A man who created a nonprofit organization credited with helping more than 150 million people out of poverty was named the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize on Wednesday. Fazle Hasan Abed, of Bangladesh, created BRAC, the organization originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organization to help the country recover from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war fought in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan. Bangladesh was once listed as the second poorest country in the world.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent since 2000 to tackle some of the world’s biggest health problems.
“Technology and mobility will play a crucial role in revolutionising the healthcare system and propelling the next phase of growth in India,” says Annie Mathew, Director, Alliances and Business Development, BlackBerry. In conversation with Abhishek Raval.
Cuba today became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
Impact investing has been catching headlines with major banks like Bank of America BAC +1.48% and JP Morgan developing so-called “impact portfolios.”
The state government's decision to hand over primary health centres and affiliated sub-centres from across the state into private hands to be operated under the public private partnership (PPP) mode has triggered protest from healthcare staff and social organizations.
Gandhi famously denied himself food. And by starving himself to protest British rule, he ultimately made India stronger. But India’s leaders today are using food as a weapon, and they are sacrificing not themselves, but others. Their decisions threaten to make India’s children — already among the most undernourished in the world — weaker still.
Vietnam is having condom problems. Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don't offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it's actually a sign of progress.
The Australian government will partner with private companies such as Coca-Cola to distribute medical aid, foreign minister Julie Bishop has said.
Do you care about reducing the prison population? Want to create work opportunities for homeless people? Re-employ veterans? Well, a new model of investing allows you to fund such projects — and even take home a profit.
Billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, who spends millions of dollars on AIDS drug development, said Friday he hoped for a vaccine against the disease within the next decade as a cure remains far off.
Do you remember the old folk song that goes, “ako ang nagtanim at nagbayo at nagsaing, subalit nang maluto ay iba ang kumain” (I planted, pounded and cooked my own rice, but some other guy ate it)? It is not exactly the same story for the farmers, but it is certainly how they still feel.
Taking free medicine distribution to the next level, state health department will soon introduce automated medicine dispensing machines. Similar to ATMs, the new and unique machines will be able to recognize prescriptions and dispense medicines.
Reliable electricity is a rare commodity in some parts of Guinea, which means some traditional medical equipment often is useless. So researchers there are using a new tool to identify Ebola cases: a portable diagnostic machine that fits in a suitcase and runs on a solar battery.
Some mountainous parts of Mexico are so remote that the electricity grid fails to reach them, let alone the banking system. A five-year-old social enterprise, Iluméxico, hopes to change that. It provides more than 20,000 people with loans to buy low-cost solar panels and batteries, enabling them to switch lights on, watch television and charge mobile phones, sometimes for the first time.
Public health officials may soon be able to screen patients for Ebola at border crossings and hospitals with a finger-prick blood test that takes mere minutes.
Private equity firm Vital Capital Investments LP is planning a $500 million investment fund that will focus on African industries overlooked by competitors.
FINCA's newest subsidiary, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. in Nigeria, surpassed USD 1 million in small loans to microenterprise and small business owners within its first six months of operation, it was announced today by President & CEO Rupert Scofield during his remarks at the Spring meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), hosted this year by FINCA at its headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Technology billionaire Bill Gates says he’ll plow $2 billion of his own money into breakthrough energy projects that reduce emissions and eschew fossil fuels. The planned investment doubles what Gates already has spent on early-stage energy companies geared to fight climate change, the Financial Times reported Thursday.
Rwanda is located in the poorest region in the world, sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, it is making advances with off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural areas that could be a model for similar economies.
It weighs no more than 11 ounces, fits easily into a backpack and looks like any other plastic bag.
Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) are moving to the forefront of the international agenda, as governments worldwide join forces to combat money laundering, tax evasion, and international bribery, which make up the bulk of such flows.
Every morning at sunrise, five-year-old Muhammad Sabir stepped out of his house, sagging a garbage bag to his shoulders, filling it with aluminum, plastic, paper scraps or anything he could find to sell. Salvaging trash to survive, he picked up snippets of newspapers and tried to read them.
In order to end poverty by 2030, everyone needs to do their part, even kids. And they can start by pooping in the toilet and washing their hands.
New data from Juniper Research has revealed how Service Providers are benefiting from the boom in mobile money transfer services - with $2bn in revenues forecast for this year and $4bn annually 2018...
Wipro GE Healthcare today shipped out the first Computed Tomography (CT) system designed and developed in India to a hospital in Pune.
Two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA +0.96% teamed up and raised a $400 million venture capital fund to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, Venture Capital Dispatch has learned.
Private impact investment funds -- specifically private equity and venture capital funds -- that pursue social impact objectives have recorded financial returns in line with a comparative universe of funds that only pursue financial returns.
