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  • Bank Throws Lifeline to Africa’s Private Sector

    Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Mumbai In a massive boost to Africa’s private sector, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank arm that finances companies, is to almost treble its support on the continent over the next five years to more than $1bn a year. The expansion in financing to the continent will involve a doubling in IFC financing for projects in SA over the next year to about $200m. Part of the IFC’s unfolding plan is for it to play a fa...

    Source
    Business Day (Johannesburg) (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Brazil’s retailers start offering credit to a big new market: The poor

    M?rcia Regina da Cruz, a 40-year-old janitor and mother of three, decided to splurge. Da Cruz, who lives in S?o Vicente, a coastal town an hour’s bus ride from S?o Paulo, made a purchase in September equal to one-fifth of her monthly salary. She bought three irons - one for herself and two as gifts for her mother and sister - for 72 reals, or $33. It was a big purchase, she said. I normally couldn’t pay for it. She could, thoug...

    Source
    The New York Times (link opens in a new window)
  • Pro Mujer Launches Integrated Microfinance Program in Argentina, Targets the Most Impoverished

    Pro Mujer, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Latin America’s poorest women help themselves through micro-credit, business training and health care linkages announced today the launch of operations in its fifth Latin American country, Argentina. With financial support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Pro Mujer plans to initiate operations in the province of Salta, Northern Argentina at the beginning of December 2005. An Argentine wine tasting event will be held Nov...

    Source
    Yahoo! Finance (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Latin America
  • The $100 Laptop Moves Closer to Reality

    A novel plan to develop a $100 laptop computer for distribution to millions of schoolchildren in developing countries has caught the interest of governments and the attention of computer-industry heavyweights. First announced in January by Nicholas Negroponte, the founding chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, the initiative appears to be gaining steam. Mr. Negroponte is scheduled to demonstrate a working prototype of the device with United Nations Se...

    Source
    Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)
  • Philips to Take Telemedecine to the Hinterland

    Electronics major, Philips, is expanding its presence in the Indian healthcare delivery system through telemedicine by putting more mobile units on roads benefiting villages. Women in villages are already seeing the benefits of telemedicine. We now look forward to extending the technology to interior rural pockets, Gerard J. Kleisterlee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Philips Electronics, The Netherlands, said here on Sunday.

    Source
    The Hindu (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    South Asia
  • Are microloans the miracle cure for poverty in developing nations?

    While the exceedingly generous $100 million gift to Tufts University last week to fund microlending initiatives supported that notion, it may be premature to declare this hyped program to help the poor a success. At first glance, the goal of microlending is exciting and innovative: By making small loans to help impoverished people start small businesses, microlenders appear to turn those who are marginalized by mainstream banks into successful entrepreneurs. The gift by P...

    Source
    Boston Globe (link opens in a new window)
  • Grameen Foundation USA Releases Village Phone Replication Manual

    First Manual to Provide a Proven Model for Establishing Telecommunication Access in Poor, Rural Communities through Microfinance The Village Phone program partners microfinance institutions with telecommunications providers to offer both microenterprise opportunities to the very poor in rural regions, as well as provide the entire community access to telecommunications that are generally unavailable. (CSRwire) Washington, D.C. - Grameen Foundation USA (GFUS...

    Source
    CSRwire (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Rural Farmers Can Benefit From Mobile Phone Extension

    Liberia’s mobile phone companies are extending services to residents in the 16 counties of Liberia. Lone Star Cell and Libercell now lead the extension of mobile phone services, even though CellCom and Comium are also in the business. Besides providing services in Montserrado County, Lone Star Cell and Libercell are providing mobile phone communication in Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong, Lofa, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties respectively. Thi...

    Source
    Liberian Observer (link opens in a new window)