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Friday, September 30, 2005 — No Region Specified

In India, Thinking Big by Thinking Small

Source: The International Herald Tribune

With every debit card replaced by a thumbprint, every mutual fund peddled at a village store and every insurance policy sold in $2 bits, a new variety of bank is germinating in the bleak, unlikely soil of rural India. One in nine human beings is an Indian villager, and 70 percent of Indian villagers have no bank account, inhabiting a financial parallel universe in which savings are a gold necklace and loans come from pistol-packing moneylenders. As global megabanks penetra...
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Friday, September 30, 2005 — No Region Specified

High Taxes Keep Mobile Phones Out of Reach - GSMA

Source: Daily Champion

High taxes in many developing countries have made mobile communications unaffordable for hundreds of millions of people, holding back social and economic development, according to a study by the GSM Association (GSMA). GSMA is the global trade association representing more than 680 GSM mobile phone operators across 210 countries of the world. In addition, more than 150 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's initiatives as key partners. According to the GSMA res...
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Thursday, September 29, 2005 — No Region Specified

Sub-$100 Laptop Design Unveiled

Source: BBC News

Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Labs, has been outlining designs for a sub-$100 PC. The laptop will be tough and foldable in different ways, with a hand crank for when there is no power supply. Professor Negroponte came up with the idea for a cheap computer for all after visiting a Cambodian village. His non-profit One Laptop Per Child group plans to have up to 15 million machines in production wi...
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

The handsets, wholesale-priced at under $30, are targeted for markets such as India, South Africa, N

Source: InformationWeek

Taipei, Taiwan ? The campaign to provide ultra low-cost handsets to developing markets crossed into its second phase Tuesday (Sept. 27) with Motorola Inc. rolling out several models based on its C11x platform that bring the wholesale cost below $30. Motorola introduced the new models at the 3GSM World Congress in Singapore when the GSM Association revealed the company had again won the tender to supply handsets to operators in emerging countries. The phones are targeted for markets a...
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

Expanding public-private partnerships is the best way to achieve African development breakthroughs

Source: Financial Times (Letters)

The best solutions are found when the public and private sectors join forces. Sir, Jeffrey Sachs' article (Ambition and action are as important as commitments, September 15) calls for urgent, comprehensive action by the international community to achieve internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals and a Green Revolution for Africa. It is true that the UN and Bretton Woods i...
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Friday, September 23, 2005 — No Region Specified

Infineon develops platform design for ultra low-cost mobile phone

Source:

The market at the bottom of the pyramid has begun to attract the attention of a variety of industries; one of the most recent being the semiconductor industry. ? A German company, Infineon Technologies, has developed a platform design for an ultra low-cost (ULC) mobile phone that the company believes could bring down the production cost of a functional mobile phone to below $20 from the current level of $35. ? At a press conference held today by Infineon, S Surya, managing di...
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Friday, September 23, 2005 — No Region Specified

Managing Beyond the Bottom Line

Source: FORTUNE

It's a business, not a moral, rating. It looks at the world's biggest corporations and asks, Do they understand how to create and exploit effective business opportunities by addressing the needs of the poor? Do they understand how to make money by investing in environmentally sound business practices? Are they, in short, prepared to maximize the opportunities for our changing world? Corporate social responsibility used...
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Thursday, September 22, 2005 — No Region Specified

Better and faster than politics

Source: New Statesman

Big business does much more to end global poverty than you might suppose.? Last summer I had a choice. On the one hand, I could take a senior role in a progressive think-tank at a fascinating time in British politics: the Blairite agenda was long in the tooth and the big questions - about justice, equality and nationhood - were proving themselves very much alive. On the other hand, I could join a consultancy helping international businesses sell to the world's four billion poorest people.
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Thursday, September 22, 2005 — No Region Specified

Twenty Five Global Innovators Named as 2005 Tech Museum Awards Laureates

Source: Press Release

The Tech Museum of Innovation today announced the 25 Laureates for the 2005 Tech Museum Awards , presented by Applied Materials, Inc. At a black tie awards gala on November 9, Silicon Valley leaders and representatives from partners the United Nations Development Programme, The World Bank Institute, and Santa C...
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

