Development Challenges, South-South Solutions January 2011 Issue

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions January 2011 Issue

1) Africa’s Consumer Market in Spotlight for 2011

While other parts of the world will spend 2011 worrying about their debt levels and how to spur economic growth, many factors are pointing to Africa potentially following a different story. A frenzy of activity has been building around Africa’s market opportunities and its growing middle class consumer population. Years of steady growth rates up to 2008 and the vast, untapped opportunities on the continent have sparked interest from investors and businesses alike.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing economies rose by 10 percent in 2010 due to fast economic recovery and increasing South-South flows. Africa peaked in 2008 because of the resource boom and fell by 14 percent to US $50 billion in 2010 (UNCTAD). Rising FDI from Asia and Latin America has still yet to match the decline from developed countries – still the majority of FDI to Africa.

However, foreign direct investment to Africa had risen sixfold to US $58.56 billion between 2000 and 2009 (UNCTAD). The amount going to manufacturing and services has been growing, despite the slow down in 2009 because of the global economic downturn. Africa’s 11 largest economies are now being seen as the next to match Brazil and Russia, economic stars of the last few years.

The continent as a whole forms the 10th largest economy in the world. Of Africa’s more than 1 billion people, 900 million can be classified as part of the consumer economy. Out of this group, there is a third – approximately 300 million people – who make modest sums by Western standards, about US $200 a month, but have spare cash to buy things like mobile phones, DVDs and new clothes, or pay for better schools. They are the population that is overlooked when attention is focused only on the very poor living on less than US $2 a day.

This vast group is captured in the book Africa Rising by University of Texas professor Vijay Mahajan, which details the phenomenon of Africa’s middle class consumer society. He calls this group of middle class consumers “Africa 2,” with the desperately poor called Africa 3s, and the extremely rich Africa 1s.

This new group has expanded far beyond ruling elites and government workers. Many of its members work in the private sector, as secretaries, computer entrepreneurs, merchants and others who have benefited from consistent growth rates in many African countries.

The portion of African households with discretionary spending power rose from 35 percent in 2000 to 43 percent in 2008. The challenge will be to turn this wealth to the benefit of made-in-Africa businesses and to create stable, high-quality jobs to ensure this wealth effect lasts.

The new wealth effect can give Africa the tools needed to tackle its long-standing development challenges and lift more and more people out of poverty and misery while reducing dependence on foreign aid. And this can add rocket fuel to the surge toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals deadline in 2015 (

The rapidly rising profile of Africa is reflected by the prestigious business newspaper the Wall Street Journal recently running a series titled “Africa’s Growing Consumer Class Lures Multinationals” (

Consulting firm McKinsey ( believes Africa’s billion citizens should be seen as consumers and says the continent’s growing number of middle-income consumers now outstrips India’s. It boldly claims consumer spending will reach US $1.4 trillion in Africa by 2020, up from US $860 billion in 2008. Consumer spending rose by 16 percent a year from 2005 to 2008 before the global economic crisis.

It is forecast that 220 million Africans now frozen out of this consumer wave will become consumers by 2015 if current trends continue.

The IMF believes the steady growth will continue, with 5.5 percent growth for the 47 sub-Saharan countries this year.

That’s the good news. But many African countries still rank at the bottom in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey ( Africa remains a logistical nightmare for companies. Poor quality roads, inadequate harbours and inefficient rail systems, all make it difficult to move goods around the continent and across borders.

This makes distribution in Africa costly. Companies also often have to import building supplies and equipment to construct factories and plants. Then there is the unreliable electricity supply. Unable to trust local power supplies, many companies use their own electricity generators.

If handled right, new brands and companies are set to join African global success stories like Mo Ibrahim (, who founded the mobile telecommunications company Celtel.

Some of the new success stories include African companies pairing up with global firms as they seek local knowledge and experience. This will be a substantial opportunity for companies wise enough to organise themselves for global competition. In 2010, Sweden’s Electrolux – one of the world’s largest makers of home appliances – bought Egypt’s Olympic Group (, a North African powerhouse for household goods.

In the Ivory Coast, Nouvelle Parfumerie Gandour ( – makers of perfume, cologne, cosmetics and talcs – is an African cross-border success story. It has factories in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco and Cameroon. Thirty percent of its profits come from exports, some of which are to the United States and Europe.

