Africa Rising is the story of a section in rural Ethiopia and it's rise out of poverty. Like many African countries, Ethiopia has an abundance of natural resources that when allocated properly hold the potential for the country's economic success. However, without the realization that these achievements may only come about by taking matters into the hands of the people rather than leaving them with a flawed government, progress will be extremely obstructed and slowed. The documentary highlights the efforts of Olu Mela, the man serving as the driving force behind the country's "Self-help project." .
The Self-Help project is an initiative to stimulate the economies of rural Ethiopia and the Sodo region of the country. Through the program, village citizens no longer work for foreign aid; instead, they produce and sell their own cash crops in order to meet their needs for survival. Twenty men and women are featured being taught skills, and in turn, twenty more individuals acquire those same skills through the passing of instruction. The Self-Help project also introduced the a hybrid plant called ensete, also known as the "magic plant." The ensete plant has many purposes, and produces bread, dumplings, and can also be used for rope. The Ensete plant has a number of benefits ranging from being able to feed families of six, and lasting for months. The implantation of the project has lead to the birth of several key concepts that work toward the foundation of a healthy economy and society.
One key point that I found interesting was that only women were allowed to borrow women, because men could not be trusted. I find this interesting because in most societies men are the providers of everything. The women created a savings and credit scheme where women were allotted some money and giving a timetable to pay the money back. There was a women in the film who borrowed money, and then created a restaurant, to be able to pay the money back to the debt collectors.