Articles by Sasha Kapadia
An Overlooked Engine of Economic Growth: Delivering Products – and Enabling Livelihoods – in Refugee Communities
The Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps in Kenya are home to nearly 200,000 people from 22 countries. Contrary to the stereotype of refugee settlements, these are thriving communities with around 2,500 businesses and over $56 million in economic activity per year. But as Sasha Kapadia at Mastercard points out, their economic growth is stifled by a lack of reliable electricity. She discusses a public-private partnership co-chaired by Mastercard and USAID, which is training people in these communities as sales agents for solar energy products, to spur entrepreneurship and boost access to energy and other essential products.
Serving Refugee Communities with Tech, Energy Access, Entrepreneurship: Mastercard and USAID’s Collective Approach
Last year, USAID and Mastercard established the Smart Communities Coalition (SCC), a network of 35+ public and private organizations. The group is developing new ways companies, NGOs, governments and UN agencies can co-design and co-implement programs that empower people and enable growth in energy access, connectivity and digital tools. Katrina Pielli with USAID and Sasha Kapadia with Mastercard explain why the group chose to focus on Uganda and Kenya as pilot countries, which collectively host over 1.5 million refugees.