Slums of Africa

Slums of Africa such as Nima, Kroo Bay, Kibera and others collectively house more than 60 percent of the urbanized population who continue to live in absolute poverty.

Moreover, countries like Egypt, Somalia and Libya have become the epicenter of turbulence over the years with extremist organizations gaining momentum. As a result, many families have had to flee in search of better conditions, but what they find is far from satisfactory.

According to a statement by Newsvision, South Africa in particular has failed to cope with the pressure of rural to urban migration. This problem can lead to adverse effects on economically active individuals in Africa.

An analysis conducted by Newcastle University in 17 government schools in Tanzania has highlighted that many gifted children living in the slums of Africa are unable to reach their full potential.

However, over the years individuals like Brian Mutebi have made the futures of thousands of schoolgirls secure. His campaign ‘Let Girls Be’ provides opportunities such as scholarships and training.

This past May, U.N. Habitat released the ‘World Cities Report.’ This accentuates their New Urban Agenda, a spearhead for many social and economic developments in major developing countries, to be adopted by October.

U.N. Habitat has also become active in relocating countless refugees in South Sudan in their initiative ‘Housing for Peace.’ They have been victims of slavery and abuse, and living in the camps and slums has only aggravated this further.

Additionally, the international relations that have been fostered by countries in East Africa have lead to the forging of a steadfast bond with South Korea.

President Park Geun-hye’s recent visit coincided with the provision of numerous aid programs in the form of health, hygiene and education services to various slums of Africa by the Korean International Cooperative Agency (KOICA). Not only will this initiative strengthen the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the countries, but it is also a symbol of cooperation and diplomacy.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has engaged in a number of land and rural reform programs to ensure that rural South Africans benefit from the same human rights as anybody else. These reforms center around such items as de-racialisation of the rural economy and fair, equal-opportunity land allocation.

Finally, the World Bank has supported the improvement of feeding programs in Sub-Saharan countries. As governments and people come to realize the importance of self-sufficiency, the chance to alleviate absolute poverty in the slums of Africa becomes a hopeful possibility.

Shivani Ekkanath

Photo: Flickr

trash in NairobiDavid Kimani is a Kenyan man who grew up across the street from the largest landfill in the country. Being raised in the slums of Nairobi, Kimani dropped out after primary school.

Kimani, now a father of three, currently owns and operates a garbage recycling company, according to the Xinhua News Agency. He now earns about $30 a day selling recyclable trash in Nairobi. He has also hired five young people from similar backgrounds who face socioeconomic struggles.

Despite pressure from friends and family to pursue education, Kimani wanted to start a business. “I had done my own research and consulted widely with established players who convinced me that waste recycling promised returns. An older relative had earlier bought a car from the proceeds of garbage collection,” Kimani said.

According to UNICEF, approximately two-thirds of the population of Nairobi lives in informal settlements where they face issues of overcrowding, lack of health and educational resources, poor sanitation and social exclusion. According to ISID, only 12 percent of the households in the Nairobi slums have access to piped water.

Youth living in slums across Africa are less likely to attend school than children living in non-slum areas, according to the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID).

The Nairobi county governor, Evans Kidero, honored Kimani’s young workers by agreeing to a government-funded contract that will help to clear trash in Nairobi out of residential areas.

He stated, “We will be spending 10,000 dollars every day for the next 45 days to ensure that Nairobi is restored to its former status as a green capital. Private contractors will partner with the National Youth Service to alleviate the garbage menace.” In addition, Kidero intends to form an incentives plan to encourage the youth to become full-time garbage collectors.

Caleb Kidali, a youth mentor for low-income children in Nairobi, noted the positive changes that employers can make to help youth from poor backgrounds afford to move out of the slums. “During its formative stages, garbage collection was like a hobby for bored youth until it evolved into a money minting exercise,” Kidali said.

Other companies, like Taka ni Pato (Trash is Cash), have started to hire young people to give them an employment and income opportunity and to enhance their communities by creating cleaner living spaces. In fact, Taka ni Pato has hired more than 100 young people to collect trash in Nairobi, benefiting the young people directly and the community as a whole.

Kelsey Lay

Sources: Global Giving, Institute for the Study of International Development, UNICEF, Xinhua
Photo: Google Images