Tag Archives: developing world

Filling in the gaps – understanding white space spectrum

Technological innovation and information communication technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing world nations to foster economic growth and development, improve levels of education and training, as well as address gender issues within society. Put simply, ICTs help reinforce, converge and integrate all three key pillars of sustainable development, and also support and facilitate the…

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The changing landscape of financial inclusion

Today, there is broad recognition that access to capital is only one of the inputs required for economic development and poverty alleviation. Furthermore, the marginalised — like anyone — require and use a variety of financial services for a variety of purposes. And some of these services work better than others, for reasons we are…

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The importance of financial inclusion in the developing world

Financial inclusion poses policy challenges on a scale and with an urgency that is unique for developing countries, which house nearly 90% of the world’s unbanked population. Developing country policymakers have recognised that complex and multi-dimensional factors contribute to financial exclusion and therefore require a comprehensive variety of providers, products and technologies that work within…

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Matching reforms to institutional realities

Social service delivery is weak across the developing world. While there is substantial heterogeneity across regions and countries, the picture of failing services is a familiar one. Challenges such as systematically high levels of absenteeism among teachers, doctors and nurses, persistent rates of drug stock outs — particularly in rural health clinics, rates of leakage…

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The importance of public spending

The existence of long-term growth effects from public spending is hardly contested in policy discussions. Growth literature that has emerged over the last 20 years supports the belief that public spending affects long-term growth. First, standard growth models explaining total output level as a function of factor inputs (capital and labour), as well as the…

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The financial crisis and emerging economies

The role of globalisation after the 2008–2009 financial crises has fundamentally altered the economic landscape around the world. Excessive dependence on exports to the United States and the European Union has long been identified as a problem for developing countries. Product and market diversification should be part of any trade or development strategy. The fall…

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Rethinking economic development

The challenges faced by nation states in the 21st century vary greatly in terms of economic development. Specifically within a development economics context, a paucity of useful and successful policy guidance is prevalent. As a result, more often than not, broad policy prescriptions have been formulated to attempt to address the economic problems of developing…

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Africa on track for millennium goals

The African continent’s progress in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 has gathered pace and credibility over the past few years. Africa continues to make incremental progress on the majority of the eight development goals aimed at improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries, which all 193 UN member…

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Global population dynamics and its implications for sustainable development

In 2011 the planet’s population exceeded the threshold of 7-billion people. Based on data from the most recent United Nations (UN) population projections, the world’s population will swell to over 9-billion by the year 2050. As a result of these population growth forecasts, between now and the year 2050, approximately as many people will be…

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Understanding the growing trend of large-scale land acquisitions in Africa

The exponential international interest in investing in African farmland has attracted considerable attention recently. A 2011 Africa Development Bank study notes that 29 million of the 56 million hectares of land – approximately 51.8 percent – sought after by foreign investors globally is located in sub-Saharan Africa. Though countries with abundant uncultivated land attracted the…

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