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
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

They Call It 'Silicon Savannah': What an East African Nation Teaches About Innovation

Source: Mail & Guardian

Kenya giant mobile phone company Safaricom recently made a move that, if other technology firms in Africa follow, could have revolutionary effects. It launched a Shillings 50 million ($500,000) innovation fund.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smile, The Pan-African Wireless ISP, Has Raised $365 Million to Expand Its Network

Source: Quartz

Three years after launching Africa’s first 4G LTE services in Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, Smile Telecoms has raised $365 million.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Five Key Findings From the 2015 Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report & Scorecard

Source: Brookings

Convenient access to banking infrastructure is something many people around the world take for granted. Yet while the number of people outside the formal financial system has substantially decreased in recent years, 2 billion adults still do not have an account with a formal financial institution or mobile money provider.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Tech-based social solutions competition looking for nominations

Source: Social Story

The competition, organized by Siemens Stiftung, seeks to identify innovative technical solutions to tackle global challenges in basic supply in the developing world.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — South Asia

Death rate goes up with distance from district hospital

Source: The Indian Express

Better access to district hospitals may have prevented close to 50,000 of the estimated 72,000 deaths in India due to acute or sudden abdominal conditions in 2010, according to a study published in Lancet Global Health journal.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — South Asia

Bill Gates to Narendra Modi: You Need to Generate New Healthcare Models for India

Source: Firstpost

After over a year in power, the Narendra Modi government's decisions to cut federal welfare spending on the poorest of India's 1.25 billion people have come in for a sharp criticism, including from within his cabinet.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 — South Asia

India’s missing patients

Source: LiveMint

Lack of awareness and inaccessible healthcare have led to gross under-reporting of illnesses in India.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will BRICS Bank Challenge the Bretton Woods System?

Source: IPS News

The formal opening of the BRICS Bank in Shanghai on Jul. 21, following the seventh summit of the world’s five leading emerging economies, demonstrates the speed with which an alternative global financial architecture is emerging.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Launches Internet-Ready Commercial and Residential Addresses Initiative

Source: Biztech Africa

Safaricom has announced that it will be partnering with real estate developers in an initiative that will see the launch of new smart and internet ready addresses in different parts of the country.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 — South Asia

Here's Why Tata Power and Dabur Are Queuing Up to Assist Politicians in Rural Development

Source: The Economic Times

One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's more radical calls to action was the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana where members of parliament were tasked with the responsibility of developing three villages by 2019, in constituencies other than their own. It's found resonance not just with politicians eager to establish themselves as more than just a local entity but also with a slew of corporates.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The shipping containers tackling South Africa's chronic childcare shortages

Source: The Guardian

A social enterprise operating out of repurposed shipping containers is helping to tackle Cape Town’s lack of childcare facilities.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Twitter Users Share Four Billion Ebola Messages in a Week

Source: AllAfrica

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.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Building the Business Case for Health Sector Strengthening

Source: Devex

As the Ebola virus in West Africa wanes, multilateral and bilateral donors along with NGOs and country governments are making a concerted push to strengthen health systems across the developing world to protect against future health crises.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Tanzania Plans $100 Million Expansion in Rural Areas

Source: Bloomberg

Vodacom Tanzania Ltd., the country’s biggest mobile operator, will spend 200 billion shillings ($100 million) expanding its network this year to tap market potential in rural areas and add mobile-money subscribers.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — South Asia

Villagers Armed With Smartphones Can Help Stem the Rising Rate of Suicides in India

Source: Quartz

India has among the highest rates of depression in the world. If Deepika Padukone, a leading Bollywood actress, hadn’t talked publicly about her battle with depression, you probably wouldn’t know.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — South Asia

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Source: The Washington Post

China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in October of 2014 and has met with nothing but opposition from the United States. Officially, the objection cited by the United States is a lack of clarity about AIIB’s governance, as well as concerns about whether the AIIB will adhere to strict environmental and labor standards in its operations. It is clear, however, that U.S. opposition also derives from fears that the AIIB — spearheaded by China and part of China’s “New Silk Road” strategy — will diminish U.S. leadership in the region.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — No Region Specified

World Bank President Outlines Strategy to End Poverty, Welcomes New Development Partners

Source: The World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today announced a broad strategy to end extreme poverty by 2030, and he welcomed emerging players such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS countries, as potentially strong allies in the economic development of poor countries and emerging markets.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Healthiest (and Least Healthy) Countries in the World

Source: 24/7 Wall St.