Sonatrach ( in Algeria is the largest oil and gas company in Algeria and Africa. Is using its base in oil and gas exploration, production, pipeline transportation and marketing of hydrocarbons and by products, to move into other areas. It is increasing its investments in power generation, new and renewable energies, water desalination, and mining exploration and exploitation. Looking to grow its business with 30 percent coming from exports by 2015, it has spread across Africa ( Mali , Niger , Libya , Egypt ), to Spain , Italy , Portugal , United Kingdom , Peru and the United States .

Marwa ( from Casablanca, Morocco, is an African fashion success story. The brand started by Karim Tazi in 2003 began with just two stores in Casablanca and Rabat. It identified the niche of very fashionable but good quality and inexpensive clothing. It blends international trends with subtle influences from Moroccan tradition. Its prices hover between six euros for a t-shirt and 100 euros for a coat. It has successfully created a Moroccan high-street fashion look that can be exported. It has opened a branch in Zaragoza, Spain and is expanding to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Paris, France, Beirut, Lebanon and Istanbul, Turkey.

A survey by consultants AT Kearney ( found eight out of nine West African subsidiaries of global consumer goods companies discovered quicker revenue growth than their parent companies.

All this new wealth and growth provides substantial opportunities to African brands to build their businesses and markets. The big issue will be who will rise to the occasion and who will be clever enough to learn from existing African brands that are already thriving and have shown the way.

Two trends will also power this growth: urbanization and large youth populations. Africa’s youthful, urban population has already been reached by the telecoms sector through the rapid growth of mobile phones. More than 500 million subscribers have been signed up since 2000 (Informa Telecom and Media), a user base greater than the entire US population.

“By 2040, the continent will be home to one in five of the planet’s young people and will have the world’s largest working-age population,” according to Charles Roxburgh and Susan Lund, authors of a study for the McKinsey Global Institute.

“If Africa can give its young people sufficient education and skills, they could be a substantial source of consumption and production in years ahead.”


1) Afrique Avenir: Inspiring blog tracking Africa’s rising middle class and their global economic impact. Also great photo gallery The Other Africa, a photographic journey through all 54 African countries featuring the rising middle class. Website:

2) Afrocoffee: A design-savvy South African coffee shop chain that has expanded to Europe. It uses a modern African-themed design in its shops and product range. Website:

3) Africa Rising: A book by Professor Vijay Mahajan on how Africa’s consumer economy is growing and growing. Website:

4) Arise Magazine: Arise is a Nigerian style monthly started by Nigerian media mogul Nduka Obaigbena, who also publishes Nigeria’s leading newspaper, This Day. Website:

5) A video on the rising African consumer market. Website:

6) Annansi Chronicles: A blog packed with the latest news and media on African business and culture trends. Website:

7) An interactive map of Africa’s new wealth and where to find it. Website:


2) China’s Booming Wine Market Can Boost South

A great South-South opportunity has emerged with the recent boom in wine drinking in China and the pursuit of quality tastes. Matching high-quality wine producers from the global South – including South Africa, Chile, Morocco, and Lebanon – with China’s thirsty wine drinkers could deliver a major income boost.

In the past year China has become the world’s fastest-growing wine market with newly wealthy seeking sophisticated tastes and young working women seeking the health benefits of wine ( Yearly wine consumption in China is expected to increase by 20 percent to 126.4 million cases by 2014, a fact that is grabbing the attention of old and new-world wine producers.

Women are driving China’s growing market for wine, which is perceived as a symbol of affluence, a benefit to health – in moderation – and good for the skin. A new report from the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) group says wine consumption in China and Hong Kong jumped 100 per cent between 2005 and 2009, from 46.9 million to 95.9 million cases.

Import taxes have been reduced as China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), and this has prompted foreign wine brands to lunge into the market.

The government is trying to get people to switch away from high-strength alcoholic drinks by increasing the tax on them.

Awareness and experience varies widely amongst the winemakers of the global South. Some countries, such as South Africa, Chile and Argentina, have long-standing international reputations for producing quality wine, and use sophisticated branding and marketing campaigns to connect with their customers. But other countries, including Lebanon, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, have lower profiles and do not pack the same brand punch. But all these countries help show the role viticulture can play in economic development. By tapping into this Chinese wine drinking boom, they could reap rich rewards.