Last time we heard about Vasalgel, the male contraceptive that is expected to be the first one of its kind to be approved by the FDA, there was hope that it could be available to the public as soon as 2017. It’s now expected to hit the US market at least a year later, but there could be even more options for male birth control by then.
Mumbai-based Total Dental Care Pvt Ltd, which runs dental care chain under the MyDentist brand, has secured Rs 50 crore (around $8 million) in its Series C round of funding led by LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing organization founded by LGT and the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.
The bustling metropolis of Hyderabad generates about 4,500 tonnes of solid waste every day. Contrary to popular perception, as much as 70% of the waste is recycled in India, thanks in large part to a network of ragpickers, who scavenge heaps of trash everyday to pick products that can be recycled.
More market players are stepping into the microinsurance arena - if this trend continues, the role of philanthropy in this space may become less and less critical.
Ugandan banks seem to have realized the threat from mobile services, as more of them are partnering with telecoms to swiftly roll out mobile banking products.
As digital frontiers expand, banks will be able to deliver highly customized services at relatively low costs and expand their customer base by reaching people who were until now outside the banking ecosystem.
The government has put out draft proposals on Monday to encourage electronic transactions in the country.
A host of new players – from Amazon to Alibaba-backed One97 – are introducing a range of mobile-payments systems that could provide the backbone for an e-commerce boom.
Representing organizations that train and supply health workers in some of the world’s poorest countries, that push for global access to life-saving medicines, and that urge effective responses to infectious diseases, protesters opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership took their message to the streets outside of lawmakers’ offices this morning in an effort to change just a few minds.
Goldman Sachs could be coming to a pre-K program near you. Or, at least, that may be the case in Pennsylvania.
The first time Helianti Hilman visited the indigenous farmers of the West Java town of Garut, she was asked to remove her shoes before entering their fields. Her surprise grew when the farmers quizzed her on her mood – they didn’t want her upsetting the plants.
All too often conversations on the digital scene in Africa look to the East - focusing on the gains being made in Rwanda and Kenya in particular.
According to the FinScope 2015, the proportion of Zambian adults accessing financial services has increased to 59.3 percent in 2015 from 37.3 percent in 2009.
Calvert Investments, Inc., a global leader in Responsible Investing, announced today a major new initiative that the firm describes as the next step in the evolution of responsible investing. The firm is building upon its global Responsible Investing research expertise and has launched a suite of Responsible Indexes and related lower cost Index Funds that will track them.
As America is blowing billions by using its military as a one-size-fits-all solution for emergencies around the world, USAID is understaffed, underfunded, and on the cusp of crisis.
Uganda's Cabinet has approved the amended Financial Institutions Act 2015, which paves the way for the introduction of Islamic and Agency banking in Uganda.
Phone-based services revolutionize the way people save and send money.
Want to stop the spread of HIV? Limit the availability of condoms. So goes the reasoning behind a draft law being developed in the Bengkulu province of Indonesia, on the southwest coast of Sumatra.
About 3-million people in SA suffer from hearing loss. Every year, about 4,000 people become deaf due to antiretroviral and tuberculosis treatment. Early detection through screening tests could halve this number.
Residents of the Mathare slum area of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are now able to access water through an ATM-style dispenser.
The Big Soda companies are spending money to develop new markets in low- and middle-income countries. In some of these places, people are earning a bit more than a few years before, so they have more money for soda.
Recent boasts by the national and provincial health departments at the recent SA Aids Conference held in Durban about how successfully condoms were being distributed may in fact be flawed.
Vietnam has become the 37th country and the fifth in the Western Pacific meeting requirements to produce vaccines for the global market, the World Health Organization said.
According to the UN Millennium Development Goals, India should bring down its maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 109 per 100,000 live births by 2015. This is a tough ask, as from an MMR of 437 per 100,000 live births in 1990-91 India has only achieved a reduction to 190 by 2013-2014. Experts therefore believe that India is likely to miss its Millennium Development Goals target for MMR.
TechnoServe, with the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, announces the launch of Empowering Women Entrepreneurs, its Business Accelerator program for women-led small and growing businesses in Mumbai and invites applications for its inaugural batch of 2015-16 ventures.
The MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program — which offers one year of support to social entrepreneurs bringing technology-based, poverty-alleviating products to market at scale — has announced its 2015 fellows.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) announced today a new $7.4 million grant to support research on product design innovations that enable the poor to access, use, and benefit from financial services.
Mississippi has more payday lenders per capita than anywhere else in America, but an innovative partnership is helping to give the state's residents access to responsible small-dollar loans.
iPay offers a tablet based e-inventory which connects the consumers to e-sellers through local retailers, allowing consumers in smaller cities to purchase online by paying offline.
