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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank of Zimbabwe Launches $50 Million Fund to Support Smallholder Farmers, Rural Development

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Michael Gondwe has launched a US$50 million Fund under the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund to support smallholder farmers in the rural areas.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will Unilever Become the World's Largest Publicly Traded B Corp?

Source: The Guardian

After Natura was certified as the first publicly listed B Corp in December, Unilever CEO Paul Polman says his company is considering pursuing the status.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates Sees 'Miracle' Tools for AIDS by 2030 in Vaccine and Drugs

Source: Reuters

Two new tools to fight AIDS should be available by 2030 in the form of a vaccine and new intense drug treatments, ending most cases of a disease that has killed millions in the past 30 years, Bill Gates said.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Launches Ideas Portal

Source: BiztechAfrica

Safaricom has launched an interactive portal dubbed Zindua Café (www.safaricom.co.ke/zindua) through which external innovators and developers countrywide will be able to share their ideas, applications and prototypes with Safaricom.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

India Turns to Corner Shops, Mobile Phones for Banking Revolution

Source: Reuters

India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Know What's Killing More People in Nigeria Than Boko Haram? Lack of Drinking Water

Source: Bloomberg

The lack of running water killed more people in Nigeria last year than Boko Haram. While the terror campaign claimed more than 4,000 lives, the shortage of potable water and poor sanitation led to about 73,000 deaths, according to WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

Eco-Entrepreneurs Promise Women A Safe Period: Suchismita Pai

Source: The Rising Nepal

Period. While the English dictionary gives several meanings for this rather ordinary word, millions of women around the world associate it with discomfort, pain and embarrassing memories. For hundreds of thousands of girls across India, menstruation means five days of solitary confinement; it’s the one reason behind many being forced to drop out of school and also being subjected to discriminatory social practices. Caught between superstition, ignorance and poverty they end up using anything from straw, ash and tree bark to even cow dung and dirty rags to absorb the flow. Consequently, stories about disease and death are legion.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

Barack Obama Commends India’s Financial Inclusion Drive, Calls for Greater Voice for the Country in IMF

Source: Zee News

US President Barack Obama Sunday affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's 'voice and vote' in global financial institutions like IMF.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

US to Commit $1B to Gavi Until 2018

Source: Devex

The welcome reception to kick off the pledging conference in Berlin, Germany, for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will be held later tonight, but already the public-private partnership has gained itself one backer: the United States.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Brandee McHale Named President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi

Source: Market Watch

Today, Citi announced that Brandee McHale has been appointed President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi, effective February 1st. Ms. McHale will succeed Pamela Flaherty, who is retiring at the end of January after 46 years with Citi. Ed Skyler will remain Chairman of the Citi Foundation.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Card Payments Drop as Mobile Money Use Grows in Kenya

Source: AFKInsider

Payments made using plastic cards dipped by a fifth in 11 months to November last year as mobile phone-based payments ate into commercial banks’ business.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vaccines Alliance Set to Ramp Up Its Work, Hopes to Raise $7.5B

Source: Voice of America

The GAVI global vaccines alliance is seeking to raise $7.5 billion at a funding conference in Berlin next week, as its battle to prevent infectious diseases in millions of children reaches an expected peak.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Developing Countries Urged to Produce TB Vaccines Locally

Source: EurActiv

Even though one third of the global population have the microbes that cause tuberculosis (TB), pharmaceutical companies still have little incentive to produce the drugs that can combat the deadly but curable disease.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — South Asia

Choosing an Investment Model for India’s Medical Devices Industry

Source: India Briefing

This year, India’s medical devices industry will be opened up to 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI). The move had been in the works for some time – India’s union cabinet met last year to discuss the reform, while the industry’s regulatory framework has been tweaked several times since it was first introduced in 2005.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Smart Card Plant Supports Expansion of Financial Services to Poor

Source: ITworld

Responding to banks’ efforts to reach out to people who do not typically use financial services, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this week inaugurated the first Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) certified smart card manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Insurers, Brokers Establish Micro Insurance Consortium

Source: Insurance Journal

A group of global insurance companies and brokers took advantage of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to announce that they have established a micro insurance consortium and micro insurance venture incubator (MVI).
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Zimbabwe, All Bets Are On Mobile Money & Data As SMS Declines and Telecoms Shifts

Source: Techzim

Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Gender Inequality Costs Women in Poor Countries $9 Trillion, ActionAid Says

Source: ActionAid

Gender inequality in work costs women in poor countries US$9 trillion each year – more than the combined GDPs of Britain, France and Germany – according to research released today by the international development agency ActionAid.
TAGS:Women
Friday, January 23, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Cleft Lip Surgical Tool Simulator to Be Showcased at WISH in Qatar

Source: Sowetan LIVE

The recent innovation, that will definitely put a smile to a lot of people’s faces, literally, is the cleft lip and palate and palate surgical tool.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

For Youth, By Youth: Creating Jobs, Sustainability and A Future Vision for Kenya

Source: Forbes

Simeon Ogonda’s vision for Kenyan youth is ambitious. He wants to transform young people from job seekers into job creators who build and support sustainable and transparent enterprises. “My vision is to bring up more young people who can develop their own businesses, work hard, and trust that so long as they keep their passion alive, they will not fail in what they’re doing,” he said.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: After Some Teething Troubles, Frugal Innovation Is On the Rise

Source: The Economist

Victor Hugo once said that “nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. He failed to add that a lousy product launch can delay it. In the first decade of this century it seemed that frugal innovation’s time had indeed arrived: to meet surging demand from new consumers in emerging economies, innovative firms in those countries were stripping products of their fripperies and cutting their cost drastically. The new world had at last produced a big, new management idea.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tampax, Toilets and Shark Tanks

Source: PSI Impact

Inspired by the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank, PSI’s corporate partnerships team recently conducted its own version of the contest. Teams of PSI staffers presented five ideas to three judges, Sumathi Balasubramanian, senior manager, initiatives for girls and women, PSI; Marcie Cook, senior regional director, Asia and Eastern Europe, PSI; and Adeeb Mahmud, director, FSG. The winner was the Tampax for Toilets campaign, submitted by Dan Lawner and Genevieve Kelly of PSI’s East Africa department and Malaria and Child Survival department, respectively. Watch their winning presentation above or read below for more on their idea:
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill and Melinda Gates Want to Fix Another Messy Global Problem: Banking

Source: Quartz

Bill and Melinda Gates have taken on some of the world’s messiest problems, funding projects to improve the design of toilets and condoms and even create urine-powered fuel cells. Now, in their annual letter published today, they’re outlining ambitions to tackle another messy sector: banking.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — South Asia

GAVI Selects India's HMD As Partner for Global Health Project

Source: The Economic Times

GAVI, a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation, has chosen Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd (HMD) as one of its knowledge and strategic partners to promote injection safety around the world.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: National Advisory Board on Impact Investing Names Darren Walker As New Chair

Source: SYS-CON Media

Today the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NAB) named Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, as the new Chair, joining the leadership team that includes Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance US.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three Questions with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka

Source: The Daily Meal

Food Tank, in partnership with The George Washington University, is hosting the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C. on January 21-22, 2015.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Does Not Live Up to Promise of Transforming Lives of the Poor, Six Studies Show

Source: Innovations for Poverty Action

Microcredit—providing small loans to underserved entrepreneurs—has been both celebrated and vilified as a development tool. Six new studies from four continents bring rigorous evidence to this debate, finding that while microcredit has some benefits, it is not a viable poverty alleviation tool.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Canadian Responsible Investments Surpass $1 Trillion Says 2014 Trends Report

Source: The Globe and Mail

The value of Canadian investments managed under “responsible investing” criteria climbed dramatically over two years as money managers increasingly added environmental, social or governance factors to their investment decisions.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Opinion: Does the GSMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers Go Far Enough to Protect Consumers?