In Lebanon, viticulture – the harvesting of grapes for wine ( – has prospered despite the country’s wars and instability.

Lebanon has a long and illustrious history of winemaking stretching back 5,000 years. The modern Lebanese wine industry dates itself from 1857, when Jesuit monks at Ksara in the Bekaa Valley began importing vines from Algeria. After World War I, when the French took control of Lebanon, its vineyards expanded to satisfy France’s thirsty imperial troops.

Then Lebanon was hit by the brutal civil war of the 70s and 80s. And things have remained unstable and uncertain since.

But despite this, well established businesses like Ksara (, Kefraya ( and Musar (, and small boutique producers, thrive.

Massaya ( is one of Lebanon’s most dynamic and successful wineries, owned by brothers Sami and Ramzi Ghosn. Both are Christians like many of the Lebanese winemakers. They have been able to succeed in an area fraught with tension from past conflicts.

Another winery is using the business to revive a community and restore old skills. In the hills east of Beirut, the BBC found Naji Boutros – who used to be an investment banker in London – and his wife Jill. Boutros started Chateau Belle-Vue in Bhamdoun (, in the village where he grew up. As well as producing wine, the Chateau finances community projects and a library.

The two kings in the global South of wine exports are South Africa and Chile. Both countries have very strong brand awareness in export markets and both have triumphed after years of boycotts due to the political situations in the respective countries (Chile’s military dictatorship and South Africa’s Apartheid regime).

Wine-making is one of South Africa’s oldest industries and plays a key part in the economy (, with exports growing from less than 50 million litres in 1994 to more than 400 million litres in 2008 – year-on-year growth of 17 percent.

Since the end of the racist Apartheid regime ( in the mid-1990s, various government and industry initiatives have begun to reverse the iniquities of the country’s wine-making industry. South Africa has been pioneering switching black Africans on to the pleasures and profits of wine making and drinking.

Like Argentina, Chile ( has a strategic plan for its wine industry by 2020. It hopes to be “the Number One producer of sustainable and diverse premium wines from the New World by the year 2020.”

Chile – recovering from the severe earthquake on February 27, 2010 – uses a sophisticated marketing strategy to promote its wines, including websites, social networking media and events and tastings. Since 2007, it has unified its marketing efforts under one umbrella organization, the Vinos de Chile, and it also offers wine tourism to further develop a close relationship with drinkers, The Wines of Chile Experience (, launched in 2010.

Chile’s neighbour Argentina ( is the world’s fifth largest producer of wine,

The country has seen its domestic consumption of wine shrink as tastes changed, and has also experienced very extreme economic fluctuations. It has had to raise its game in order to earn income from exporting. This has been a spur to the wine industry and it has seen growth since 1996.

Wine growing has a long history in Argentina, going back to its Spanish colonial foundations in the 1500s. Argentineans drank large quantities of wine domestically in the 1970s but this tailed off in the later decades.

That had been balanced by a great export success with wines from the malbec grape. The flavour of this wine and its brand image has proven to be a weighty ambassador for Argentinean wines in general. By keeping a competitive price, Argentinean wine has flourished during the global economic crisis as people have moved to less expensive brands. The country cleverly has a wine marketing strategy based on Australia’s experience. This is an ambitious plan with the goal of capturing 10 percent of the global wine market share by 2020.

Argentina also aggressively pursues new markets by visiting them regularly and doing wine promotions and tastings with potential customers. It also brings people to the country to visit the wineries and experience Argentinean culture and food.

In North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco have a long history cultivating wine and have been winning awards since the 1859 Fall Exposition in Paris. Over the years quality control was an issue as political and economic factors disrupted access to global markets. But in the last few years governments have been working to support the industry and regain its past reputation.

Winemaking in North Africa goes back to the Romans and the Phoenicians. Despite Islam prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, the industry has survived. The industry is currently being re-organized to make the most of a free trade agreement with the European Union.

Tunisia has a long, rich winemaking heritage known the world over. About half of Tunisia’s vineyards are dedicated to producing grapes for wine production rather than for sale as table grapes.

Over the last 20 years, Les Vignerons de Carthage, a cooperative of 10 cellars located in the Cap Bon region of Northern Tunisia, have been working under the leadership of Belgacem D’Khili, a Bordeaux trained oenologist to improve and maintain wine quality.