Having worked in humanitarian affairs and on the ground in conflict zones for the last 20 years, Ben Parker provides a unique perspective on how bitcoin could succeed where it's perhaps needed most – in struggling developing nations.
According to the sixth annual report on how much money has been spent to improve health in developing countries, the 2014 total was $227.9 billion, representing a 1.6 percent drop from 2013.
WaterHealth is a global leader in setting up decentralized water purification systems that provides safe drinking water to over five (5) million people globally. Vodafone India has partnered with WaterHealth India to facilitate its cash collection process across 450 locations in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of a new global report that provides the clearest picture to date of countries’ progress moving toward universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is critical for building resilient health systems, which protect communities and strengthen societies in times of crisis and calm alike.
The fight against inequality will take center stage at the Ford Foundation under a sweeping overhaul announced today by the nation’s second biggest philanthropy.
Budding South African film producer Meg Rickards was struggling to raise the money for her new feature film, Whiplash, when she came across the idea of crowdfunding.
It will now be easy for Rwandans living abroad to send money to their relatives back home following the launch of a new mobile money transfer service by MTN Rwanda and Western Union, a global money transfer service firm.
For a country like India where there is a distinct buzz around startups and entrepreneurship, the number of women entrepreneurs and women in business still continue to be far and few.
We walk into the exam room—Jeremy, a fourth year medical student on the cusp of finishing a clinical rotation at the Mayan Medical Aid health post, and me, a global health graduate student eager to learn about healthcare in indigenous communities in Guatemala.
It’s hardly news that mobile is important to emerging economies. Stories of those countries lepfrogging older technologies have been told so many times that they can sometimes seem tired. But when you stop and think about it, even the rise of mobile money and marketing in these markets has been nothing short of remarkable. For instance, the latest report from global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), shows that 69% of mobile media users globally carried out a banking activity via mobile in 2015, up three percent year-on-year. But in Indonesia the figure was 80%, in Nigeria 85% and Kenya an incredible 93%.
Kenya-based business SteamaCo is harnessing the power of mobile to bring affordable electricity access to rural, off-grid communities. SteamaCo’s smart technology allows solar micro-grid owners to monitor their performance remotely and capture consumer payments via mobile money platforms, thereby overcoming the traditional challenges of keeping grids working reliably and profitably.
Samsung Electronics South Africa is addressing the need to provide accessible healthcare services in the Ga-Ramotse community in Hammanskraal. As part of its commitment to the communities in which Samsung serves, the organisation donated a Solar Powered Health Centre (SPHC). The SPHC supplies a variety of screenings, equipment and offers treatment to members of the community in need.
A new app launched in Kenya June 10 could help millions of farmers adapt to climate change by offering information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions, agriculture experts said.
In the slums of Tondo, Manila, hope flickers in broad daylight for poor communities in the form of solar power technology. Amid makeshift houses, piles of garbage and mud-covered walkways, young mothers are operating a container van which has been transformed into a renting station of solar-powered rechargeable lamps in Sitio Damayan (Smokey Mountain).
Royal Philips has launched a new ultra-mobile ultrasound system VISIQ to the South African market. The size of a tablet, the VISIQ is the first ultra-mobile system from Philips.
Pharma growth in China may be slowing and Europe stalling, but there's one area where drugmakers might actually achieve some big growth, according to McKinsey & Co. That's Africa, a mere $4.7 billion market in 2003 and $20.8 billion a decade later.
Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs) leaders have asked government to fast track regulation for microfinance institutions in the country in order to attract more people to use their services and protect clients.
What is the FinTech capital of the world? London? New York? Silicon Valley? It’s actually somewhere in Africa or Asia if you heed the results of this year’s Payments Innovation Jury Report.
While financial inclusion is growing for everyone, women tend to lag men by seven percentage points globally - in emerging markets, the difference is nine percentage points on average and can be as high as 18 percentage points in South Asia.
AllAfrica's Juanita Williams andMelissa Britzinterviewed Dr Ayo Ajayi, the director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Africa Team, about the foundation's new approach to working with the continent.
Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC) has been formally recognized as “Client Protection Certified” by the Smart Campaign for meeting strong standards of client care. TPC is the first microfinance institution in Cambodia to be awarded this prestigious certification and one of the 10 MFIs pursuing such recognition supported by funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) under the "Client Protection Initiative" project Implemented by Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).
Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, would be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Geneva Global, a tiny but mighty philanthropic consulting firm that specializes in international development, is helping to change the world from its small suburban corner of Wayne, Pa. With a team of just 52 staff members, they are quietly igniting social good on a global scale through the repetitive flexing of an approach called dumbbell collaboration.