Source: World Bank Group

The recently launched GSM Association Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers is a welcome initiative. There is increasing recognition of the economic benefits that digital financial services can bring, along with an understanding that achieving ambitious financial inclusion targets may well depend on their rapid rollout. Such targets are being proposed by the World Bank, under the Maya Declaration and in other forums.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Davos 2015: Live Updates From the World Economic Forum

Source: The Huffington Post

Wednesday marks the second day of the 2015 World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Annual Meeting.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

MSF Bends Donation Policy for Pneumonia Vaccine

Source: Devex

After years of refusing vaccine handouts from big pharmaceutical companies, international medical humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières is bending its policy to accept donations of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: AfDB and Mastercard Seek to Broaden Financial Inclusion in Africa Through Digital Finance

Source: allAfrica

On Thursday, January 22 in Davos, Switzerland, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent. The collaboration seeks to develop solutions that drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Coinbase’s $75M Raise Shows Investors Still See Gold in Bitcoin

Source: VentureBeat

Coinbase announced a raise today of $75 million, putting the company’s total fundraising just over $106 million. That’s the biggest raise that a Bitcoin company has ever seen, despite the fact that Bitcoin’s value continues to decline. Last week, the coin fell below $200. As of this writing, however, it’s worth roughly $210 per Bitcoin.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

The End of the Silo: What It Means for Today's Global Health Worker

Source: Devex

From large corporations and foundations to the newest of startups, global health players focused on development are finding that success lies with shared values, aligned purpose and mutually reinforcing efforts. Meanwhile, NGOs are seeking new skills in their global health workforce and field partners, which require workers to think beyond established relationships.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Reaching the Hardest-to-Reach: Financial Services for Overlooked Populations

Source: The Huffington Post

The growth of microfinance solutions to address pressing development challenges has brought many of the world's formerly "unbanked" into formal financial systems. However, one group continually remains outside the system -- the poorest of the poor. Even some microfinance programs and deliberately inclusive financial policies remain unaffordable for segments of the population. Across the Global South, a number of initiatives have emerged with the notion that, although access to financial services has expanded in recent years, the remaining need demands innovative actions. We take a look at examples in Lagos, Bogotá, Cairo, and Bangalore.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Adds EMV Banking Card to Complement M-Pesa Mobile Money Service in South Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

Leading digital security company, Gemalto has announced the deployment of prepaid EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s m-pesa mobile wallet service in South Africa.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Islamic Development Bank Approves Close to US $190 Million in New Development Financings

Source: Zawya

The 302nd meeting of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank ( IDB ) which started on Sunday, 18 January, 2015, concluded on Tuesday in Jeddah, KSA. Chaired by IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, the Board reviewed a number of important items amongst them the draft agenda for the upcoming 40th Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors slated for 10-11 June 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique, which is to be attended by Ministers of Finance and Economy of the 56 member countries. The members of the Board also approved US $ 189.4 million worth of new financings for a number of development projects covering important sectors in several member countries as well as a number of Muslim communities in non-member countries.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Growing Global Health Awareness Could Mean Big Business for Manufacturers

Source: Market Watch

The battle against the bulge is a global phenomenon that could translate into real opportunity for manufacturers, according to a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nearly half (49%) of the global respondents in Nielsen's Global Health & Wellness Survey consider themselves overweight. Obesity rates around the world are accelerating and not just in developed countries. In fact, 62% of the world's 671 million obese individuals live in developing markets, according to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study estimated that 2.1 billion people (nearly 30% of the global population) were overweight or obese. Nielsen's study shows that consumers are attempting to take charge of their health—50% are actively trying to lose weight and 88% are willing to pay more for foods with healthy attributes to some degree.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Many Universities ‘Failing to Address Public Health Needs of World’s Poor’

Source: Times Higher Education

Most of the top-funded universities for medical science are not doing enough to address the needs of the world’s poorest people in terms of public health research, according to a new ranking.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — South Asia

World Bank to Commit $1 Billion to “Clean India” Program

Source: The Economic Times

World Bank today said it will commit USD 1 billion in the government's Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign. World Bank's country director in India Onno Ruhl said the World Bank is considering considerable large sums of financing for that.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MIT-USAID Program Releases Pioneering Evaluation of Solar Lanterns

Source: MIT News

When a person lives on less than $2 a day — as some 2.7 billion people around the world do — there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail. It’s a challenge development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers themselves face every day: With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — South Asia

Bengaluru Start-Up Wins Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

Source: The Hindu

A low-cost medical device invented by a city-based start-up has emerged the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2014-15, an initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

ICICI, India’s Largest Private Sector Bank, Launches Banking Service on Twitter

Source: The Hindu

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Monday announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

Villgro Launches Rs 20-Crore Incubation Fund

Source: The Economic Times

Impact investment firm Villgro has announced a Rs 20-crore fund targeted at incubating education startups.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Pooling Public-Private Partnership Best Practices

Source: Devex

Government leaders today have recognized the need to engage the private sector in development. While in the past, federal agencies supplied the majority of funding going toward developing countries, that percentage has continued to decrease over time — it is now down to around 9 percent. With 91 percent of global development funding now provided by nongovernment sources, the private sector has become a major player in the global development effort, and it is becoming increasingly important to find common objectives that garner their investment.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Twitter Confirms Acquisition of India’s Missed Call Marketing Platform ZipDial

Source: TechCrunch

Last week TechCrunch reported Twitter was in final talks to acquire ZipDial for between $30 million and $40 million, and today the company announced the deal has closed. ZipDial allows people to call a special phone number for a business, hang up before they incur a charge, and then receive a phone call or SMS with information about the business. This “missed call” marketing platform allows people to access content for free, which is especially useful in the developing world where many can’t afford data plans.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Schneider Electric Introduces Innovative Solar Street Lights

Source: Thisday Live

Schneider Electric has announced the introduction of a new range of innovative energy efficient maintenance-free Solar Streetlights popularly known as Villaya.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bed Nets and Vaccines: Some Combinations May Worsen Malaria

Source: Medical Xpress

Combining insecticide-treated bed nets with vaccines and other control measures may provide the best chance at eliminating malaria, which killed nearly 600,000 people worldwide in 2013, most of them African children.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Richest 1% Will Soon Own More Than the Other 99 Combined

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

The richest 1 percent of the population will own more than half the world's wealth by 2016, Oxfam International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland.
TAGS:Poverty
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

MSF Slams Expensive Vaccines, Urges GSK and Pfizer To Cut Prices

Source: Reuters

The international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres urged drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer on Tuesday to slash the price of their pneumococcal vaccines to $5 per child in poor countries.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: WorldRemit and MTN Agree to Major Mobile Money Partnership

Source: Yahoo!

