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  • Summit seeks business buy-in for Commission for Africa plan, by Kevin O’Grady

    Top businessmen, government ministers and central bankers gather in Cape Town this week for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa Economic Summit , with the focus on making the Commission for Africa?s proposals a reality. Haiko Alfeld, the WEF’s director for Africa, said at a press conference in Johannesburg on Friday that this week?s gathering ?should be the place w...

    Business Day
  • Vietnam receives WB’s award for innovative environment project

    Vietnam has received about US$131,000 in a World Bank competition for the project Environmental Radio Soap Opera for Rural Vietnam. The project is aimed at reducing chemical pollution of the soil and farmer exposure to pesticides by developing a radio soap opera that educates farmers on environmentally-sound farming practices. The soap will be broadcast twice a week over the Voice of HCM City radio and other provincial radio stations to reach about 10 million farming hous...

    Asia Pulse
  • Coca-Cola using up water, foes in India contend, by Moni Basu and Scott Leith

    In the holiest of Hindu cities, water is worshipped every day. To touch the Ganges River in Varanasi is to be blessed; to die on its banks and have your ashes scattered in the waves is to find eternal peace. But Coca-Cola has found little peace at its plant in Mehdiganj, a village near Varanasi where life’s essential elixir is turned into 600 bottles of soda pop a minute. Some villagers want to close the bottling plant because they say Coke uses too much water,...

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Ripples of India’s prosperity touch its poor, by Saritha Rai

    It has been a year since the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came into power promising to embrace those excluded from the country’s new economic prosperity. While the impact of his government’s efforts to help the poor - like increasing credit to the country’s many farmers and pumping in money for infrastructure, especially in rural areas - will not show for another few years, experts say, the bounty from the expansion in manufacturing and services that has b...

    The New York Times
  • Micro finance is now bankable, by Keya Sarkar

    Given the amount of press that micro finance as an activity has got in recent times, coupled with a few pronouncements of the finance minister on the subject, a host of banks and finance companies are examining it as a business opportunity. But the way to go about it has eluded many of them, used as they are to the norms of lending for agriculture or corporate finance. It is in this context that I thought a documentation of the experience of ABN AMRO might prove useful. Especially s...

    Business Standard
  • Public interest, by Una McCaffrey reports

    Lay Heang sits proudly on the makeshift porch of her tiny shop, carefully eyeing the villagers who are crowding around, just to make sure she’s not missing any business. The chances of this are slim, as hers is the only snack shop in this settlement of 300 people, but, as Heang knows, success requires constant effort and attention to detail. She is 53, a ripe old age for Cambodia, where the life expectancy for women is 59, and has seen so many hard days that she is taking no risks when thin...

    Irish Times
  • study identifies realities of using free/open source software in Africa’s Comparison Study of Free/Open Source and Proprietary Software in an African Context: Implementation and Policy-Making to Optimise Public-Access to ICT was published this week to provide needed background information and advice to people who want to make sound software choices that are right for their local environments. The report represents the first comprehensive analysis of software choices in the African pu...

  • Migrant Workers Said to Gain as U.S. Money Transfer Business Revamps, by Ulysses de la Torre

    The cost of transferring money across borders continues to fall, giving millions of migrant workers in the United States new options for sending home billions of dollars in earnings. The entry of a variety of new businesses providing money transfer services -- commonly referred to as ’’remittances’’ -- threatens to shake up an industry long dominated by such household names as Western Union and Moneygram through a variety of strategies involving convenience, p...

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