Upper Egypt.. The land beyond the temples

Development is about adaptation and innovation, and with that comes poverty reduction. The problem with the poor communities of developing countries, especially the rural ones, is that they are still stuck in a time capsule, all the while their population is growing and natural resources are diminishing. Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome these problems. Unfortunately though, the snag is in introducing them to new methods; i.e. getting them to adapt to innovative solutions.

NGOs play an evidently important role in the development of poor communities in the developing world. ENID is an example of an effectively successful program that contributes with creating more job opportunities and supporting food production and security in rural Upper Egypt.  ENID’s “Sustainable Agricultural Development” program, led by Dr. Dyaa Abdou, is one that focuses on promoting agricultural development. It works to increase the utilization efficiency of scarce natural resources as well as building the capacity of both the rural youth and women to produce and innovate.

The Sustainable Agricultural Development program supports a number of activities that aim at developing the agricultural environment and build the capacity of both the rural people as well as NGOs and governmental sectors to work together. Dr. Abdou highlights the main activities and how they are expected to benefit and up the welfare of Upper Egypt’s rural community. These include:

Integrated Fish Farms

These farms depend on solar power units to extract underground water. The integrated aspect to them emanates from the various agricultural activities hosted on the farms; including food and feed plantations, livestock, recycling agricultural waste to produce organic compost and finally producing Bio Gas to satisfy local needs for electricity/power (e.g. light, heat, cooking… etc.).

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Trans-continental research demands improved institutional infrastructure

African and Latin American research collaboration is identifying the differential role of institution and market forces in explaining the contrasting economic results of countries with similar commodity abundance.

Olusanya Ajakaiye, director of research at the African Economic Research Consortium in Kenya chaired the parallel session which featured projects on Oil Institutions in Nigeria and Colombia; the role of Copper on Chilean and Zambian economies and Impacts of higher food prices in Argentina and Malawi.

Co-chair, Mauricio Cárdenas, director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution said “This is one of the first projects to create synergy between the two regions.” Read more of this post

No Need for Second Best Choices in Education for the Poor

For too long the prevailing educational paradigm has been that the rich and the middle classes can access an education that opens their doors to a world of possibilities, while the poor focus on vocational skills. White collar jobs for the rich; blue collar jobs for the poor.

There is a sense of acceptance that, given the scarce resources of developing countries and the challenges that the public sector face, it is unhelpful for their population to demand both access and quality of education. Poor people, it is implied, should be content with the former.

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