In most Indian languages, the word Bandhan means bond or togetherness. His bond with the credit-deprived poor in Eastern India’s villages and a Rs 2 lakh loan were the initial capital for Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, to begin a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd, and grow it to a private bank in less than 15 years.
New report, based on a study of 15,000 mobile media users across 15 countries, shows that mobile banking continues to engage consumers – especially in mobile first markets.
Five years ago, Nestlé announced its bold expansion plan for the sub-saharan Africa region: a $161 million investment to build three new factories and 13 new distribution facilities. The desired outcome? Increased sales for the food multinational and 750 new jobs for the 21 countries in the region. This plan was inspired by the much-talked about economic revival of Africa and its “rising middle class”.
Thread, a Pittsburgh-based startup dedicated to creating dignified jobs in the developing world, recycles plastic into socially responsible fabric.
While providing charity eye care in Haiti, Joel Kassalow noticed that a complex eye-testing machine was essential, unwieldy and too costly to buy in multiples — and it became a bottleneck in giving people necessary care. So he offered an innovation he’d created at his company, Smart Vision Labs: a version of the same machine at one-fiftieth the weight and one-hundredth the cost.
There’s plenty of moral and rhetorical support for fighting diseases of poverty, but if you look at global health spending trends lately the story is one of stagnation, or even decline.
China wants a bigger slice of the global health market and it has a new tactic for getting it: circumcision.
In 2001, after 29 years cultivating Napa’s Silver Oak Cellars and its iconic cabernet sauvignon, Justin and Bonny Meyer sold their 50% stake to partner Ray Duncan for $110 million. With Justin’s health iffy, they hoped it would give them more time together forphilanthropy and to build their newer winery, Meyer Family Cellars. But just eight months later Justin died of a heart attack at 63, leaving Bonny, then 52, to manage the money and their shared charitable mission.
The bottom of the pyramid, which constitutes more than 42 per cent of the global population, is the most vulnerable to climate change risks. The recent disasters that shook Nepal, Bihar and washed away parts of Uttarakhand left us staring at this fact. In these events, the mass majority who were affected were from the poorer socio-economic group. An increasing frequency of epidemics and diseases in this group only make matters worse.
India's leading healthcare chain Apollo Hospitals is looking to engage with the southern African country of Lesotho to assist it in capacity building in the healthcare sector.
Merck Manuals, the widely used health guides provided by drugmaker Merck & Co, are moving to a digital-only format in 10 different languages as part of an effort to educate the global community on medical issues.
MasterCard announced on June 15 a new partnership with Ecobank to push electronic payments over the next 10 years in 32 sub-Saharan African countries – where, according to Michael Miebach, MasterCard President, Middle East and Africa, 90 percent of transactions are made in cash.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss ADB’s partnership with India. Mr Nakao also met with Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu and discussed ADB’s support to the government’s new urban initiatives. He stressed that ADB is committed to strengthening its support to India’s new initiatives that target increased economic growth and reduced poverty.
When Elynn Walter walks into a room of officials from global health organizations and governments, this is how she likes to get their attention:
Founded in San Francisco and recently moved to Jakarta, a financial startup called Blossom aims at nothing less than shaking up the microfinance sector in Indonesia.
Access to surgical and anaesthetic care is an essential, but often forgotten, component of health care in the developing world.
A new report reveals nine significant mobile money trends and explores how they are stimulating growth across the expanded mobile ecosystem.
Africa is bleeding. But it’s not a physical wound, it’s a financial one, and it’s allowing more to leave in illicit flows — money that is illegally transferred, earned or utilized — than the amount received in development aid. Though the loss is coming out of Africa and other developing regions, the Band-Aid that could stop the bleeding is in the hands of a small group of rich countries.
Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, will be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Socially and environmentally conscious startups are set to benefit from the creation of the new $100 million Impact Investment Funds - said to be one of Australia’s biggest.
A social enterprise operating out of repurposed shipping containers is helping to tackle Cape Town’s lack of childcare facilities.
The majority of the population in Pakistan is exposed to the hazards of drinking unsafe and polluted water from both surface and ground water sources.
While everyone looks to Kenya as the leader in mobile money transfers, when it comes to sending money from mobiles, Zimbabweans have been almost twice as eager to use an app to make a transfer.
The White House has pushed foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies to commit more than $4 billion to clean energy projects and help fight climate change, doubling a goal set in February, officials said.
A string of innovative financial products from Indonesian start-ups are circumventing the traditional payment and investment system, helping to broaden financial inclusion and challenging the established banks.
