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Farmer/Pastoralist conflicts expected to increase in frequency

When climate change and growing populations combine forces, pastoralists have a harder and harder time finding viable grazing places their livestock. This is due to erratic rain patterns as well as farming areas encroaching on former grazing grounds. These all too common conflicts may be taking a new turn in the not too distant future.

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Muslim institutions and child beggars in Western Africa

For families living in extreme poverty, figuring out how to feed your kids can be the ultimate challenge. From this perspective, sending your child into the capital to beg for food might become the rational option. In the chaos and hardship that comes along with a life wherein a mother sees a great chance for her child to survive begging in the streets as opposed to living at home, a religious institution that may as well abuse children becomes a more secure, orderly, and structured option.

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Mopeds taking over public transportation in West Africa

Due to poor infrastructure and declining economies, many West African countries have seen a large rise in Moped transportation.

“The moped revolution is one of the most evident expressions of informality in contemporary West Africa. It economics is straightforward. The Chinese economy is capable of delivering motor-cycles at affordable prices so people buy and use them. The conditions under which they do so are however very problematic.

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Sources:

CDD November 2011 pgs. 7-11
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/CDD_Nov2011.pdf#pg=7

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Nigeria creating the legal framework for agricultural biotechnology

Nigeria is creating the framework to be a regional leader in producing modified cotton, and other agricultural biotechnology products.
“Federal lawmakers conclude work on a bill on biosafety law, as part of efforts to create a legal framework to ensure safe practice of biotechnology in agriculture. The bill has been passed at the House and the representatives are now waiting for the Senate to pass a similar one to have a harmonized copy of the bill.”

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The secret to Cote d’Ivoire success in urban water management

Providing affordbale clean water to both urban and rural poor is a major problem throughout the globe. This is especially the case when we consider the ‘poverty premium’ poor households have to pay for clean water. Most slums and rural communities lack the proper infrastructure for piped clean water, and therefore have to pay a premium in order to get water, let alone clean water. Within West Africa Côte d’Ivoire has found a more effective method for providing equitable water services for poor and marginalized communities.

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The out-migration of West African cities

A few years ago the world reached 50% urbanization for the first time in history. The drive towards urbanization was perhaps primarily sparked by the rural poor moving towards ‘green’ or more concrete pastures, as it were. The reverse in starting to happen in West Africa however. As urban centers are now too congested, unsafe, unsanitary, and without employment opportunities, people are returning to the rural communities.

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The changing face of urbanization

“Urbanization is not a new phenomenon, but today it is taking a different form from in the past. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the move to the city was in search of jobs in the new industrial economies. From the start of decline in the 1980s and 1990s, the new migrants to cities were ore like economic refugees, fleeing the rural economic collapse triggered by structural adjustment and the strictures of prolonged drought in the Sahel. In the new century, economies have kickstarted again, and urbanization is taking a new pattern.

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Nigeria experiments with new land ownership process

The issue of private property and land ownership is a big area in need of intervention for the purposes of national development.

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Land grabs an increasing concern in West Africa

Land grabs are a continuing issue for West Africa, with increasing concern growing over the long-term effects.

“(Modern day land grabs are) in a sense similar to colonisation of lands in the region by European powers in earlier centuries where lands were taken over through illicit deals with illiterate traditional rulers and shady government officials.

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Customary and modern land use laws increasingly clashing

“In the face of modernity; there is an obvious clash between the communities and the modern land use laws. On one hand, West Africa is fast becoming an ‘urban region’ with the boundaries between the ‘rurality’ and ‘urbanity’ overlapping and creating ‘periurban’ areas. Also, rich resources such as crude oil, diamond and gold are being discovered deep in the rural areas, thus necessitating the adoption of the statutory system even in the rural areas.

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