Online money transfer service WorldRemit and telecoms operator MTN have signed a global partnership that will enable WorldRemit customers to send remittances instantly to MTN’s Mobile Money customers.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Liter of Light Wins Zayed Future Energy Prize

Source: Zawya

Litre of Light, a project in partnership with PepsiCo that brings cost effective solar lighting solutions to communities in need while recycling plastic bottles, has been honoured as the winning entry in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Non-Profit Organization category.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

India’s Financial Inclusion Drive Sets Guinness World Record for Most Bank Accounts Opened in One Week

Source: The Indian Express

As many as 11.5 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, exceeding the enhanced target of 10 crore and covering 99.74 per cent of households, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Indian-Made Vaccine Approved to Fight Meningitis in Africa

Source: The Economic Times

A vaccine against meningitis prepared by an Indian company has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), paving the way for its use to eradicate the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Report: Mobile Money Could Be a Silver Bullet for Financial Inclusion in Africa

Source: IT-Online

Mobile money is shaping up to be one of the most exciting areas in mobile communications, and is quickly transforming the way in which consumers and enterprises transact.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

India Needs Reliable Data on Basic Healthcare

Source: The Hindu

Founder and Chair of L.V. Prasad Eye Institute G.N. Rao is universally known for his contribution to the introduction of quality and affordable eye care in India. Apart from his work in ophthalmology, Dr. Rao is well-known for his innovative ideas on healthcare in general and his efforts to make healthcare affordable.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Banks Are Now Handing Out Loans to People They’d Normally Shun

Source: Wired

Before Jeff Stewart could credibly advance the notion that your Facebook friend network could—or even should—help you get a loan, he had to prove the system worked and was reliable. It took a long time. I first met him in 2012, a year after he’d launched Lenddo, pitching it as a new way for people just entering the middle class to qualify for and receive loans. His startup planned to use Facebook data to assess credit risk, and to make loans to well-qualified candidates, starting in the Philippines.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Loans $1.2m to Kenyan Juhudi Kilimo, Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), Uganda’s Encot

Source: MicroCapital

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encont, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda [1].
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vanderbilt Professor Named CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance

Source: The Tennessean

Social Enterprise Alliance, a national organization of purpose-driven businesses, named Vanderbilt University professor Jim Schorr as its new CEO.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Johnson Gets €100m From Europe's IMI to Accelerate Ebola Vaccine Development

Source: Pharmaceutical Business Review

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) through a consortium, which includes research institutions and non-government organizations, is set to receive around €100m ($115m) from Europe's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to speed up the development of its Ebola vaccine regimen.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Secret Sauce Behind 12 Successful Impact Investment Funds

Source: Forbes

What makes a successful impact investment fund successful? Where’s the secret sauce? That’s what Cathy Clark, Ben Thornley and Jed Emerson set out to discover. Their new book The Impact Investor : Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism (Jossey-Bass, Oct, 2014) contains the results of their two years of research, with insights gained from studying 12 long-standing funds with a clear track record that, in total, have raised more than $1.3 billion in impact capital.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Social Investor, Social Activists and Social Ventures Talk Back: What's Happening in MENA?

Source: Entrepreneur

In analyzing the capital flow for social enterprises, the picture behind this reality around the world adjusts depending on what region you go to. In the western markets such as the U.S. or Europe, capital structures are becoming more inclusive for social enterprises. But what’s happening in regions such as MENA?
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

WHO: Millions Die Prematurely From Non-Communicable Diseases

Source: Voice of America

The World Health Organization (WHO) said 16 million people under the age of 70 are dying prematurely every year from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A new report is calling for action to reduce these largely preventable deaths.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — South Asia

Why 2015 Will Be Important for Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Business Today

The year 2015 could be a watershed year for India in its quest to provide access to a wide range of financial services to all its citizens.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — South Asia

Launch of DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2015

Source:

Into its second year, the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia) is offering SGD 150,000 of seed fund to the winners of the challenge, in commemoration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence. The increased funding, from last year’s SGD 55,000, also encourages participants to submit ideas that demonstrate greater scalability and potential for sustainable social impact.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Arctic Waters Could Hold Secret to Creating Life-Saving Drugs

Source: CNN

It is early afternoon on board the "Helmer Hanssen," and the Arctic sun is already starting to set. Near the back of the ship, two people dressed in orange rain slickers are anxiously waiting. Any minute now, the ship's lines will pull taut, and a green mesh bag will be back up on deck.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Fight Against Malaria, At a Critical Juncture

Source: Devex

Lindsey Graham stood at a podium at the festooned Knight Conference Center in Washington’s Newseum in early December and addressed a room full of public health advocates, researchers and politicians gathered for the 2014 Malaria Champions Breakfast.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

bKash CEO Discusses the Scope, Growth and Future Prospects of Mobile Banking in Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

In a recent interview with Dhaka Tribune, Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, discusses the scope, growth and future prospects of mobile banking in our country.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Attains National MFB Status in Nigeria, Gives Out N32bn Loans

Source: Thisday Live

Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has upgraded to the category of a national microfinance bank (MFB). By this development, the bank said, it has surpassed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements for a national MFB.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

Interview: Why India Is At the Hawk Eyes of All Investors, Explains Eric Savage

Source: One India

Eric Savage is a Duke and Harvard-educated American investment banker who chose to leave a high-flying career with Citigroup in Hong Kong to come to Bengaluru in 2008. Here he launched Unitus Capital, a firm that specializes in helping social enterprises to raise funds. Social enterprises apply market approaches to address societal challenges.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

India Business Group Urges Laws for ICT Adoption in Healthcare

Source: Enterprise Innovation

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has suggested the introduction of laws and bylaws mandating the adoption of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in the healthcare sector.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Capacity: The Philanthropy Buzzword For 2015 That's Missing

Source: Forbes

In many ways, these are changing times in U.S. philanthropy. The emphasis on data and measuring impact more closely, pushing for scale and large-scale solutions, social investing and performance metrics, crowd-funding and digital networks has created the sense that the social sector – and nonprofits along with it – has reached an inflection point that may soon fundamentally shift the way funds are raised and spent on causes and social change.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: What Africa Really Needs to Fight Ebola and Other Emerging Diseases: Anti-Corruption Efforts

Source: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

As Ebola’s death toll surpasses 8,000 people, well-intentioned individuals have been suggesting different strategies to contain the crisis. Many of these recommendations have included the use of modern technologies like cell phones, coupled with innovations such as a global rapid response team. But more than anything, what Africa really needs is simply more investment in its people and its basic health care infrastructure, along with reduced corruption—making sure that the money sent to lay the foundations of public health actually goes where it is supposed to.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

PRESS RELEASE: Unified Signal, Inc's Mobile Wallet Software Solution Chosen to Launch Mobile Payments in Serbia

Source: Market Wired

Unified Signal, Inc. (OTCQB: UNSI), a leading software system in the telecommunications and mobile payments industry, today announced that it has received approval from the Central Bank of Serbia to enable the country of Serbia with its 7+ million population with the company's innovative and secure mobile wallet technology. Once deployed, the technology will allow Serbian expats in the US to move money to people living in Serbia and vice versa. Money will be transferred in real time to the recipient and for a fraction of the cost of industry competitors. The system will also allow for all people living in Serbia to freely pay for goods and services using their mobile phone.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Latin America

MasterCard and Movistar Launch Peru's First Mobile Money Service

Source: Finextra

With the goal of promoting financial and social inclusion in Peru, Movistar, in alliance with MasterCard, has announced the launch of “Your Mobile Money” (Tu Dinero Movil), the first electronic money service in Peru, which will offer users significant savings in their money transfers.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

Used Sanitary Napkins Pose Serious Health Hazards

Source: Yahoo!