The sustainable development goals won’t be finalized until September, but people are already debating whether we can reach them. At least for the proposed health targets one thing is clear, they won’t be achieved without innovations that make better health care more affordable, accessible and effective. #GlobalGoalsWork, but only if we have the tools we need to reach them.
The near-trillion dollar question is: what kind of power infrastructure should Africa build? Should it replicate the large-scale electricity grids of the developed world, or is there a shorter path to electrifying Africa?
Since 2000, Ethiopia has been doing something right in early childhood nutrition. Under-five child stunting rates have dropped from 58 percent to 40 percent, child wasting has dropped below 10 percent, and the prevalence of underweight in young children has declined from 41 to 25 percent.
More than half of a record 160 million accounts opened in India as part of a drive to offer banking to all are still empty, illustrating the massive task ahead for one of the government's most high-profile campaigns and the strain on banks.
One South African company has created an ethically-conscious platform for entrepreneurs from the continent -- and it's leaving its rivals by the wayside in the process.
The Vaccine Alliance recently announced a series of actions that will support the new goals of the Alliance’s 2016-20 strategy, and the Gavi Board has chosen to assist the countries making the transition into the new practices.
An estimated 400 million people worldwide lack access to at least one of seven essential health services, ranging from pregnancy care to clean water, according to a report released on Friday by the World Health Organization and World Bank.
Ethiopia offered 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) facility to India for setting up hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Ethiopia. The host country will acquire land for Indian entrepreneurs and offer other incentives and tax facilities as well.
Panelist and participants at the 16th Global Development Network annual conference discussed how businesses must be more inclusive in catering to more than 40 per cent population of the world that lives below $2 a day.
India has scrapped customs import duties for drugs and test kits used to treat AIDS in an effort to cut prices across the country, as it struggles to cope with an ongoing shortage in its national program to fight the disease.
Zane Wang Zhengyu, founder and chief executive of lending company China Rapid Finance (CRF), wants to redraw the mainland's credit landscape. Wang hopes to create the mainland version of the San Francisco-based Lending Club, which offers borrowers funds at rates lower than those charged by credit cards. Ideally, the model could help meet the financing needs of 500 million potential mainland customers, many of them borrowing for the first time.
DBS Foundation and NUS Enterprise have announced the winners of the 2015 DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia), adding that they would receive grant monies totalling S$150,000 (US$112,000).
Mobile technology has revolutionized data-collection tools for health workers, but unless that data creates meaningful change, the “data revolution” will struggle to revolutionize global health systems for patients and providers.
What do solar-powered hearing aids, a subscription service for baby clothes and mobile technology for farmers in East Africa all have in common? For one, they are each finalists in this year’s Sustainia100, an annual study of the top 100 sustainability innovations, published Thursday.
Charity Medecins Sans Frontieres appealed to India on Thursday not to give in to pressure from Europe, the United States and Japan to make it easier for big firms to get patents in the country, potentially blocking the production of cheap generics.
Acumen announces its new investment in BURN Manufacturing, a cookstove company that aims to transform the lives of Kenyans with its low-cost, energy-efficient design.
For Ethiopian farmers dealing with the worsening impacts of climate change, small-scale crop insurance can be a lifesaver.
Keeping your children home safe at night is a good idea. But what if home is a deadly place? For many people living in developing countries, traditional housing does little to keep out malaria-spreading mosquitoes.
Retail drug shops are popular with rural people but many sellers lack qualifications. Introducing training, accreditation and oversight can enhance their services and, once established, such a system funds itself, ending the need for donor support.
FINCA’s experience in Tanzania offers lessons learned for development practitioners
Countries already bearing the brunt of extreme weather events are cautiously optimistic about a new insurance scheme designed by the world's wealthiest nations to protect about 400 million people in the world's most vulnerable communities.
Kit giant Ericsson has announced a partnership with Verifone Mobile Money to offer its customers a broader range of mobile payment tools for emerging markets.
What do solar-powered hearing aids, a subscription service for baby clothes and mobile technology for farmers in East Africa all have in common?
If you’re not a doctor, you probably think of malaria as a single disease. That’s not quite right. There are several parasites that cause what we call malaria—likePlasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae—and each brings a slightly different form of the disease. Now, in a northeastern corner of Malaysia, doctors are concerned about the rapid expansion of yet another malaria-inducing parasite named Plasmodium knowlesi. Incidence of the parasite increased tenfold between 2004 and 2011, and many public-health researchers are worried things are going to get worse.
A decade on from the Gleneagles Summit, Africa is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Standards of living are increasing, the middle class is set to double in the next ten years and a continent that was then a scar on the conscience of the world is now the most exciting. Africa’s challenges are still better known than its prospects; but with a digital revolution in full-swing and data revolution underway, African nations have a chance to leapfrog stages of development.
