More than 1.5mn loans worth $831mn have been given out in the past seven years, said the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), which was set up by the government in 2003 to coordinate the sector. Thirty years of conflict have shattered Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure, leaving two-thirds of the roughly 30mn population illiterate and at least a third in dire poverty.
The Golf Environment Organization's GEO Legacy Guidance launched to widespread acclaim following previews at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Bangkok and the European Golf Course Owners Association Conference in London.
Claudia McKay and Mark Pickens from CGAP have pulled together a comprehensive global pricing study on banking services targeting poor, unbanked and underbanked people in Africa, Asia and Brazil. The study examines pricing for services targeting unbanked and underbanked poor people in 10 countries.
The conclusion: mobile banking and other forms of branchless banking are cheaper than traditional banking, but the gap between the two may not be as wide as some may think.
According to a recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the development arm of the United Nations, a humanitarian organization promoting peace and better living standards, 21 percent of the Nigerian adult population – 18 million people – have access to financial services, with women and youth least likely to have access.Limitations of the Nigerian microfinance industry are attributed to lack of capacity, inadequate coordination, policy shortfalls and a lack of strategy regarding stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities.
The axiom "give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime" is widely accepted among the international development community, and for good reason. But taken on its own, this axiom leaves out very important principles.
With only five years left until the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations has launched the MDG Report 2010 calling for accelerated progress to reach the 2015 deadline. As the UN Specialized Agency for Tourism, UNWTO is firmly committed to fostering the tourism sector’s contribution to development.
Land acquisitions are on the increase in Africa and other continents, raising the risk that poor people will be evicted or lose access to land, water, and other resources, according to the first detailed study of the trend.
The study has been realized by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) at the request of UN Food and Agriculture Organization and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). It warns that such deals can bring many opportunities (guaranteed outlets, employment, investment in infrastructures, increases in agricultural productivity) but can also cause great harm if local people are excluded from decisions about allocating land and if their land rights are not protected.
The report highlights a number of misconceptions about what have been termed land grabs. It found that land-based investment has been rising over the past five years. But while foreign investment dominates, domestic investors are also playing a big role in land acquisitions.
Few women in Africa work in regular, formal sector jobs, and even those generally earn too little to escape from poverty. Decades after the world officially recognized a human right to gender equality, women remain largely excluded from the upper ranks of government and business, earn less than their male co-workers and face an array of customs, traditions and attitudes that limit their opportunities.
Governments bargain for “fair deals” that enhance development: Large mining operations in Africa have generated big profits for foreign companies, with little local benefit. Now governments are trying to harness more mining revenues for development purposes.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, has announced the theme for its annual World Intellectual Property Day to be held on April 26 will be “promoting green innovation as a key element in meeting the challenges of climate change”. In his message to mark the day, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry highlights the contribution that a balanced intellectual property (IP) system can make in enabling the development of technology-based solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Grameen Phone and its Village Phone Initiative is akin to a public pay phone microenterprise run by a rural woman. A Grameen Bank borrower uses their loan to become a Grameen Phone microfranchisee. The new business owner gains access to the branding, training, and partners of Grameen Phone. To date there are over 200,000 Village Phone operators in rural areas bringing increased access to regional markets, knowledge, and services to the rural poor.
A panel of experts set up by the United Nations has proposed creating a Global Economic Council tasked with promoting worldwide economic and financial cooperation, according to a draft panel report obtained by Kyodo News on Monday.
About half of all African enterprises are owned by women. “We are not waiting. We are moving,” says Pilda Modjadji, a founding member of the Pankop Women Farmers Forum in Mpumalanga, South Africa. “We mean business.”
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