Women’s menstrual hygiene products are becoming a public health and environmental menace, raising questions on how they can be disposed safely.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Responsible Investors Needed in Weak Microfinance Markets

Source: Forbes

Four years have passed since the launch of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, a compact signed by 40 global investors in the Netherlands. The introduction to these principles states:
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zambian MFIs Complain of Negative Impact of Bank of Zambia Interest Rates Limits

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

The decision by Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to limit interest rates that licenced non-banking financial institutions can charge customers had a negative effect on micro-finance institutions (MFIs) performance last year.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

What's So Different About China's Mobile Payments' Ecosystem

Source: PYMNTS

There’s plenty of differences between the mobile commerce market in the U.S. and the mobile ecosystem seen in China.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Bitcoin: A Ponzi Scheme for Redistributing Wealth From One Libertarian to Another

Source: The Washington Post

If Bitcoin were a currency, it'd be the worst-performing one in the world, worse even than the Russian ruble.
TAGS:bitcoin
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

China Approves New Polio Vaccine, Shows Innovative Muscle

Source: Reuters

China has approved a new polio vaccine, the first of its kind to be produced in the country, a month after local authorities gave the green light for a home-grown Ebola vaccine amid Beijing's push to become a world leader in producing innovative drugs.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: No, Climate Change Is Not the Biggest Risk to Global Health

Source: The Conversation

Climate change will cause all sorts of problems for humans in the future. It could cause mass migration and conflict as people flee flooded homes or arid farmland, and fight over ever more scarce resources. It’ll mean economic slowdown as industries are hit and societies cough up the money required to adapt to the new world. Climate change will even affect your health.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Helios Investment Partners raises US $1 billion African investment fund

Source: Disrupt Africa

Pan-African private investment firm Helios Investment Partners has raised over US$1 billion for a third Africa-focused fund, with the firm claiming the fund is the largest in existence dedicated to African private equity.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Britain's CDC Invests $48 Million in Narayana Hrudayalaya

Source: The Economic Times

British government-owned development finance institution CDC has invested $48 million in Bengaluru-based Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital chains for a minority share.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Latin America

Absolute Portfolio Management Invests $8.5m in Microfinance Institutions in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru

Source: MicroCapital

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset management group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it disbursed credits totaling the approximate equivalent of USD 8.5 million from its two Vision Microfinance funds, the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance and the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance Local Currency, to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Watch Out, Guinea Worm, Here Comes Jimmy Carter

Source: NPR

This past fall, President Jimmy Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, celebrated his 90th birthday. Looking ahead, he's also hoping to celebrate the global eradication of Guinea worm disease (also known as dracunculiasis).
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asian Development Bank Commits to $1.5b in Loans for Indonesia’s Infrastructure Development

Source: The Jakarta Globe

The Asian Development Bank pledged its support for Indonesia’s development plan and is committed to disburse at least $1.5 billion in loans to the country to help fund various infrastructure projects, the multilateral lender’s president said on Tuesday.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Names Amit Bouri as New CEO

Source: The GIIN

New leadership seeks to usher in next phase of stakeholder mobilization and market innovation to mature the impact investing industry
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Latin America

Where Cellular Networks Don’t Exist, People Are Building Their Own

Source: Wired

Inside the cloud that is perpetually draped over the small town of San Juan Yaee, Oaxaca, Raúl Hernández Santiago crouches down on the roof of the town hall and starts drilling. Men wearing rain gear of various impermeabilities cluster above him, holding a 4-meter-tall tower in place. Braided wires trail from four small circles welded near its midpoint; eventually those will be bolted or tied down in order to hold the tower steady during the frequent storms that roll through this part of Mexico’s Sierra de Juárez mountains. They don’t want it falling over every time it rains. Ninety thousand of the town’s pesos—a bit over $6,000—are invested in the equipment lashed to the top of the tower, in a town where many residents get by on subsistence agriculture.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Warned of Risks of Cybercrime Targeting Online and Mobile Banking

Source: ITWeb Africa

Global security services provider Kaspersky Lab has presented an overview of general threats in 2015, as well as that which is expected to dominate Kenya's threat landscape. The Company explains why there can be no respite for being vigilant.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Spending on Medical Research Falls in U.S. While Growing Globally

Source: U.S. News and World Report

Spending on medical research is waning in the United States, and this trend could have dire consequences for patients, physicians and the health care industry as a whole, a new analysis reveals.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

End in Sight for World Bank's Controversial Reforms

Source: Devex

In an internal email to staff distributed Tuesday, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim set an end date for his reform agenda and announced that the global financial institution will provide more open-ended contracts for its employees — part of a new framework that supports the career development of staff.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three NGOs Fighting Tuberculosis with Mobile Tech

Source: Forbes

Tuberculosis kills over a million people each year, mostly in developing countries, where poor public health systems hamper efforts to diagnose and treat it. But NGOs are now embracing new mobile health technologies that could help fight the disease more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Etisalat Partners with Firstbank to Provide Mobile Money in Nigeria

Source: allAfrica

In a partnership which industry watchers hailed as capable of entrenching financial inclusion and lead innovation in mobile payment systems, Etisalat Nigeria and FirstBank have teamed up to provide Firstmonie on the Etisalat Easywallet SIM application solution.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Asia Pacific

New One-Stop Resource Centre for Social Enterprises to Be Launched

Source: The Straits Times

Instead of seeking help at multiple locations, social enterprises will be able to go to a new one-stop resource centre to be launched in the second quarter of the year. Social enterprises are businesses with a social mission.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Institutional Investors Making Renewables Key Future Trend

Source: Investments and Pensions Europe

Institutional investors are increasingly aligning their investments with energy technologies of the future, a new report claims.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

Technology and Garbage Dreams in the Silicon Valley of India

Source: Re/code

The Indian city of Bangalore is home to more than 15,000 waste pickers — overall, India houses 1.5 million waste pickers. They earn their daily living by sifting through the city’s 4,000 tons of solid waste for recyclables they can sell for payment.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact investor Gray Ghost Ventures to Raise $60 mln Third Fund

Source: PE Hub

Impact investor Gray Ghost Ventures said it is raising a $60 million third fund that represents a big step up from its $35 million second fund in 2009. The firm expects a first close on about $25 million in March, said CEO Arun Gore.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

How Nanobiophysics Can Stop Ebola and Other Global Pandemics

Source: Wired

In an age of cell phones, human genome sequencing, and Google self-driving cars, even the world’s best hospitals (and airports) are still relying upon a thermometer (a 400-year-old technology) to decide who to quarantine for Ebola. The result of these antiquated approaches for diagnosing Ebola has resulted in over 1,400 Ebola suspects in the U.S. today who still have not received a definitive diagnosis.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

28 Philanthropy Issues to Watch in 2015

Source: Inside Philanthropy

As the New Year gets underway, we could conjure up a list of "top trends" in philanthropy for 2015 or make a bunch of predictions that we would probably regret twelve months from now, along with all the junk we ate over the holidays.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

Health Minister JP Nadda for Innovation of Cheaper New Drugs

Source: The Economic Times

Union Health Minister JP Nadda today underlined the need for innovation of new drugs at low cost which are affordable to the poorest, even as he sought to strike a balance between the commercial and medical spendings.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

SunEdison, Adani to Invest $4 bln in Indian Solar Panel Plant

Source: Reuters

Solar power firm SunEdison and Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises plan to invest up to $4 billion in what would be one of India's largest solar panel makers, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts an investment summit. On the sidelines of Modi's Vibrant Gujarat gathering of statesmen and business leaders, the two firms said on Sunday that the new joint venture project would manufacture low-cost photovoltaic solar panels, helping turn sunlight directly into electricity at cheaper rates. Solar energy in India costs up to 50 percent more than power from sources like coal.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Asian Development Bank Loans $200m to Yes Bank of India to Fund Women’s Self-Help Groups, Small Farmers

Source: MicroCapital

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution based in the Philippines, has recently approved a loan of up to USD 200 million to Yes Bank Limited, an Indian commercial bank based in Mumbai. The loan will be on-lent to “2.5 million rural, low income women”[1] who are members of self-help groups and “up to 37,000 small-scale farmers”[1] working in rural areas of the country. The loan agreement also includes a provision for USD 1 million to be used for technical assistance for capacity building, including financial literacy training and product development.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

96% of Financial Pros Say Industry Has a Trust Problem

Source: LifeHealthPro

Financial services providers agreed almost unanimously that the public doesn’t trust the industry, and they appear to be shouldering most of the responsibility for that lack of trust.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

Venture Capital Investors Plan $2 Billion New Funds for Indian Startups

Source: The Economic Times

Venture capital investors are on the road to raise nearly $2 billion, or about Rs12,400 crore, in new funds this year to power the next generation of emerging businesses in India's booming startup sector.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: 100 Million Entrepreneurial Lifelines - Elumelu Foundation Expresses Shock At Women's Poor Response