Eighteen scientists are sitting in a lab, talking about new ways to feed the planet. These are some of the world’s foremost experts on rice. Most of them are from China. Nearly all of them are men.
Children affected by HIV and AIDS will benefit from the decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration to grant approval to a new antiretroviral formulation that can be mixed with food to make it easier for children living with HIV to take the life-saving medicines, UNAIDS and UNICEF said today.
Indonesia wants to unleash 30 trillion rupiah ($2.3 billion) of new loans for small businesses and halve some bank micro lending rates to help revive an economy running at its slowest pace in five years.
Mutual funds have started investing in debt issuances of microfinance companies after a five-year hiatus.
A recent Retro Report examines how the apocalyptic predictions about overpopulation made by the biologist Paul Ehrlich, in his 1968 book “The Population Bomb,” have not come to pass. ... But do we still need to worry about overcrowding?
A Vanderbilt University professor is working to decide if a "crazy idea" could become a crucial tool in the fight against malaria and other deadly diseases.
An interview with Jeremy N. Smith, author of a new book, "Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients," about Christopher Murray’s audacious project to determine what is killing and plaguing people in every corner of the globe.
A look at ways to make payments, based on convenience, cost efficiency and usage.
Mumbai-based logistic solutions provider MYPACCO today said it has partnered with Alibaba as part of its Trade Facilitation Center initiative, to offer comprehensive logistic solutions in the country.
Freddy Candia Aguilar, affectionately known as “MacGyver” for his uncanny ability to make something out of nothing, proudly held a banner with the words “Cochabamba Pedal Project” emblazoned on it. He had been providing free bike tune-ups all day to participants in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s first Bike and Pedestrian Day, while promoting his new social enterprise.
Citi today released its 2014 Global Citizenship Report highlighting efforts underway in the past year to empower people, support economic progress in cities, and catalyze sustainable growth. The report, Progress: Responding to Global Challenges,examines how Citi lends, invests and facilitates growth through core business activities and philanthropic efforts, as well as partnerships and new approaches to address pressing needs.
First Bank Plc has put in place a set of incentives, including scholarships, that would encourage young Nigerians, particularly students, to voluntarily embrace savings culture and by extension, help drive financial inclusion.
The Ebola virus in West Africa that has killed 11,000 is not more virulent than prior strains as had been feared, according to a study published Tuesday.
Vikram Akula speaks about what went wrong in 2010 and what’s next.
India’s economy is expected to grow 7.5% in the year ahead, driven by ever-growing demand for energy, infrastructure, and technology and high-quality healthcare. I’ve traveled to India to see what’s happening.
Morgan Stanley announced today that it has closed on the issuance of a $500 million green bond, the Firm’s inaugural green bond and the latest step in the Firm’s ongoing strategy to advance market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges.
Merrill Lynch today announced that it has added sustainable impact multi-asset class portfolios to its expanding platform of impact portfolios to serve clients interested in using their investment capital for positive social and environmental purposes. Additionally, the firm will provide its 14,000 financial advisors new resources to help clients understand the impact of their investments in these portfolios.
According to the World Health Organisation’s 2014 report, nearly 800 women die every day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
In one week at the height of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in West Africa in 2014, Twitter users shared over four billion Ebola-related messages.
Africa’s basic infrastructural challenges – such as poor transport links, and the limited number of medical professionals and clinics – have long hindered the health sector. However, across the continent, Africa’s innovators are looking to leverage technology to ensure quality medical care is universally accessible.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) outfit in the Volta region is warning it will resist any attempt by the government to use Voltarians as “guinea pigs in a needless” Ebola vaccines trial.
An exemption to a financial intelligence law will reduce the cost and lessen the bureaucracy involved in transferring cash across the border.
The decision may have spillover effects for U.S. companies, as the equity-heavy fund invests most of its stock positions in U.S. firms, and this new policy slates shares in dozens of American utility companies for sale.
Root Capital CEO Willy Foote interviews OPIC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, on impact investing and OPIC’s evolving role in development.
The constrained Australian venture capital industry is about to receive a $100 million infusion earmarked for companies that promise to do good for society or the environment.
The energy-poor tend to be among the poorest people in their countries and cannot afford the high upfront costs of a quality solar solution. About 400 million people in India live in remote villages and don’t have access to an electricity grid. Millions more have only very limited access to electricity. Although distributed solar based solutions are available, high up front costs keep them out of reach from many who have limited income and cannot obtain bank financing.
Amref Health Africa, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) and partners will manage a five-year (2015–2020) USD$ 6 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant aimed at building the capacity of laboratory and blood transfusion services to respond to health needs of the population of the RSS. The project's focus is to systematically strengthen the capacity of the National Public Health Laboratory to support country-wide laboratory services.