Nokia aims new phone at emerging markets

Source: Reuters

Mobile phone giant Nokia said Wednesday it was expanding its range with a new handset to sell cheaply in rapidly growing emerging markets. The Finnish group said the folding 2652 model would have an estimated retail price of 100 euros ($121) and be sold from next month in China, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Nokia said it still saw plenty of untapped opportunities and was committed to ...
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Wizz Kids And Cellphone Banking

Source: Mail and Guardian

It would seem that MTN Banking was not the first to market with a pure cellphone banking product. Wizzit, a small company that has purposely stayed under the radar screen for fear of being trampled on by the bigger banks, launched a cellphone-banking product in November last year. Without any above-the-line advertising, it has sent 740 previously unemployed Wizz Kids into the townships and rural communities to assist people in opening a Wizzit account on their cellphones --...
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

CFA 225,000 Million For Small Enterprises

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Poverty reduction goes with increasing riches and creating employment. This has so far been the major challenge both to government and the private sector. Avenues for obtaining loans have remained blurred, making things rather difficult for small enterprises. In order to pave the way for them to easily obtain credits and realise projects that can alleviate their poverty state, government in 1999 created the Private Enterprises Credit Agency (ACEP) with major objective to: promote the development...
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Monday, September 19, 2005 — No Region Specified

Arroyo Highlights Importance Of Microfinance In Creating Jobs

Source: Asia Pulse

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo underscored Monday the importance of microfinance in generating jobs and spurring the growth of entrepreneurship nationwide. In her keynote address before the Stakeholders Forum on Microfinance held at Philippine Presidential Palace Malacanang's Heroes Hall, the President said one of her administrations 10-point agenda is to develop three million entrepreneurs in 2004-20l0 through microfinance and medium enterprise loans. The President ha...
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Monday, September 19, 2005 — South Asia

$100,000 Development Gateway Award Goes to India's eChoupal

Source: Development Gateway Press Release

eChoupal , a program of ITC Ltd., of India, has been chosen from a group of 135 nominees as the winner of the Development Gateway Award 2005. The $100,000 award recognizes eChoupal?s impact in enabling millions of farmers in India to improve their livelihoods with access to information on growing and marketing their products. Read the What Works ...
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Friday, September 16, 2005 — No Region Specified

Safaricom Subscribers Hit 3 Million

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

Mobile phone service provider Safaricom has attained the three million active subscriber mark ahead of its fifth year birthday next month. Aside from installing a new highly advanced Intelligent Network (IN) platform, our growth this year has been largely driven by our rural expansion, and a range of new products and services, chief executive officer Michael Joseph said. He described the signing of the three millionth subscriber as a momentous feat. ...
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Thursday, September 15, 2005 — No Region Specified

Business Impacts on Millennium Development Goals: A Virtuous Cycle or a Coin Toss?

Source: CSR Wire

A new World Business Council for Sustainable Development report profiles corporate initiatives to alleviate poverty, but focuses less attention on how business may confound such goals. The notion that business plays an important role in alleviating poverty and other United Nations ( UN ) Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs )...
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Thursday, September 15, 2005 — No Region Specified

Fair Returns, Job Creation, Not ?Just Charity? Is Path To Success For Business In Developing Eco

Source: CSR Wire

Mixed awareness and understanding of the Millennium Development Goals among many companies and how the MDGs relate to business Africa least likely to attract investment, most in need of it, report says ( CSRwire ) New York -- In an in-depth survey, fielded by Edelman, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of Harvard's Kennedy School o...
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005 — No Region Specified

Analysis: Private Sector - Key to Economic Growth

Source: AllAfrica.com

The private sector only gets a brief mention in the Millennium Development Goals. Yet it is business - entrepreneurs, employers, investors and workers - who are best positioned to help Africa achieve the Goals. Take Goal 1, perhaps the most important of the MDGs, which sets the target of halving poverty by 2015. This will not happen unless there is sustained economic growth in Africa at a minimum level of seven percent. But such growth will only come as a result of private sector effor...
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

