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Lusa (File photo)
The administrator of the International Voluntary Service for African Development (VIDA) Patrícia Maridalho said yesterday that in a survey of 59 families in a village in Mozambique there were “110 mobile phones and 17 latrines, which shows how much there is to be done”.
This example of the asymmetries of development in Africa was given at the end of a ‘Paths to African Development’ conference held yesterday at the Faculty of Economics of the New University of Lisbon.
Investment in education and training of African leaders was one of the points that brought together speakers who felt that it was important to listen to Africans to learn what they needed, rather than ‘helping by force’.
Paula Barros, director of the Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language, gave another example of real life on a continent where “one in two Africans lives in extreme poverty, does not get the minimum income, has no access to health and education and no access to employment”.
Barros said that “many girls leave school not only because they have to help families in agriculture and attend to their younger siblings, but also because schools do not have toilets or sanitary towels. And when they do not have them during the menstrual period, they cannot go to school, so they give up on schooling, which aggravates the inequality between boys and girls.”
The enthusiastic use that Africans make of new technologies was one of the topics discussed in various meetings and articles, pointing out the ‘technological leap’ which sees, for example, more mobile phones than land lines and the speedy uptake of mobile banking services and social networks on the continent.Source: Lusa
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