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World Bank to sign water pact with US

March 22nd, 2011  |  Source: Responsible Investor


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank marking World Water Day today at the bank’s Washington headquarters. The MOU will strengthen support to developing countries seeking a water secure future, the State Department said.

Fraud Plagues Global Health Fund

January 23rd, 2011  |  Source: HuffPo/AP

A $21.7 billion development fund backed by celebrities and hailed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, The Associated Press has learned.

Much of the money is accounted for with forged documents or improper bookkeeping, indicating it was pocketed, investigators for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria say. Donated prescription drugs wind up being sold on the black market.


A Call for Continued Open Standards and Net Neutrality

November 22nd, 2010  |  Source: scientificamerican.com

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, warned that social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster constitute one of "several threats to the Web's universality."

In an article in Scientific American, Berners-Lee argues that the openness of the Internet is at risk and must be defended lest we "lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want."

Controversial tourism company operating in Botswana wins ‘World Savers Award’

September 30th, 2010  |  Source: http://www.business-humanrights.org


Controversial tour operator Wilderness Safaris has won a ‘World Savers Award’, despite erecting a luxury tourist lodge with swimming pool on the land of Kalahari Bushmen who are struggling for water...

Wilderness Safaris opened the Kalahari Plains Camp inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2009, having failed to consult the Bushmen on whose ancestral lands the lodge sits. The lodge sports a bar and swimming pool for tourists, while Bushmen in the reserve are banned from accessing a well which they rely on for water...


Making Do launches at Maker Faire Africa 2010

September 3rd, 2010

Making Do, a new book by Steve Daniels, highlights the power of the Jua Kali (hot sun) industries in Kenya. Here’s an excerpt, from The Atlantic.


Bernard Pécoul: championing the cause of neglected diseases

August 28th, 2010  |  Source: The Lancet

Scientists don't tend to set much store by superstition. Even so, for Bernard Pécoul, then at Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), the fact that a key meeting to set up the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiatives (DNDi) happened on the same day that MSF won the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize seemed like a good omen. MSF committed the prize money to finding solutions for neglected diseases, a cause that Pécoul took up with a passion.


On the Frontier of Mobile Banking: Equity Bank and Safaricom Launch a Revolutionary Bank Account in Kenya

May 28th, 2010

M-PESA customers to enjoy banking services on their mobile phones

[PESA meaning money in Kiswahili, so literally Mobile Money]

Nairobi based Equity Bank and Safaricom have launched an ultimate bank account that facilitates customers to transfer money to and from their M-PESA Equity bank accounts via their mobile handsets while enjoying other benefits that come with their bank account.

7.6 million Kenyans have bank accounts out of an estimated bankable population of 19 million.


The Fall of African Poverty

March 13th, 2010  |  Source: Aid Thoughts

From a paper by Xavier Sala‐i‐Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiy:

The conventional wisdom that Africa is not reducing poverty is wrong. Using the methodology of Pinkovskiy and Sala‐i‐Martin (2009), we estimate income distributions, poverty rates, and inequality and welfare indices for African countries for the period 1970‐2006. We show that:


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