Source: allAfrica

Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. and Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu has expressed disappointment with what he described as Nigerian women entrepreneurs' poor response to the $100 million lifeline provided by the Foundation's Africa capitalism Institute for entrepreneurs to boost industrialization in Nigeria.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Two Leading Ebola Vaccines Show ‘Acceptable Safety’

Source: UN News Centre

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that two promising Ebola vaccines appear safe and could soon be tested in West Africa, as the agency wrapped up an expert meeting in Geneva earlier today.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Portable Retinal Imaging System Approved

Source: Federal Telemedicine News

Si14, an original design and technology development laboratory announced that their D-EYE Portable Retinal Imaging System www.d-eyecare/com, registered with both the FDA and the European CE Authority is now approved to be marketed in the U.S. and in Europe. Dr. Andrea Russo, an ophthalmologist and PhD candidate researcher with the University of Brescia Italy, partnered with Si14 to develop the device.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

Postal Bank Wins Government Backing in India

Source: The Telegraph

The government is looking to take the legislative route by next month to finalise the setting up of the Postal Bank of India and will soon approach the RBI to consider the postal department's application for a banking licence.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Why and How We Can Set Up a Clinic On Every Mobile Phone

Source: Techzim

Tech entrepreneurs seem to be describing a nightmare when they share accounts of when they had to deal with the regulatory authorities whilst striving to introduce tech solutions for health.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

Ujjivan Financial Services Clinches Single Largest Funding Deal in India's Microfinance Sector

Source: The Times of India

UK's Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), private equity investors CX Partners, Newquest and a unit of Bajaj Group are leading a Rs 600-crore investment in Ujjivan Financial Services, clinching the single largest funding deal in India's microfinance sector, sources directly familiar with the matter said.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Haiti: Business, Not Charity, Is the Key to a Better Future

Source: The Guardian

Five years after the big earthquake, Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown’s attempts to help Haitians secure a prosperous future have taught her that philanthropy simply isn’t enough.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

What Alibaba Is Getting With Its $575 Million Investment In Paytm

Source: Wall Street Journal

Alibaba Group and its financial-services affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group’s planned $575 million investment in the online-payment and marketplace businesses of India’s One97 Communications called Paytm will be the Chinese company’s first major investment in India’s fast-growing e-commerce industry. A deal between the two companies will open the floodgates for large amount of cross-border trade between India and China. Here’s what you need to know about Paytm.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

E-Wallets catching on in India

Source: The Financial Express

In a rush to board a train in time, Shivani Bhargava, a 19-year-old Delhi University student from Mumbai, ends up in a tight spot after she forgets her wallet at home. After getting down at the station in Delhi, she has to book a cab and reach her hostel at the earliest, but doesn’t have the cash or cards to do so. Enter Meru Cabs’ ‘cab wallet’. All she does is tap her mobile app and, voila, the payment is made. “Not only did I reach my hostel safely, but I also got a 30% discount,” says Bhargava.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Drones’ New Mission: Saving Lives in Developing Countries

Source: The Guardian

They still aren’t delivering Amazon packages. But in Haiti, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, drones have helped rescue natural disaster victims – and transport medical samples and supplies.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Social Stock Exchanges – Do We Need Them?

Source: The Conversation

Public interest in the development of global impact investing received a significant boost last year, due to an international campaign to divest in fossil fuels by superannuation, pension, and university endowment funds.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Microcapital Brief: Investview Acquires Gate Global Impact, Gateway 2.0 Will Continue to Link Social Enterprises, Funders

Source: MicroCapital

Gate Global Impact (GGI), a US-based, regulatory-compliant electronic marketplace that focuses on impact investing, has been acquired by Investview, another US-based financial services company [1]. As part of the deal, Investview has also acquired GGI’s Gateway 2.0, a website that enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) listed on the United Nation’s Global Compact Social Enterprise Hub to access financing for projects intended to produce a financial return while addressing challenges relating to “human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.” Investview intends to continue operating the platform through GGI. Mr Vincent Molinari, the chief executive officer of GGI, and Mr Joseph Latona, president of GGI, will join Investview. The financial details of the deal have not been made public.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — South Asia

The Real Magic of Carpets: Transforming 28,000 Lives With $200

Source: TakePart

One man’s idea to double salaries and let artisans work from home has created a positive ripple effect across five states in India.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — South Asia

Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips

Source: NPR

It's a new way to do silk screening, that's for sure. Bangalore-based Achira Labs has figured out a way to hand weave diabetes test strips from silk. That sounds pretty luxurious compared to the standard materials of plastic or paper. But silk turns out to have several advantages in a country like India, where weavers who can work a handloom are abundant and the material is readily available and inexpensive.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tailor-Made Vaccine Set to Banish Africa's Meningitis Epidemics

Source: World Bulletin

The website of a global partnership formed to wipe out deadly meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa is closing down with a simple message: "Thank you and goodbye!".
Friday, January 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Capitalism Begins at Home

Source: The Economist

Joseph Schumpeter argued that the miracle of capitalism lies in democratising wealth. Elizabeth I owned silk stockings, he observed, but the “capitalist achievement” does not lie in “providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.” In most areas of life this miracle has been working magnificently: in America the number of hours of work that it takes to buy a car, or a wardrobe full of clothes, has halved in the past generation. But in three big areas it has singularly failed to operate: health care, education and housing.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Cloud-Based Tool Improving Healthcare Across the Developing World

Source: The Guardian

Part of a series profiling the finalists in Unilever’s Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, Daniel Yu explains how his social enterprise, Reliefwatch helps track and deliver essential supplies.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Dirty Money and Development

Source: Live Mint

Dirty money—MNCs’ undeclared profits, the proceeds of corruption, etc.—can play a large role in ending poverty.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insecticide-Treated Nets May Create Super Mosquitoes

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Two species of mosquitos have interbred, giving rise to hybrids that can resist the most potent weapons used against them.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Army of Women Educates on Trachoma in Ethiopia

Source: Voice of America

An army of women” in Ethiopia has been recruited to teach friends and neighbors how to prevent trachoma, an eye disease that’s preventable but still very common in many parts of Ethiopia. The confederation of national development NGO’s -- Light For The World – has been working to implement national eye health initiatives to prevent trachoma and other eye diseases through the World Health Organization’s initiative “VISION 2020—the right to sight”.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — South Asia

What If We Gave Microcredit to Tech Talent in Developing Countries?

Source: Deseret News

Outsourcing things like call center work and data entry to developing countries has been a trend for a long time, but those are mostly low-skill, low-paying jobs.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

J&J and Bavarian Nordic Start Clinical Tests of Ebola Vaccine

Source: Reuters

Johnson & Johnson has started clinical trials of its experimental Ebola vaccine, which uses a booster from Denmark's Bavarian Nordic, making it the third such shot to enter human testing.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — No Region Specified

Community Foundations Embrace Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

A small, but growing, number of community foundations are starting to embrace impact investing in a big way.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Q&A On Impact Investing In Africa With Issam Chleuh

Source: AFKInsider

Africa Impact Group has been identified as a leader in impact investing across the continent, investing in funds, organizations and companies with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact along with financial return.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Menstrual Cups Are Lifesavers for Girls in East Africa

Source: Inquisitr

Menstrual cups are proving to be lifesavers, and are changing the way girls in East Africa deal with something every single female in the world does: their period.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

These Hilarious Inflated Backpacks Are Actually Delivering Cheap Local Energy To The Rural Poor

Source: Fast Company

Millions of rural villagers around the world still cook with wood and charcoal, with all the limitations and inconveniences that implies. Women spend time and energy collecting and hauling wood, which contributes to deforestation and takes them away from more productive uses of their time. Worse, burning wood and charcoal inside homes produces extremely unhealthy fumes. Biogas produced from organic waste, such as cow dung and farm cuttings is a good alternative, because it's lightweight and clean burning. But it's not possible to have a bio-digester—a system for breaking down the waste to produce biogas—in every person's home. That's too expensive and impractical. You need upwards of five or six households invested in a digester to cover its costs.
TAGS:energy
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Japanese Drugmakers Addressing Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Not Just Out of Altruism