World Health Day is on April 7, and people around the globe are turning their attention to health issues. The global infant mortality rate of 33.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013 has followed a long-term downward trend. Similarly, life expectancy has improved dramatically in recent decades. The improvements were uneven, however, and health conditions continue to vary widely between nations.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — South Asia

New Chinese Bank Becomes Major Headache for U.S.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Another day, it seems, brings another new member to China's latest big international initiative: a new development bank for Asia.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO, UNOPS Sign Agreement to Scale-Up Partnership in Africa's Health

Source: Xinhuanet

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to intensify collaboration on sustainable management of health programs and projects in Africa.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

The 169 Commandments

Source: The Economist

Moses brought ten commandments down from Mount Sinai. If only the UN’s proposed list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were as concise. The SDGs are supposed to set out how to improve the lives of the poor in emerging countries, and how to steer money and government policy towards areas where they can do the most good. But the efforts of the SDG drafting committees are so sprawling and misconceived that the entire enterprise is being set up to fail. That would be not just a wasted opportunity, but also a betrayal of the world’s poorest people.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Survey: 57% of Institutional Investors Believe ESG Has Positive Impact on Returns

Source: Pensions & Investments

Some 57% of asset owners and other institutional investors surveyed believe incorporating ESG into alternative investments decision-making has a positive impact on risk-adjusted returns, said a report Monday from Mercer and LGT Capital Partners.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — South Asia

This Poo Powder Aims to Help India’s Diarrhea Problem

Source: The Wall Street Journal

An organic mixture made of coconut, rice and lemons is under development to help limit the spread of diseases associated with open defecation and diarrhea in a country where more than half of the 1.2 billion population relieve themselves outside.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: China’s World Bank Has Rickety Foundations

Source: Reuters

If any country knows about the risks and rewards of building infrastructure, it is China. Over the past two decades, the People’s Republic has erected countless roads, dams, power plants, bridges and airports in its pursuit of economic development. The result has been a surge in debt, waste, corruption and pollution. It’s a dubious foundation from which to construct the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

3 European Powers Say They Will Join China-Led Development Bank

Source: New York Times

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Healthcare Needs a Critical Push

Source: Business Line

Changing disease patterns, low public spend on healthcare, and high out of pocket expenses have been the primary concerns leading to the formulation of the government’s new health policy. Economic advancement in India over the last two decades has enabled the government to take the cue and clearly articulate its intent to increase the public financing of health to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan to move toward affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Investments in African Schools, Health and Other Infrastructure Exposed to Climate Risks

Source: Reuters

Investments in African schools, healthcare and other infrastructure are at risk from the long-term impacts of global warming because governments and businesses are not considering climate information in their plans, researchers have warned.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Development Bank promises Kenya $500 million loan for infrastructure projects

Source: Standard Digital

African Development Bank (AfDB) will loan Kenya Sh45 billion ($500m) this year to finance major infrastructure projects in the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Pledges $1.6b for Infrastructure Projects in East Africa

Source: Asia One Business

The World Bank said on Saturday it will loan East African nations $1.2 billion (S$1.56 billion) to improve inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Race to Make Ebola Vaccine Pits Crazy Timeline Against Maddening Obstacles

Source: Bloomberg

Refrigeration is just one of the myriad challenges for GlaxoSmithKline Plc and other companies racing to create vaccines to fight Ebola. They’re facing issues ranging from packaging the drug in tiny glass vials for distribution, to assembling fleets of trucks and motorbikes to transport it along potholed roads, to monitoring subjects in a Swiss lakeside city to test the vaccine ultimately destined for villages in the African jungle.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

Healthcare providers in India to spend $1.1 billion on IT in 2014: Gartner

Source: Hindu Business Line

Healthcare providers in India are expected to spend $1.1 billion on IT products and services in 2014, a 5 per cent rise over 2013.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Techy Solutions for Health Systems

Source: Impact Magazine

There's a shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives worldwide, so there's a need to make the most of those currently in the field. Here are several ways to do that.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Secrets of Starbucks