They have kept the old vines, persevered with hand-harvesting and traditional techniques, but have modernised the cellar equipment, the storage and overall approach to hygiene.

North African wines are being collectively marketed by resellers like Cotes d’Afrique (

Morocco, too, has become a respected wine maker and has a robust domestic wine-drinking market. Morocco’s oldest winery, Celliers de Meknes (, told the Global Post how it handles the delicacies of wine-making in a majority Muslim country.

“We are tolerated,” said Jean-Pierre Dehut, the export manager for Celliers de Meknes. “But the tolerance requires that we stay within certain boundaries.”

Celliers de Meknes sells some 30 million bottles of wine per year — 25 million in Morocco.

A little-known wine producer, Zimbabwe has been producing wines since the early 1950s and commercially since 1965, according to Zimbabwe Tourism. Production peaked in the 1980s and later suffered from an export ban. Despite the country’s economic and political problems, the wine industry has grown. New techniques, equipment and grape varietals have been introduced and winemakers have been trained in Germany, Australia and South Africa. Regular visits from outside consultants have helped with raising standards.

Apart from economic problems the industry struggled with viruses and climate. But since the 1990s the industry has started to win international wine competitions

One of the successful wineries is Mukuyu Winery (, which produces an average of 1.5 million litres per year from 100 hectares under vines. Over the past 13 years, Mukuyu wines have won Silver and Bronze medals at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, and regional wine tasting competitions in South Africa.


1) China Wines Information Website: A website with the latest news and events on China’s fast-growing wine market. Website:

2) Interwine China 2011: The 6th China (Guangzhou) International Wine and Spirits Exhibition and World Famous Wine Expo, May 25th to 27th, 2011. Website:

3) Shenzhen International Wine Hub: Shenzhen International Wine Hub is located in downtown Longgang, and is designed to provide an unprecedented one-stop platform for all wine-related business, integrating product exhibition, wine trading, wine information and statistics publishing, wine knowledge training, quality examination and evaluation, wine culture showcasing as well as food and recreation. Website:

4) Zimbabwe Tourism: Website:

5) Soweto Wine Festival: Website:

3) Food Inflation: Ways to Fight It

Food inflation has taken off at the beginning of 2011. As the global economic crisis enters its next phase, both developed and developing countries are experiencing inflation. There are many factors fuelling the rise in prices – inefficient distribution and storage systems, lack of investment in agriculture, devaluing currencies, high demand, natural and man-made disasters, use of food products like corn to make biofuels – but there are also ways to counter the effects of food inflation that have been tried and tested across the South.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says the least developed countries spent US $9 billion on food imports in 2002. By 2008, that amount had risen to US $23 billion. Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary general of UNCTAD, says “the import dependence has become quite devastating.”

Worse, more people had less money to buy the food. The number of individuals living in extreme poverty “increased by 3 million per year during the boom years of 2002 and 2007,” reaching 421 million people in 2007.

For millions of people, it is a matter of life and death that food remains affordable. The poor pay the largest share of their income on food. Raise that cost, and the poor quickly have little money left for other things, like housing, transport, clothing or education.

Approached as a problem needing a solution, it is possible to deal with a bout of food inflation. Every food crisis has its origins and can be resolved. A staggering amount of food goes to waste every year, and a vast quantity can’t get from the farm to the market in time because of infrastructure problems.

An Indian refrigerator – the ChotuKool fridge ( – is designed to stay cool for hours without electricity and to use half the power of conventional refrigerators. Priced at US $69, it is targeted at India’s poor – a population of over 456 million, almost half the total Indian population (World Bank).

Manufactured by Godrej and Boyce and weighing just 7.8 kilograms, it is designed around the stated needs of the poor, who wanted a fridge capable of cooling 5 to 6 bottles of water and 3 to 4 kilograms of vegetables. Portability was crucial as well, since needs to be moved when large family gatherings take place in small rooms.

As a photo shows (, the fridge looks more like a drinks cooler than the typical large refrigerator. It works by replacing the standard compressor motor found in most fridges with a battery-powered heat exchanger.

In Ghana, a mobile phone-driven Internet marketplace is helping to improve efficiencies in farming and selling food. Esoko (, tracks products including ground nuts, sesame, tomato, maize and white beans. It offers market information from Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Togo.