Source: The Japan Times

Japanese drugmakers are developing medicines to treat infectious diseases that have been overlooked because there is little financial incentive.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — South Asia

Lok Capital aims to raise $45 million fund by June

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: Lok Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation-backed impact investor, aims to raise $45 million (about Rs 270 crore) by June as part of the initial close of its third India-focused fund. Lok Fund III, announced a couple of months ago, has a final target corpus of $100 million and expects to raise capital commitments from development financial institutions such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), Proparco and CDC Group.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Research, Policy, and the Private Sector: Sir Richard Feachem on Malaria

Source: Devpolicy

Sir Richard Feachem led the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from its inception in 2002 until 2007, just one part of his illustrious career in public health. We were fortunate to host Sir Richard in November for a Development Policy Centre seminar.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates’ Plan to Help the Developing World Profit From Its Sewage

Source: Wired

Bill Gates walks up to the water tap, but before he can drink, his entourage pulls him to one side. One woman takes off his glasses and rearranges his hair. Another dabs on a little makeup. And, at one point, someone hands him a Mason jar.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

7 Family Planning Trends to Watch for in 2015

Source: Devex

This year promises to be an interesting one for international family planning. Here are seven issues and trends to watch for:
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — South Asia

Kerala to Build Largest Social Entrepreneur Network of Women

Source: Gulf News

After the success of its women empowerment initiatives such as Kudumbashree — a women oriented, community-based, poverty reduction project — and She-Taxi, South Indian state Kerala is gearing up to set another landmark seeking to create the country’s largest social entrepreneurship network of women.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Never Mind Corporate Responsibility, Companies Can Solve Actual Social Problems

Source: Co.Exist

In the world of management research, Michael Porter is a rockstar. His "Five Forces" framework is a key tool in the field of strategy and his books have canonical status within MBA programs (even if most students haven't actually read all 592 pages of Competitive Advantage). In an industry known for fast-talking gurus, Porter—who teaches at Harvard Business School—is an intellectual.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — Latin America

Bolivian Women Bank on Sweet Success of Quinoa Bars

Source: The Guardian

Women in a Bolivian cooperative hope to boost income by adding value to their quinoa crop through making chocolate-coated energy bars.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Malaria Vaccine? Genetic Engineering Turns Parasite Into Vaccine Candidate

Source: Genetic Literacy Project

Malaria is one of the Great Diseases. This mosquito-borne illness killed some 627,000 people in 2012, most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts in the last decade have cut mortality rates for the disease by an impressive 45 percent, but malaria continues to be a massive public health burden wherever it persists.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — South Asia

OPINION: Let India Make Cheap Medicines

Source: Deccan Herald

Last November, the United States and India announced an important breakthrough concerning India’s “right-to-food” programme.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Taking Health to the Global Scale

Source: UCSD Guardian

UCSD has become one of the first universities in the nation to offer global health as an undergraduate program.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Companies and NGOs Can Work Together to Tackle Food Security

Source: Devex

While the year of agriculture and nutrition, as declared by the African Union, may be over, those issues will undoubtedly remain top development priorities and can present unique opportunities for collaboration with business.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Ebola Survivors in West Africa to Share Stories via Mobile App to Help Fight Stigma

Source: Reuters

Ebola survivors in the three West African countries worst hit by the epidemic will share their stories through a mobile application to be launched on Monday, in a UNICEF-backed campaign to inform and fight stigma around the disease.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Charity and Investment Should Work Together

Source: The New York Times

When it comes to our greatest social and environmental challenges, let’s first ask: What problem are we trying to solve? Once we know where we’re headed, we can better understand which methods and resources are most needed. Charity and social enterprise both have critical roles. Increasingly, we are seeing the ways charity and social enterprise and investment can work together effectively – along with smart government policy – to drive real and lasting change.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — South Asia

Unilever, P&G Try Tweaked Formulas, Higher Prices for Developing World

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

Marketers are counting on many more reactions like hers throughout the developing world. For decades, consumer-goods companies expanded in emerging economies through rock-bottom prices and small, affordable pack sizes. At Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-goods maker by revenue after Procter & Gamble Co. , that meant one-use sachets of Sunsilk shampoo and 3½-ounce bars of Lifebuoy soap. But now, with the global economy sluggish and emerging-market sales growth waning for the first time in years, companies are employing a developed-world strategy with their poorest customers: Pack more features into basic products and raise their prices.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria Requires $51bn to Fix Healthcare System

Source: Business Day

Nigeria would require about $51 billion (10 times of public health expenditure in 2012) to catch up with more advanced health systems in developed economies including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries by 2030, according to a report of the World Economic Forum (WEF)and Boston Consulting Group, the world’s leading advisor on business strategy.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Challenges for the Post-2015 Development Era

Source: PLOS Blogs Network

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 18 infectious diseases – caused by parasites, viruses, or bacteria – that disproportionately affect the poor and cause significant health and financial burdens. NTDs are endemic – meaning that they regularly infect humans – in 149 countries, with over 1 billion people infected and 2 billion people at risk. These diseases are largely treatable and preventable through control of the insects that carry these diseases, improved water quality and sanitation, and the efficient delivery of drug treatments already donated by major pharmaceutical companies.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Automated Mobile Phone Service Hopes to Stop Spread of Ebola in West Africa

Source: The Guardian

People in rural areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea battling Ebola could be helped by an automated phone service that offers advice about how to avoid contracting the virus.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — South Asia

Aavishkar Venture Capital to Raise $400 Million in 2015

Source: The Economic Times

Aavishkar, the country's biggest social entrepreneurship-focused venture capital fund, is set to raise $400 million (Rs 2,500 crore) in 2015. This would be the biggest amount raised by any fund focusing on the social sector or impact investing in the country.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — South Asia

How 'Desh' Deshpande Is Helping Indian NGOs Scale Up

Source: Forbes India Magazine

Tech billionaire Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande is helping NGOs scale up and sustain philanthropy initiatives on their own steam. His formula for self-reliance is relevance followed by innovation.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Anti-Diabetic Drug Seen as More Effective Treatment for Tuberculosis

Source: Enterprise Innovation

Scientists have discovered that a drug for treating diabetes - Metformin (MET) - can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing drug resistance.
Monday, December 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Vaccine Trial in Africa May Support More Potent Version

Source: Bloomberg

An experimental Ebola vaccine showed it was safe and generated an immune response in healthy Ugandan adults in a clinical trial that bodes well for a more potent version undergoing testing.
Monday, December 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bringing HIV Labs by Backpack to Rural Africa

Source: IEEE Spectrum

When John Barber, a project manager at Daktari Diagnostics, sought to test his company’s instrument, he went to the type of place where the technology might have the most impact: a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. He awoke at dawn on a November morning in 2013, tossed a few Daktari devices into a backpack, and, together with a team of HIV-treatment specialists, drove 2 hours to the village of Kasensero, where the first Ugandan case of HIV was reported more than 30 years ago. Driving a Jeep along dirt roads with more cows than traffic, “we were off the grid,” Barber recalls.
Monday, December 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How to Combat Malaria with Mobile Phones

Source: Wired

Martin Edlund likes to say that malaria may one day be the first disease beaten by mobile phones. Yes, he happens to be the CEO of the non-profit Malaria No More, so he has to say stuff like that. But no, it's not a total pipedream.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How to combat malaria with mobile phones

Source: Wired

Africa, where malaria kills around 400,000 children every year, is set to top 1 billion mobile phone subscriptions by next year. That means that public health researchers will have one billion ways to communicate with -- and collect data from -- the people who are most at risk of catching malaria, a disease that has traditionally been extremely difficult to track.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bringing HIV Labs by Backpack to Rural Africa

