Although there is a growing middle class in Africa, the lack of basic services, adequate infrastructure and access to banking are still pervasive. Rather than completely stifling growth, these deficiencies have become fertile ground for innovators whipping up solutions and products customized for the continent. In Africa, developmental challenges can be synonymous with opportunity. “We thank God for giving us many problems so that we can find solutions,” joked Kenyan Information and Communication secretary Bitange Ndemo to the Daily Nation at an IBM forum in February...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with blogsherpa
Having spent the last month living and working in Vietnam's capital city, I've learned some interesting things about Vietnamese culture that are worth sharing.
1. Traffic is chaotic, yet road rage doesn't seem to exist: By far the most obvious difference. While a driver's license is technically required in Vietnam, the traffic code is rarely enforced and driving is basically a free-for-all. Motorbikes are the predominant mode of transportation due to their low cost and maneuverability, and moto drivers will squeeze into every...Continue Reading >>
Last year, I served as a substitute teacher in my hometown of Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Now as a Kiva Fellow in Guatemala, I hope to maintain contact with the students.
This is my video journal.
... Continue Reading >>
It’s been just over two weeks since I arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, and there’s been much to take in. I’ve never been anywhere quite so foreign to me, where nothing about the culture, the food, the people, or the language is familiar. Chances are, these things aren’t familiar for many of this blog’s readers either. So for my first post from Mongolia, I’ve decided to take you through my new world through the senses, so you can get an idea of what it’s been like walking around in my shoes (or rather, my heavy winter boots).
I’ve been...Continue Reading >>
Pamhidzayi (Pamhi) Mhongera leads all new and existing projects at the MicroKing microfinance institution in Harare, Zimbabwe. As part of her role, she oversees the Kiva program under which Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to work their way up the socioeconomic ladder.
However Pamhi’s positive impact on her community extends beyond her daily work. She and her husband, Mustafa, launched...Continue Reading >>
Mary, far left, with the Sisal Sisters borrower group in Kakuyuni, near Tala, Kenya
The second day I was in Kenya I had the good fortune to spend the day with KADET staff profiling the top loan officer at the agency, Mary Ngenya, who works in the Tala region. Mary is considered THE BEST of approximately 80 loan officers in the entire organization which has offices all over Kenya; she manages one of the largest loan portfolios in the organization and in the six years since she’s been with KADET, her...
There is no shortage of articles documenting Africa’s position on the cusp of global development, with Kenya as a particular harbinger of those expectations. The Economist has reneged on writing off Africa as a “Hopeless Continent” several times since it featured the headline a decade ago. In 2011 it published “Africa Rising,” in which it identified 6 of the fastest growing countries in the world as African, with GDP growth surpassing East Asia. Last August, it...Continue Reading >>
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | AzerbaijanSomething big is happening here – and you don’t know anything about it.
As I explained in my last post, Azerbaijan has amassed great wealth due to its reserves of oil. It is the third largest oil producing country out of the CIS nations and the government oil fund, Sofaz, currently sits on $33.9 billion. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan took on a staggering initiative of modernization in order to shed its Soviet past and remake its own Azeri identity.
The frontline of... Continue Reading >>
MEET JESSIE GOLDENBERG: entrepreneur, New Yorker, and - as of today, Feb 25, 2013 - Kiva Zip’s 150th crowd-funded startup in the US.
Jessie is a smart, resourceful, double-shift working Brooklynite and NYU graduate. Her 6 month old business idea - turning a used 14-footer truck into a mobile fashion boutique that tours festivals, markets and college campuses called NOMAD - is already revenue-generating. So it begs the question: why did someone like Jessie...Continue Reading >>
Meet Henry Bartram,
A career private equity professional in London who, about a decade ago, gave up his suit and tie to manage the British Red Cross response in Aceh, Indonesia after the December 2004 tsunami.
This experience led him to more social impact opportunities and ultimately to him becoming a Kiva Fellow. Henry was a member a KF15 and KF16, serving in Liberia and...Continue Reading >>