Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland on Growing Africa’s Future

There are many charities that work towards solving hunger issues in Africa by donating not only to provide ready-made food but also to provide resources to farmers and people with experience in agriculture to grow crops to feed local populations. There are certain crops that grow well in Africa and types of plants which are much easier to grow in these harsh climates. By giving farmers and community members education as well as the seeds and tools that they need to create agricultural opportunities in communities within Africa, charities like the Red Cross, UNICEF and others are creating opportunities in African communities to create ongoing food production.

One of the biggest barriers to an ongoing agricultural supply line in Africa is barriers that are put in place on regional and intercountry trade. It isn’t as simple as we find it in North America for African communities to trade amongst one another in order to get the resources that they need. With intense droughts and shortages on water in some areas as well as harmful insects and other challenges that face agricultural communities, trade needs to happen in order for communities to self sustain and get the supplies that they need to succeed. As such the UN and African Union is strongly lobbying to remove some of these barriers to allow communities across Africa the chance that they need to trade amongst one another and boost agriculture as a whole to create self-sustaining communities.

A second major factor that contributes to the distribution of food and trade involves the roads and transportation across Africa. With so many poor roads and unsafe roads, charities may need to look into the future at increasing security as well as improving overall road conditions to allow for distribution and better imports and exports all over the continent. Currently the transport costs and logistics of transporting food and agricultural produce across Africa is very difficult to contend with and until changes are made communities will be left under the some of the transport cartels which are in power and in charge of imports and exports for communities.

With a big focus on education, providing resources, opening up borders and improving road conditions and road safety, charities can disburse their money not only to provide immediate relief but also provide relief in a format that will create self-sustaining communities, allowing charities to make an impact across other areas of Africa.


Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland is a member of the advisory board of Ubuntu Africa, a non profit organization that helps HIV children in Africa. Together with her husband, Paul, Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland started a triathlon team to raise more than $100K for Ubuntu. She is also an active supporter of many other education and womens’ rights based organizations like Educate Girls Globally. Joelle is named top professional women of the year by Worldwide Who’s Who magazine. Joelle and Paul live in Manhattan, NY with their three children, Oliver, Ogden, and Louisa. Follow Joelle O’Reilly-Hyland on Twitter.

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