Source: Spectrum

Daktari is planning to roll out its portable CD4 tester in 2015 across sub-Saharan Africa. The Daktari device is part of a new wave of lab-in-a-backpack instruments that can bring diagnostic testing directly to patients and health workers in the developing world.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Vaccine Trial in Africa May Support More Potent Version

Source: Bloomberg

An experimental Ebola vaccine showed it was safe and generated an immune response in healthy Ugandan adults in a clinical trial that bodes well for a more potent version undergoing testing.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 — Latin America

How Gravity (And a Little Coagulant) Could Transform How Communities Clean Water

Source: This Big City

Purifying water is a problem as old as civilization. When people started living together in anything bigger than traveling bands of shepherds and hunters, potable water became a shrinking resource. The rotating belt of local oases or springs could satisfy you while you were constantly on the move but once you started needing the communal watering hole to keep your animals upright or your crops alive, cooperation became more tenuous and waterborne diseases became sundry. Getting sick from your drinking water was the tradeoff for settling down, and we’ve been repaying the debt ever since.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

An Entrepreneurial 2015: How This Businessman Launched A $100m Programme

Source: Ventures Africa

Tony Elumelu CON, is a Nigerian Entrepreneur, with over twenty years experience in the Banking and Investment sector in Africa. In the course of his career, Elumelu says he has met hundreds of entrepreneurs who carry in them the hope of Africa’s future. “Many of them young people with incredible dreams and business ideas but without the experience or the access to mentoring and support required in order to build a bankable business plan,” he said. With no access to the right resources and lack of know-how, the ideas remain dreams in the hearts of the young African population, while the continent’s growth is stifled by high rates of unemployment and poverty. But not for much longer.
Monday, December 22, 2014 — South Asia

Mahindra Comviva Powers India's 'First' Health Care App by Telangana Government

Source: PCC Mobile Broadband

The Telangana Government today announced the launch of India’s first dedicated health care app for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to provide citizens with convenient access to healthcare as part of its effort to fulfill the Digital India Initiative. The app which is powered by Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions was conceptualized by the Healthcare Innovation Cell (HIC) of the Ministry of Health.
Monday, December 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Gates Foundation Donates $4.9m to SK Chemicals' Vaccine Project

Source: The Korea Herald

SK Chemicals Co., a petrochemical unit of South Korea's third-largest conglomerate SK Group, said Sunday it has received a donation of US$4.9 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its project to develop a vaccine for typhoid fever.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Videos Nominated for the Rusty Radiator Awards 2014

Source: Rusty Radiator Awards

The Rusty Radiator Award goes to the fundraising video with the worst use of stereotypes. This kind of portrayal is not only unfair to the persons portrayed in the campaign, but also hinders long-term development and the fight against poverty.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Banyan Green raises Rs 1 crore from I3N, other angels

Source: Economic Times

Banyan Green Fuels, a startup that develops customised biofuels for clients, has raised Rs 1 crore from Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) and other angel investors.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Incentive Program May Alter the Economics of Ebola Vaccines

Source: CP24

Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a little piece of legislation that may significantly change the economics of making drugs or vaccines to protect against Ebola and other viruses in its deadly family.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Banking is Not Taking Off as Expected, Banker Warns

Source: BD Live

Mobile phones have been touted as the solution to banking for the poor in Africa, given that phone penetration is so high. However, some bankers warn it is not that simple.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Are Impact Accelerators/Incubators Targeting Emerging Markets Any Good?

Source: Forbes

Seems every time you turn around, there’s a new impact incubator or accelerator aimed at social enterprises in developing countries. But that doesn’t mean they’re any good.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Triotech Raises $3 Million From Singapore VC Firm Bluehill

Source: The Economic Times

Mobile payment services company Triotech Solutions has raised $3 million (nearly Rs 19 crore) from Singaporebased venture-capital firm Bluehill in its first round of funding.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank commits over $1 billion to Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

The fund would benefit almost 36 million people by improving the quality of primary education, building coastal communities’ resilience to natural disaster, and increasing the nutrition and cognitive development of children.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Seven Breakthroughs That Will Transform Global Health

Source: The Guardian

Which major breakthroughs in technology have had a transformative effect on the lives of the world’s poorest? Vaccines for polio and other serious diseases; HIV anti-retrovirals; mosquito bed-nets with powerful insecticide infused into its fabric. All have transformed lives by dramatically reducing disease.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe Government Moves to Lower Money Transfer Charges and Broadband Prices

Source: Techzim

It looks like we are headed towards cheaper mobile money services and lower broadband prices if the State’s word is anything to go by.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Myanmar anticipating a leap-frog in development through financial inclusion

Source: OECD Insights

An overview of the Financial Access Landscape and the usage of financial services by consumers in Myanmar.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Nestle-NGO Tie-Up to Provide Adolescent Health Education

Source: India Gazette

In order to inform adolescents about the benefits of proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Nestle India signed an agreement Wednesday with Magic Bus India Foundation, an NGO, a company statement said here.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Is India approaching a perfect storm in digital financial services?

Source: Live Mint

In the use of digital technologies, financial services in India lag behind other sectors. But a perfect storm may soon come and enable technology-led disruption at a far greater scale.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A with Ashoka’s Maria Escorcia: Boosting Entrepreneurship for Social Change

Source: Miami Hearald

Changemakers can come from anywhere, including the corporate world. Just look at Maria Escorcia, director of the South Florida chapter of Ashoka, a nonprofit that supports a network of 3,000 social entrepreneurs around the world.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Home vs. Mobile Clinic-Based HIV Testing and Counseling in Rural Africa

Source: Medical Xpress

Home- and community-based HIV testing and counselling services can achieve high participation uptake in rural Africa but reach different populations within a community and should be provided depending on the groups that are being targeted, according to new research published in this week's PLOS Medicine by Niklaus Labhardt from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and colleagues from SolidarMed, a Swiss non-governmental Organization for Health in Africa.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can Innovation Help the Poor Escape from Payday Lenders? Ford Thinks So

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The Ford Foundation has been working to close the racial wealth gap for over two decades, a gap much in the news these days, and one part of that effort has been to help "unbanked" low-income people escape from the shady world of payday lending and worse, and access the financial services that middle-class people take for granted. To that end, Ford recently gave $1 million dollars to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to continue its work on building financial tools for the underserved.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Simple but Impactful: Transforming Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain

Source: Impatient Optimists

Vaccine supplies and logistics are a fundamental component of any immunization system. In Nigeria, any hope of achieving the goal of 87 percent vaccine coverage by 2015 will remain out of reach unless vaccines and devices reach heath facilities on time and in the right quantity. The greatest difficultly lies in reaching the last mile—getting vaccines to those in the hardest-to-reach corners of Nigeria.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Will Africa’s Mobile Money Revolution Take Hold?