Source: PSI Impact

Twenty years ago in Nepal, the first modern example of social franchising for health – the application of commercial franchising strategies to achieve public health goals – began expanding access to quality health services. This year, PSI and Marie Stopes International, two organizations that have long-employed social franchising to improve health outcomes, came together to create an online course on social franchising, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Friday, August 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Surviving Ebola: Africa cries out for healthcare boost

Source: Reuters

Surviving sickness can make you stronger. So while a western corner of Africa writhes in the deadly grip of the Ebola virus, there are signs this emergency may serve as a wake-up call to strengthen spending and investment on public healthcare in the world's least developed continent. "If anything, I think it is teaching us something," Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the African Union's Commissioner for Social Affairs, told reporters in Addis Ababa this month.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sanford looks to build hundreds of Ghana clinics

Source: The Island Packet

Sanford Health is looking to open more than 300 clinics in Ghana in the next five years to treat millions of patients. The Dakotas-based health network has opened five clinics in the African nation since 2012 and broke ground last week for a sixth.The clinics have treated more than 180,000 patients.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — South Asia

The Slumdog Millionaire Architect

Source: The New York Times

The offices of Hafeez Contractor, India’s most commercially successful architect, are on Bank Street, just around the corner from the Mumbai Stock Exchange.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank offers Angola $1 billion to fund infrastructure, agriculture

Source: The Africa Report

The World Bank will offer $1 billion in financing to help Angola rebuild infrastructure and develop its agriculture, an official at the Washington-based lender said on Monday.
Friday, May 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

OPINION: New Chinese investment fund aims to rival World Bank and ADB

Source: The Economic Times

If you can't beat them, outspend them. That seems to be the thinking behind a huge new infrastructure investment fund being promoted by China as an alternative to established international lending agencies.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

Can Islamic Finance Bridge Asia’s Infrastructure Deficit?

Source: East Asian Forum

The global Islamic debt securities (sukuk) market has grown rapidly, from just US$15 billion in 2001 to US$281 billion in 2013. This increase has been led by Malaysia, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent of total outstanding sukuk.
Monday, April 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vector control focus of World Health Day

Source: Times of India

Swarms of mosquitoes buzzing around people after dusk is a familiar scene on almost every city street. So World Health Organisation's (WHO) theme for World Health Day on Monday will clearly strike a chord in Chennai. WHO has identified vector diseases as biggest threat to health and have started a campaign with the tagline 'Small bite, big threat'.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

UK Drugs Firm GSK Announces Africa Investment

Source: Yahoo News

GSK will invest up to £130 million ($216 million, 157 million euros), including £100 million to expand existing manufacturing operations in Nigeria and Kenya and build up to five new factories in Africa, it said in a statement.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — South Asia

Rural Health Care Blamed for Infant Deaths in Kolkata, India

Source: The New York Times India

The national headlines in September were grimmer than usual, with newspapers blaring “Infant Death Horror” and “West Bengal Health Care in I.C.U.” on their front pages after 41 newborns died in B.C. Roy Memorial Hospital over a span of six days.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

GE Healthcare, CTSI to develop cancer care network

Source: Business Standard

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, on Tuesday announced a partnership with Cancer Treatment Services International (CTSI) to develop a network of 25 cancer care centres in India. Through five years, the two companies will together invest $120 million (Rs 720 crore) to establish these centres, through a hub-and-spoke model.
Friday, March 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Risky Business - Is China Wavering in Africa?

Source: allAfrica

Last month, officials from the Chinese Development Bank arrived in Ghana to re-negotiate a $3 billion oil-backed infrastructure deal.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Home Financiers Strike Deal for Bottom of the Pyramid in Kenya

Source: The Star Kenya

“Over the years, the country has accumulated a housing deficit of over three million, which has led to demand for housing exceeding supply and proliferation of slums. Now we are telling people to stop renting houses and move to their own homes.”
Friday, February 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

US, 26 countries launch effort to fight outbreaks

Source: Sioux City Journal

The U.S. and 26 other countries began a new effort Thursday to prevent and fight outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases before they spread around the globe.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

CDC health projects improve disease detection and control

Source: The Observer

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) global health security (GHS) projects on early disease detection, response and prevention in Uganda and Vietnam have resulted in improvements in those areas.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opinion: A Wealthier Africa Will Depend on Health Care

Source: The Japan Times

The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) have long been the focus of emerging-market investors. But it is in Africa, a region with the world’s second-fastest growth, where the next big business opportunities lie.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Power imbalances between nations 'undermining global health efforts'

