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  • Small generator aims to empower Africans

    Excerpt: Originally created to give an emergency kick-start to stalled boat engines, the sleek little South African-designed machine, pumped with one foot, can charge a cell phone battery in five minutes or a car battery in 30. The device’s creators, who plan to distribute it across swaths of Africa far from the power grid, hope it will energize economic development efforts as effectively as it does dead cell phones. Residents of Musheri Center, fit but fatigued from bicycling lon...

    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Peso power brings hope to poor

    Excerpt: E very weekend Hilario Amador makes the short journey to the city centre of Zacatecas where he deposits 120 pesos with Patrimonio Hoy, a self-help building scheme run by Cemex, Mexico’s largest cement company. The money is equal to about 20 per cent of his weekly wage at a local abattoir and it has allowed the 38-year-old to receive regular supplies of the materials he needs to tile the floor, repair the roof and build two extra rooms...

    Source
    Financial Times (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Latin America
  • Business Joins African Effort to Cut Malaria

    Excerpt: With malaria spread across southern Mozambique, executives at the international mining company Billiton expected some workers to call in sick as it began building a massive new aluminum smelter amid the cornfields here. What they did not expect was that nearly one in three employees would fall ill ? 6,600 cases in just two years. And they certainly did not expect 13 deaths, not after the company had built a medical clinic, doused the construction site with pesticides and hand...

    Source
    The New York Times (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Banco ProCredit looks to boost loan portfolio 57% this year – Ecuador

    Excerpt: Ecuadorian niche bank Banco ProCredit aims to increase its loan portfolio to US$115mn by the end of this year, up 57% on end-2005, CEO Pedro Arriola told BNamericas. The bank’s strategy focuses on strong growth in the small and microenterprises segment, a significant increase in its deposits base and development of a wide range of financial products, the executive said. The average loan extended by ProCredit is US$2,500 and its clients typically earn just US$5...

    Source
    Business News Americas (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Latin America
  • Uganda: USAID Pushes for Rural Mobile Banks

    BANKING institutions have been urged to start rural mobile banking services to attract more people into the banking industry and help the country instil a savings culture; much lacking in Uganda. The service that involves making banking transactions through a combination of banking technologies such as Point of Sales Services, Automated Teller Machines, Mini-ATMs (Movable ATMs) and mobile phones does not necessarily require bankers to visit banks. (...

    Source
    The Monitor (Kampala), D. Livingstone Ssempijja (link opens in a new window)
  • Small business growth could reduce poverty in Indonesia: World Bank

    Excerpt: Small businesses, which employ millions of Indonesians, could become major engines of economic growth in this cash-strapped country and help reduce poverty, the World Bank has said. Indonesia’s 15.7 million small enterprises make up more than 90 percent of all businesses and employ up to 60 percent of the workforce, outside agriculture, but their growth is hindered by access to credit and poor infrastructure, the World Bank’s Indonesia director said in a report rel...

    Source
    TodayOnline.com (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Asia Pacific
  • Rwanda: The Village Phone Comes to Rwanda

    Excerpt: The Grameen Foundation of USA, in collaboration with MTN Rwanda, is re-energising its Village Phone scheme to bring mobile telephones to rural communities where no telecom services have existed before....

    Source
    AllAfrica.com (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Wireless: From zero to 3G – A cellphone utopia?

    Executives in the cellphone and computer industries are fond of speaking about bridging the digital divide, the gap between people with access to technology and those without. But translating the talk into action is not easy. In addition, the benefits of high-tech gadgetry for the poor often are not evident. How do you bring Internet access to remote villages in Africa? And are people’s lives going to improve once they can get online? The GSM Association, a trade group that represents...

    Source
    International Herald Tribune, Eric Sylvers (link opens in a new window)
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