African nations fare poorly in business rankings by Andrew Balls

Source: Financial Times

Poor African countries impose far more obstacles to setting up and operating businesses and creating jobs than any other part of the world, the World Bank said on Monday. For the first time, the bank?s Doing Business report provided an overall ranking for the ease of conducting business in its 155 countries, at the behest of Paul Wolfowitz, who took over as bank president in June. In the past it has only listed the top performers, partly to avoid offending those at the bottom...
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

New Hope for SMEs

Source: New Era

The Small Business Credit Guarantee Trust (SBCGT) is to be transformed into a finance institution that will provide financial services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). As early as next year, the trust, which will also undergo a name change to be more reflective of its new role, will start lending money to SMEs. The institution will lend out money to individuals and groups at market related interest rates to avoid market distortions. As a micro lending institution,...
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

Solar House System changes rural economy in Bangladesh

Source: Financial Express

The World Bank-funded Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED) project, which has a target to install 50,000 Solar Home Systems (SHSs) in remote rural areas, has achieved a notable success three years ahead of the schedule, reports UNB. Three special ingredients - creative partnerships, clever technical designs and financing - have contributed to the success of Solar Home Systems, said a World Bank press release. Infrastructure Development Company Ltd...
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Monday, September 12, 2005 — No Region Specified

Capitec Gives Mzansi a Run for Its Money in Rural Areas

Source: Business Day

The cracks are starting to show in the Mzansi bank account, launched last year by South Africa's large retail banks, as smaller banks offer cheaper banking and extend services to previously neglected areas. South African banks launched the low-cost Mzansi account last October in an effort to provide affordable and accessible banking to the poor in accordance with the financial services charter, which stipulates banks must provide services within 20 km of 80% of all people in living standa...
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Monday, September 12, 2005 — No Region Specified

Africa Open for Business: Stories That Deserve to Be Reported

Source: AllAfrica.com

Business activity is a subject that is sometimes missed in international reporting about Africa. Despite that, Africa produces some impressive economic statistics: a 144 percent annual return by the Ghana Stock Exchange, high savings rates and low corruption in Botswana, and South African firms that are investing across the continent and listing on stock exchanges in Britain and the United States. With large and expanding markets for communication and technology, agriculture and mining, Afric...
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Friday, September 9, 2005 — No Region Specified

UI launches micro awards scheme

Source: The Jakarta Post

With the year 2005 having been declared by the United Nations as International Year of Microcredit, the University of Indonesia 's Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Center launched its Global Micro-entrepreneurship Awards (GMAs) earlier this week. The GMAs -- which are also sponsored by Citigroup and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) -- are expected to encourage small entrepreneurs to ac...
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 — No Region Specified

Business has key role in ending poverty

Source: The Irish Times

Today 20,000 people will die from poverty, hunger and preventable diseases in the world's poorest countries. This shocking statistic is at the heart of this year's global anti-poverty campaign. Its simple message is that continuing poverty and death on this scale is no longer morally or politically acceptable. The September UN summit in New York will take stock of progress made in working towards the Millennium development goals agreed by world leaders in 2000. Ma...
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Drug Prices in Kenya Sickeningly Expensive

Source: The East African

Kenyans pay up to 17 times the internationally-recommended prices for some branded medicines, and up to three times for their generic forms, reports Dagi Kimani COMPETITION AMONG KENYA'S 600-odd registered pharmacies as well as a vibrant drug manufacturing sector have failed to lower the cost of medicines in the country, says a Ministry of Health survey. According to the survey, Kenyans pay up to 17 times the internationally-recommended prices for some branded medici...
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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 — No Region Specified

MTN Tweaking Tariffs, Denies Price War

Source: Business Day

Vodacom cut pre-paid tariffs twice in a week, arguing the new rates would attract more customers from the lower end of the market. The first cut prompted a drop in the share price of MTN and Vodacom's majority shareholder Telkom. South Africa's second biggest cell phone operator MTN is planning a tariff overhaul, but said on Friday it would not engage in a price war with rival Vodacom, which has cut rates twice in a week. Maanda Manyatshe, chief executive of ...
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