Source: Medical News Today

A joint commission from The Lancet and the University of Oslo in Norway finds that the imbalance of political power between nations is failing to protect the public's health, and calls for urgent reform in global decision making.
Monday, February 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Philips joins AMREF for Africa health

Source: East African Business Week

Royal Philips and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) announced that they will work closely together in an innovative shared-value partnership model designed to bring about a structural improvement in the healthcare infrastructure and healthcare provision on the African continent.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile devices to empower health workers under MMPs

Source: Financial Chronicle Live

Adoption of Information Technology is important in improving access to healthcare in India. After pilot projects in a few states, Central Ministry of Health is planning to empower health workers with handheld devices like mobiles phones for data collection at the grass-root level.
Friday, January 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Connected health to redefine India’s journey as an economic superpower, says Accenture

Source: InformationWeek

Despite its growing economic prowess, India ranks among the bottom five countries with the lowest public health spending globally and accounts for 21 percent of the world’s burden of disease.
Friday, January 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Global Pilot Project Demonstrates Disease Containment

Source: Voice of America

U.S. and international public health officials have launched two successful demonstration projects - in Africa and Asia - to show how a quick response to outbreaks can contain infectious diseases.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Ending Malaria May Be More About Backhoes Than Bed Nets

Source: NPR Blogs

Wiping out malaria is still a top goal for many leaders in global health.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indonesia’s Universal Healthcare — Will it Work?

Source: Global Indonesian Voices

The rollout of universal health coverage in Indonesia has been greeted with public enthusiasm, but health experts warn that inadequate funding could undermine the quality of care.
Friday, October 4, 2013 — Latin America

Colombia to improve capital city’s public transport system with IDB loan


Colombia will improve its public transportation system in Bogota with a $40 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), making its hallmark bus system better as well as cleaner.
Friday, October 4, 2013 — South Asia

ADB clears $700 mn loan for Indian infrastructure development

Source: Business Standard

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $700 million in loans to support the Indian government's efforts to accelerate investment in infrastructure which the country requires to ensure strong economic growth.
Thursday, October 3, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa's Richest Man To Build 1,000-Bed Hospital

Source: Forbes

Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote plans to construct a 1,000-bed hospital in Kano, which when completed will be the largest health facility in the northern state, Nigeria’s Channels Television has reported.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

Zuckerberg Wants to Bring the Whole Planet Internet Access

Source: Mashable

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to bring Internet access to everyone. Late Tuesday he announced the launch of, an initiative to bring Internet access to the two-thirds of the world's population that can't get online.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

Africa: Invest in Ourselves for Profit and Social Good - Elumelu

Source: All Africa

When President Barack Obama announced his administration's US$7 billion 'Power Africa' initiative in Tanzania this month, Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu was at his side. His Heirs Holdings investment firm pledged $2.5 billion towards an estimated $9 billion private-sector fund to boost the electrification project.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 — No Region Specified

Aid for Trade — can it really reduce poverty?

Source: Devex

Developing countries are increasingly opening up more to crucial trade routes, which connect them to world value chains.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WEF: Africa's Growth March to Continue in Stride

Source: IDN

There is good news from Africa. The continent is witnessing the second fastest economic growth, and according to knowledgeable sources it may grow even faster in 2013. What is more, currently Africa accounts for 14 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) with a total amount of USD114 billion in 2009, representing 3% of global SWFs, and that share is expected to increase in future with the establishment of new SWFs.
Monday, January 14, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Telemedicine Project On Track Year After Plan Was Hatched


A year after a plan to connect Rwandan hospitals through telemedicine was announced, the government says the project is set to start soon in some district hospitals.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Observing the Arab Spring, African Bankers Devise Economic Strategies

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

The African Development Bank (AfDB) was established in 1964 to guide the continent onto a path of sustainable pan-African economic growth and reduce poverty. Heading its efforts is Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice president at the multilateral bank, which is temporarily headquartered in Tunisia.
Friday, October 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Group mitigates poverty with alternative building technology

Source: Creamer Media's Engineering News

JSE-listed energy and chemicals group Sasol’s enterprise development vehicle, ChemCity, believes alternative building technology (ABT) has the potential to curtail unemployment and poverty – two of South Africa’s most pressing issues.
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