formed the largest farming group in the country and accounted for about half of the agricultural labour force but their work was often not acknowledged.

“We are into farming, processing, marketing and packaging as well and we form the larger number of farmers in the country so if the government wants to eradicate poverty and encourage the younger generation to see farming as lucrative and venture, then  it must give us the necessary recognition and support, ” they said.

Artificial intelligence and Rural African power

The energy sector has enjoyed great benefits from technological developments over the last few decades. That could be just the beginning

In the West, we rely on the grid, which provides most people with ample power. In off-grid communities such as those in large parts of rural Africa, energy is a highly valued resource and consumers are much more aware of energy efficiency. The limited energy that is available is disproportionately expensive and innovative solutions, such as small-scale renewable power, that cannot yet compete in the West, are gaining ground where, compared to the cost of the fossil fuels they replace, they are seen as a bargain. Developments such as small solar home systems are bringing power for the first time to millions of off-grid consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to technological advances.

ANA: Headaches Found Common in HIV+ People in Rural Uganda

Headaches affect about one in three HIV-positive people in rural Uganda and are commonly associated with fatigue, functional limitations, and depression, researchers reported here at the American Neurological Association annual meeting.

In a study of 205 HIV-positive residents of Rakai, Uganda, who completed headache surveys, 71 (35%) reported having headaches within the previous year, 14 (20%) of whom had migraines, the study’s lead author, Deanna Saylor, MD, MHS, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said during a poster study; 25 patients (35%) had nausea, 10 (14%) had photophobia, and 16 (22%) had to limit their activities.

Liberia Poverty Rate Stands at 54 Percent – World Bank Report

The World Bank has announced that about 54 percent of the population of Liberia is living below the poverty line. This means they live on less than $US2.00 a day.

Making the disclosure at the celebration of “End Poverty Day” on Monday, October 17, World Bank’s Country Economist Daniel K. Boakye said the figure was contained in a 2014 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) implemented by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).

According to the survey report, the figure amounts to 2.1 million Liberians who were unable to meet their basic food and non-food needs between January and August 2014.

Grand Gedeh’s Rural Town Sweating over Whooping Cough Outbreak

There is an outbreak of whooping cough in Gbarzon, Grand Gedeh County, according to the county’s health team.

Marking the disclosure to newsmen in Zwedru, the Acting County Health Officer Netus Nowine said about 25 cases of whooping cough had been confirmed by health authorities in the county.

Nowine told journalists that on October 3, 2016 the county health team and partners heard a rumor of suspected whooping cough outbreak in the Zean Town community, adding that the outbreak was confirmed after five children were affected in one community and later started spreading in the next communities.

Africa: Investing In 10-Year-Old Girls Could Yield Huge Demographic Dividend, Pump Billions Into National Economies

Forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and other practices undermining girls’ health and rights threaten the world’s ambitious development agenda, warns UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in The State of World Population 2016, released today.

Practices that harm girls and violate their human rights–starting at age 10–prevent them from realizing their full potential as adults and from contributing to the economic and social progress of their communities and nations. Without their contribution, the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals may never be achieved.


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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