It is a fundamental human right for a girl or woman to have the ability to manage basic biological functions. Yet four in five East African women and girls cannot access sanitary pads due to their lack of affordability.
Kenya's biggest bank by assets, KCB, has signed up 1.8 million customers for its mobile phone-based service since it was launched in March and is on target for 10 million users within a year from now, its chief financial officer said.
Mimicking nature, Australian scientists have developed a protective seashell-inspired capsule to preserve the active biological ingredients needed to create promising new drugs.
Kenya's Equity Bank Ltd., which has started a new mobile payment and banking service called Equitel, is seeking 100 million customers in Africa within 10 years and the first five million by the end of 2015.
India’s massive postal network is likely to turn into payment banks by late next month, reaching out to the unbanked section of the society under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Jan Dhan programme.
New tech startups and traditional telecom operators are taking advantage of the rapid rise of smartphones in many emerging economies to reduce the barriers - and costs - of sending cash overseas.
Entrepreneur Vimbiso Mashumba says she feels privileged to be part of the 30 young people to represent Zimbabwe at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
A major new Commission on women and health has found that women are contributing around $3 trillion to global health care, but nearly half of this (2.35% of global GDP) is unpaid and unrecognised.
Online banking remains a challenge to many people even as the smart phone penetration in Kenya experiences substantial growth, according to a new survey.
J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital, on the southeastern tip of this nation recently declared free of Ebola, has three doctors and spotty electricity. Sixteen of its 46 nurses left during the Ebola crisis. When two motorcycle accident victims needed X-rays, the hospital dispatched them in its only ambulance on a bumpy eight-hour ride to the nearest facility with a machine.
Chanda sometimes wakes long before dawn to sweep her house and beat the husk off her rice. Now in her 70s, Chanda has long since lost her sight. The sound of her morning activities reverberates down the narrow, unpaved street of the Adivasi colony, through the mud brick walls of the homes stacked either side, waking her neighbours. Next door, Leena complains but is sympathetic. “Living without electricity is like being blind,” she says. “You move around your home and cook without being able to see. Even in the day it is the middle of the night.”
Forbes 400 Fellow Katie Meyler’s voice trembled and her eyes teared up as she told a roomful of billionaires and philanthropists gathered for the Forbes 400 Summit onPhilanthropy Wednesday the plight of Sarah, a 10-year old girl from Liberia who lost her father and sister to Ebola before the disease killed her, too.
Rather than policies aimed at reducing prices for HIV treatments, which place all the financing burden on innovators and reduce the incentive for innovation, policies should aim to subsidize HIV treatment in the developing world.
“Why does Nuru Kenya have to be locally led?” Jake pressed. “Why can’t expats continue the work?" “Maybe we aren’t asking the right question,” I responded, straightening up in my chair. “Instead of asking why should we exit, perhaps we should ask, why should we stay?”
The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion – an action-oriented think tank working toward full global financial inclusion – released its 'By the Numbers' report today, which benchmarks progress toward global financial inclusion and makes projections about the movement's future.
Cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion, according to new research from the National League of Cities.
A Self Help Group-bank linkage programme should be included in the financial inclusion strategy of the government.
Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong's talk at TEDxAuckland last month was met with a standing ovation. Yet what he had to say is really just the beginning of an open-source journey to end preventable blindness globally; and it begins with a life-changing invention designed especially for those living in poverty.
Patient and leading health organisations in South Africa have now joined a Fix the Patent Laws campaign launched in 2011 by Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to push for reform of the country’s current patent laws.
A new game called Polly, designed by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, helps get useful information to people with little or no reading skills.
Last month, our PSI-India project surpassed 10,000 toilets in rural Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, where 99 million reside and more than 80% practices open defecation.
Eighty percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s 800 million people should have access to mobile telephones by the end of the decade, industry body group GSMA said Wednesday.
A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year's income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.
The neighborhood of campeche sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
Living in poverty means not just living with less money than other people. It also means dealing with extra pressures of time, cost, and mental space. For example, someone without a bank account will often spend more money cashing a paycheck than someone who has one. Poverty has even been shown to reduce cognitive ability. When faced with a big car repair bill, people on lower incomes will test lower in a subsequent IQ test than someone with more money, one study in New Jersey showed.
More than 10 years ago, Sanjoy Hazarika heard about the death of a mother in a remote island in Assam, a state in northeast India, because she couldn’t get to the hospital in time. This led the soft-spoken professor to think: Why not bring the hospital to the people?
JPMorgan Chase is the founding partner with CFSI of the Financial Solutions Lab, a $30 million, five-year initiative "to identify, test, and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets."