Source: AFKInsider

When mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom launched its M-Pesa mobile payments system in Kenya seven years ago, few business models were as ripe to explode. With extremely high mobile penetration rates, a high proportion of unbanked households, a regulatory system that allowed telecoms companies rather than banks to lead the way, and a migrant population suffering from expensive domestic remittances, it is little wonder that more than two-thirds of Kenyan adults use the service today.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: Creating a Mobile Health Platform That “Just Works” for All

Source: PSI Impact

When something “just works”, there’s usually a mini-universe of people, technology and ideas behind it that the rest of us take for granted. Take bar codes for example; they’re ubiquitous, and serve multiple uses for every stage of a product’s manufacture and eventual sale. The tale behind them is an astounding story of vision, foresight, technological progress and, perhaps most importantly, the appropriate wrangling of partners that started with grocers and eventually cut across every industry.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: More Nations to Receive Tuberculosis-Fighting Drug

Source: allAfrica

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Janssen Therapeutics December 11 that aims to accelerate progress in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, specifically multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Corporate Commitment to Impact Investing Will Reach Record Heights in 2015

Source: PR Newswire

Madeira Global, a premier New York-based investment and advisory firm servicing qualified investors and institutions in the area of Impact Investing, today released its 2015 Impact Outlook for the marketplace. The firm asserts that corporate commitment to impact investing is set to reach record heights in 2015 due to the combination of heightened corporate social responsibility programs and a return to the laws of fundamental investing into companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices. The milestones seen in 2014, such as Prudential committing to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio by 2020, will serve as precursors to the 2015 impact investment landscape.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here’s How Much the Next Ebola Will Cost Us

Source: TIME

The global community cannot withstand another Ebola outbreak: The World Bank estimates the two-year financial burden price tag of the current epidemic at $32.6 billion. Unfortunately, the virus has revealed gaping holes in our preparedness for major infectious disease epidemics. Because of these, plus the urbanization of rural communities and globalization of travel and trade, more of these epidemics are expected.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — South Asia

State Bank of India to Provide Mobile Financial Services to Underserved

Source: Mobile Payments Today

Amdocs, a provider of customer experience products, today announced the selection of its mobile financial services product in association with Triotech's product, which will enable State Bank of India to offer mobile financial services to India's unbanked and underbanked population, using the mobile network of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. The solution will be delivered under a five-year services contract, according to a press release.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola: UN Says Health Workers in Sierra Leone to Receive Hazard Pay Using Mobile Money

Source: UN News Centre

Response workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will receive “hazard pay” for the first time in Sierra Leone using mobile money because “unless there is a certain element of incentives, or danger pay, it’s very difficult to attract and retain people,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

USAID head to step down

Source: USA Today

The administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development says he will step down in mid-February. Rajiv Shah, who has led USAID for five years, said in a statement that the agency is answering President Obama's call to end extreme poverty across the globe.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

2014 in Impact Investing: The Big Bang and its Aftermath

Source: The Huffington Post

Impact investing reached and surpassed the tipping point in 2014, ceasing to be an insiders' game.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Latin America

SunEdison, IFC, OFID, and CABEI Close $146M Financing for Solar PV Projects in Honduras Totaling 81.7 MW

Source: Solar Server

SunEdison Inc. (Belmont, CA, US) on December 15th, 2014 announced the closing of an approximately USD 146 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Cabs for Women, by Women: Could Ola Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

Source: Firstpost

G-cabs, one of the taxi companies operating in Gurgaon lists the following as a perk of availing their services: "A Panic button, at both the passenger's and chauffeur's end- assuring a safe journey." In the aftermath of the Uber rape case, this seems like an extremely helpful feature for a taxi service to have. However, what it also points out is that some of the solutions women are looking for in terms of safe travel are already available - at least on paper. There are at least four cab operators in the NCR region which offer women-only services - Vira, Priyadarshini, G-cabs, Sakha - however, people still tend to resort to services like Ola and Uber. A report on The Times of India today points out that Ola cabs now plan to make their services more women-friendly by launching a line of 'by women, for women' cabs. The move comes after threats of banning cab aggregating services like those of Uber and Ola.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Khosla Labs & Unitus Seed Fund to Incubate and Back Up to Six Aadhaar-Based Startups

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based startup incubator Khosla Labs has partnered with seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund to incubate and fund four-six startups working on the Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar) project.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: A New Direction for Global Health

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

It is easy to be discouraged about the state of international cooperation today, but global health remains an area in which the world has come together to do significant good. Over the last dozen years, international initiatives have delivered HIV/AIDS treatment to millions, expanded childhood immunization, and spurred a dramatic increase in global support for addressing other health challenges, from malaria to maternal health.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: 36.9m Nigerians Excluded From Financial System

Source: Thisday Live

Findings from the EFInA access to financial services in Nigeria 2014 survey has revealed that 36.9 million adults, representing 39.5 per cent of the population are financially excluded.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Reasons Today's Leaders Are Focused on Using Wealth and Power to Create Impact

Source: Business Insider

Leaders are migrating from figureheads to action figures. From bureaucrats to disrupters. From managing the established to creating and sponsoring more social impact.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: In Nigeria, 2.6 Million Adults Have Microfinance Bank Accounts

Source: allAfrica

A survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria in 2014 revealed that 2.6 million Nigerian adults representing 2.8 percent, currently have a microfinance bank account.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Canadian Funding Supports Creation of Mobile Blood Lab in India

Source: Toronto Star

Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the federal government, is providing $1 million toward the development of a smartphone device that will test for diabetes and other conditions.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cameroon Government, Mobile Operators Launch Service Allowing Tax Payments Through Mobile Money

Source: BiztechAfrica

The Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Underserved Markets Ripe for Insurance Innovation, Swiss Re Americas CEO Says

Source: Insurance Journal

Underserved populations and market niches are ripe with potential for insurance innovators who are willing to take on the challenge of creating opportunities in areas that may seem unprofitable at first glance, says the chief executive of the Americas unit for one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. And the ability to reach those markets digitally is key.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian Telco Indosat Launches ATM Card to Go with E-Wallet

Source: Tech in Asia

Indonesian telco company Indosat, in collaboration with Qatar National Bank (QNB), launched a mobile money ATM card this week, CNN Indonesia reports. The card is integrated with Indosat’s ewallet feature Dompetku, which now claims to be the first mobile money provider in Indonesia with a parallel ATM service feature.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Global Banking Alliance for Women Announces Partnership to Close Gender Data Gap in Finance

Source: PR Newswire

The Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) is proud to announce a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Data2X to expand the collection and use of financial data on women in economies around the world. The commitment was announced this morning at an event in New York headlined by speakers Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg, during a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton. The initiative aims to close the gender data gap in the banking sector, leading to greater financial inclusion and empowerment of women.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Copper Bedrail Could Cut Back on Infections for Hospital Patients

Source: NPR

Checking into a hospital can boost your chances of infection. That's a disturbing paradox of modern medical care. And it doesn't matter where in the world you're hospitalized. From the finest to the most rudimentary medical facilities, patients are vulnerable to new infections that have nothing to do with their original medical problem. These are referred to as healthcare-acquired infections, healthcare-associated infections or hospital-acquired infections. Many of them, like pneumonia or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can be deadly.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Phone Charging Made Simple

Source: allAfrica

Rwanda's Henri Nyakarundi founded African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) to give renewable energy solutions to the public and private sectors in his home country Rwanda after failing to find a place to charge his phone from. However, he never imagined that his idea would ever cross the border.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Sees Opportunity with Nigerian E-ID Cards

Source: Pymnts.com

There’s a lot of untapped potential in the Nigerian commerce market — which is growing — and MasterCard has discovered a marketing niche with the country’s national high-tech e-ID card pilot project.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

American Express Serve Announces Research Pilot to Encourage Consumer Saving

Source: Market Watch

American Express AXP, -0.91% today announced that it is kicking off a research pilot to study consumer savings behaviors using the Serve software platform. This research pilot can help identify new ways to promote saving and explore whether certain behavioral interventions are effective in increasing consumer savings. This program will also help inform research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the U.S. government agency charged with making financial markets work for American consumers, to better understand how to promote saving among consumers.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Johns Hopkins Team Wins Award for Improved Suit to Fight Ebola

Source: Daily Herald

For health-care workers taking care of Ebola patients in West Africa, one of the biggest logistical problems has been the "moon suits" they must wear to protect against being infected by the deadly virus. The suits are hot. Taking them off is a meticulous, multistep process that can leave no room for error.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Building India's growth by promoting MSMEs

Source: Money Life

The real drivers of employment and growth in India are not the exalted corporates, but MSMEs, its time to stop giving them a raw deal
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