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  • UI launches micro awards scheme

    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...

    The Jakarta Post (link opens in a new window)
  • Business has key role in ending poverty

    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...

    The Irish Times
  • Drug Prices in Kenya Sickeningly Expensive

    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...

    The East African (link opens in a new window)
    Sub-Saharan Africa
  • MTN Tweaking Tariffs, Denies Price War

    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 ...

    Business Day (link opens in a new window)
  • Housing Microfinance ’To Take Off in Africa’

    The trend of providing microloans to poor people to buy houses is likely to rocket in the next few years as an alternative to conventional bank mortgages, says low-income finance expert David Porteous . While delegates to the African Microfinance Conference in Cape Town agreed that housing microfinance was gaining ground across Africa, commitments by the large South African banks could provide a fresh twist to this tale. Un...

    Business Day (link opens in a new window)
    North Africa & Near East
  • Aid is Not the Answer

    There is an inherent paradox in the debate about poverty alleviation that escapes even the most sophisticated observers in the West. Consider the conventional thinking about China and India: They are seen as a threat to the West. The fear is not only about exporting well paying U.S. jobs but also about competition for resources such as oil and commodities. Yet India is home to more than 500 million people who live on less than $3 a day. In China...

    The Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)
  • Neglected Poor in Africa Make Their Own Safety Nets

    Nogaye Sow is a humble street vendor in a rough patch of urban Africa, but hidden in her flowing robe is a weathered piece of cardboard that helps put her on equal footing with those who work in air-conditioned offices instead of at the curb. It is a makeshift health insurance card, with photographs of her, her seven children, her granddaughter and two other relatives pasted inside. When they get sick, they receive free consultations at the clinic down the road, cut-rate medicine and peace of...

    The New York Times (link opens in a new window)
  • Intel’s Community Computer

    Following AMD’s PIC, Intel showcased a rugged PC designed for developing countries, that can tolerate harsh climate, intermittent electricity, dust and bugs while accessing the Internet without wires. Via video from India at the Intel Developer Forum, San Francisco, the Intel-based PC, or community computer is meant to provide Internet access to entire communities and villages in rural and remote areas. The effort is in line with Intel’s strategy to bes...

    Source (link opens in a new window)
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