New analysis from WRI shows a credible and politically balanced path towards $100 billion in 2020 is possible by including a larger set of climate finance sources in a balanced way while scaling up all public finance.
RENEW Strategies, an impact investment advisory firm that manages a network of wealthy families with an interest in African development, is part of the Impact Angel Network, which currently invests entirely in Ethiopian ventures.
Juntos announced their partnership with mobile money provider company Tigo Pesa in Tanzania, to provide new account support to Tigo Pesa customers through the Juntos innovative engagement platform.
Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Founder and Deputy Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation, announced a three-year, 1 million Swiss franc partnership on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on Africa. The objectives of the partnership are to advance the social entrepreneurship agenda in Africa by raising awareness, engaging the media and celebrating proven social innovators; contribute to research initiatives on best practices and scaling strategies; and build the capacity of African social enterprises through peer-to-peer exchanges.
In September, the U.N. will vote to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (aka SDGs). They cover issues like poverty, health and climate change. The idea is to encourage the 192 U.N. member states to establish policies that will make the world a better place over the next 15 years.
New kit may help train global health providers to insert and remove contraceptive implants.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the world’s largest private foundation — will spend $776 million over the next six years to fight malnutrition, a strong signal of support for a historically underfunded sector, according to the foundation’s leaders.
Aligned with the nation's Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh today announced it will accelerate its transition from cash to digital payments, marked by a new partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Over the past year, discussions around dealing with the Ebola outbreak to bringing cases down to zero invariably circled around the need for health systems strengthening.
On May 29, telecommunications companies dealing in mobile money services got a lifeline after the Commercial court dismissed a case filed by Abdu Katuntu, the member of Parliament for Bugweri county, who had challenged the legality of the services.
The company will finance agricultural enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to enhance local food security and stimulate inclusive economic growth in the region.
Bharath Kumar has the husky build of a rugby player, which comes in handy as he lugs around a large backpack filled with packages to deliver on his patch of Bangalore. That and ownership of a good scooter or motorcycle were among prerequisites the 25-year-old met about a year back when he switched jobs so he could motor around town, sometimes listening to music, delivering packages from Amazon.com’s Indian unit.
Growth in five key indicators between 2012 and 2014 illustrate the expanding application of corporate skills and resources to solving societal challenges.
Beijing is trying to make finance accessible to those traditionally denied it, with mixed results.
There are many success stories of social enterprises taking off, but most of these are in Manila. Proponents of a contest seeking to award social entrepreneurs hope to find the next success story in the provinces.
Africa faces two key challenges to achieve its full potential. The remarkable economic progress of the last 15 years must be sustained. And, this progress must be broadened to include the many millions of people who have yet to benefit from the continent’s rising prosperity.
Several Japanese drug companies have joined a new project to find medicines to treat two neglected parasitic diseases, Chagas and leishmaniasis.
Kenyan startup Miti Health, which provides chemists with business management and supply chain software on the Android platform, hopes taking part in the Unreasonable East Africa accelerator programme in Kampala this summer will allow it to scope out Uganda as a possible expansion market while also gaining to access to investors and mentors.
G7 based companies and investors cheated Africa out of an estimated US$6 billion in 2010 through just one form of tax dodging, according to a new Oxfam report ‘Money talks: Africa at the G7’, released today.
The Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan at Islamabad.
It was personal chemistry as much as business rationale that led to Alibaba's financial arm investing $500 million in Paytm.
The future of American economic growth is in the hands of women, but much of their entrepreneurial potential remains untapped. This is not just my opinion, it’s backed up by a 2014 Kauffman Foundation study,which found that women-owned businesses account for just 16% of employer firms. I fall into that minority, even though I myself have four entrepreneurial ventures under my belt.
Goode Intelligence today issued a new Analyst Report forecasting that by 2020, bank customers will use biometrics as the predominant method of identifying themselves to access bank services.
The theme for World Health Day, held on 7 April 2015, was 'From farm to plate - make food safe.' The main motivation for the theme was the alarming amount of bacteria borne diseases across the globe, transmitted by eating food which is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.
We know that success doesn’t come overnight. All entrepreneurs know too well. For The Venture’s global report, Redefining Success in a Changing World, more than 550 social entrepreneurs were surveyed about how they reached success. Here are five tips from some of the most successful social businesses.
Recently, the World Health Assembly set out new global nutrition targets. These targets will guide and influence priorities in health programming and investments. One such ambitious goal is to see a 50 per cent reduction of anemia in women of reproductive age by 2025.
A court has pronounced that mobile money business operated by the five major telecommunication companies is illegal - a judge dismissed the case, however, because it was instituted in the wrong court.