Africa

ICANN, Make a Difference

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Elliot Noss
November 27, 2012 |

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is little known, but it wields a tremendous amount of power: It controls all of the Web’s top-level domains (those letters after the “dot,” like .com and .org). Currently, ICANN is in the midst of creating hundreds (and possibly thousands) of new, generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that span a host of different ideas, from .web to .cars to .anything_else_you_can_imagine. These new gTLDs have the potential to dramatically affect the future of Internet browsing, and they’re already stirring up some serious discussion.

From Protection to Investment

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Anjana Ravi,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2012

The way governments give aid to citizens in need has changed dramatically in recent years: the estimated number of government-to-person cash payments transferred electronically in 2012 has doubled from 2012 to 2009 — from 25 to 61 percent according to the data of countries examined by the Global Savings and Social Protection Initiative (GSSP).

Next Billion Big Idea Series: A 5 Billion Mobile Workforce

October 8, 2012
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This piece was originally posted on Next Billion as part of their Big Idea series on how businesses are using mobile applications.

This past month, in Armenia, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, and Vietnam, the World Bank organized hackathons bringing together over 300 mobile phone technologists and entrepreneurs. The gatherings focused on leveraging the spread of mobile phones to three-quarters of the world to connect excluded populations to the digital economy.

Investing in Girls

  • By
  • Jamie M. Zimmerman,
  • Nicole Tosh,
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
October 11, 2012

Over the last decade, anti-poverty initiatives across the developing world have increasingly focused on gender-based strategies, and in particular, on achieving equality and empowerment through gender-focused program innovation. While important progress has been made in the last several years, men still outnumber women in paid employment in almost every region of the developing world, with more women working informally, and in more vulnerable employment positions, than men.

Could it Finally Be Springtime for Nigeria?

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
October 8, 2012 |

Dusk can feel like an apocalyptic time of day to arrive in Nigeria. As your flight descends into Lagos's Murtala Muhammed International Airport, you could be forgiven for having second thoughts as plumes of haze from constant oil fires in the Niger Delta rise into the sky. Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted.

The New World

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Frank Jacobs
September 22, 2012 |

It has been just over 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the last great additions to the world’s list of independent nations. As Russia’s satellite republics staggered onto the global stage, one could be forgiven for thinking that this was it: the end of history, the final major release of static energy in a system now moving very close to equilibrium. A few have joined the club since — Eritrea, East Timor, the former Yugoslavian states, among others — but by the beginning of the 21st century, the world map seemed pretty much complete.

The Pivot to Africa

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
August 16, 2012 |

"A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is said to have remarked. For most Americans occupying the now-now-now world of Facebook, this probably feels apt. And until just over a decade ago, Zuckerberg's statement might equally have applied to Pentagon strategists. A 1995 strategy document from the Defense Department was hardly less blunt: "[U]ltimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa."

Youth Savings: Finding the Right Financial Tools at the Right Age

July 27, 2012
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Originally posted on nextbillion.net

With a third of the global population today under the age of 19 and 90 percent of these young people living in developing countries – 45 percent living on less than $2 a day—there is an urgent need to create easy and efficient savings mechanisms for the young.

Enhancing the Impact of Cash Transfers

  • By
  • Vishnu Sridharan,
  • New America Foundation
July 6, 2012

One of the most successful tools in the fight against poverty, one that has attracted increasing attention over the past decade, is social protection via cash transfers. In fact, the New America Foundation’s Global Savings and Social Protection Database – which focuses on Latin America, Africa, East and Asia – has identified over 90 cash-transfer programs in 45 countries, with over a half billion beneficiaries. As the Chronic Poverty Research Centre puts it, “social protection is critical in preventing descent into chronic poverty and reducing the depth of poverty...

Building Communities of Practice – the recent “Innovations in Youth Savings” workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka

May 30, 2012
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By: Ryan Newton, Women’s World Banking; Oshala Bandara, Hatton National Bank

Cross-posted on YouthSave.org

Around the world, girls as young as 10 years old accumulate money regularly, manage it actively, and want a safe place to save it. Unfortunately, financial institutions are traditionally oriented towards adults as customers and do not see youth as a viable target market. In an effort to shift the status quo, Women’s World Banking (WWB) joined 12 financial institutions in Sri Lanka last month to ensure that youth have access to comprehensive savings programs during its first international “Innovations in Youth Savings” workshop. Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, says that, “girls have been left behind in so many ways, including not having a way to build savings in their own name.” To address this issue, Ms. Iskenderian mentioned that, “Women’s World Banking is committed to helping financial institutions design savings products for young women and girls because we know that the development of saving and financial management skills will lead to an increased tendency among girls to pursue higher education, create businesses of their own, marry at a later age, or become property owners – all of which have broader implications for reducing poverty.”

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