India’s e-Choupal is making food distribution more efficient in a country experiencing high inflation. E-Choupal ( has developed a reputation for both controlling prices and increasing incomes for poor farmers. Started in 2000 by the major Indian company ITC Limited (, it links farmers to the latest prices for products including soybeans, wheat, coffee and prawns.

E-Choupal works through computers set up in rural areas and has built one of the largest internet initiatives in rural India, reaching 4 million farmers in 40,000 villages.

Brazil, over the last 30 years, has transformed itself from a food importer to one of the world’s major food exporters. It made these impressive achievements with few government subsidies. The agricultural success is down to Embrapa ( – short for Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. A public company set up in 1973, it has turned itself into the world’s leading tropical research institution. It breeds new seeds and cattle and has developed innovations from ultra-thin edible wrapping paper for foodstuffs that turns colour when the food goes off to a nano-tech lab creating biodegradable ultra-strong fabrics and wound dressings.

Another approach can be found with a farmer in Kenya, Zack Matere, who boosted his potato crop by turning to Facebook for help. On his farm in Seregeya, Matere used the internet to find a cure for his ailing potato crop.

He uses his mobile phone to access the internet at a costs of about US 0.66 cents a day. One example of the kind of intelligence Matere is able to glean from the internet is reports of cartels deceiving farmers by buying potatoes in over-large 130 kg bags instead of 110 kg bags. Matere takes this information, translates it into Swahili and posts it on community notice boards.

Another fast-growing solution is bringing farming to urban and semi-urban spaces, where the majority of the world’s population now lives.

Urban farmers can take advantage of their close proximity to consumers, keeping costs down and profits up. They can also solve one of agriculture’s enduring problems – where to find water for irrigation by using existing waste water. Waste water is plentiful in urban environments, where factories usually pump out waste water into streams, rivers and lakes.

In Accra, Ghana, more than 200,000 people depend on food grown with wastewater. In Pakistan, a full quarter of the grown vegetables use wastewater.

Family farms are critical to weathering economic crises and ensuring a steady and secure food supply. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ( called in 2008 for small family farms – which sustain the livelihoods of more than 2 billion people _ to be put at the heart of the global response to high food prices and uncertain food security.

In Brazil, this call is being answered by a bold initiative to create a “social technology,” combining a house-building programme with diverse family farms.

This is where the Brazilian farmer’s cooperative Cooperhaf: Cooperativa de Habitacao dos Agricultores Familiares ( steps in.

“We see the house as the core issue,” said Adriana Paola Paredes Penafiel, a projects adviser with the Cooperhaf. “The farmers can improve their productivity but the starting point is the house.

“Family farming is very important for the country – 70 percent of food for Brazilians comes from family farming,” said Penafiel. “The government wants to keep people in rural areas.”

Making farming more appealing is being shown as a great way to get ahead in modern Africa. One woman hopes more people will be attracted to farming and boost the continent’s food security and reduce costly imports.

Cynthia Mosunmola Umoru’s company, Honeysuckle PTL Ventures (, is based in Lagos, the business capital of Nigeria.

Leading by example, Umoru has set up a successful and modern agribusiness focusing on high-quality food products using modern packaging and fast delivery. She produces meat products, from seafood like shrimps and prawns to snails, beef, chicken, and birds. Her niche is to deliver the product however the customer wishes: fresh, frozen or processed.

Radical new food sources are also another option over time. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has explored insect protein as a contributor to better nutrition, the economics of collecting edible forest insects, methods of harvesting, processing and marketing edible forest insects, and ways of promoting insect eating with snacks, dishes, condiments — even recipes.

The range of insects that can be tapped for food is huge, and includes beetles, ants, bees, crickets, silk worms, moths, termites, larvae, spiders, tarantulas and scorpions. More than 1,400 insect species are eaten in 90 countries in the South. Entrepreneurs in the South are making insects both palatable and marketable – and in turn profitable. These innovations are adding another income source for farmers and the poor, and supplying another weapon to the battle for global food security.


1) The global movement for slow food, which encourages organic production and appreciation of traditional foods and cooking.


2) A video story by CNN on Tradenet/Esoko. Website:

3) Olam: The story of Olam – a global food supply company in ‘agri-products’ that got its start in Nigeria – shows how a Southern brand can grow and go global, and overcome the difficulties of cross-border trade. Website:

4) South African company Eat Your Garden: It provides urban dwellers and food businesses with their own food gardens bursting with juicy and tasty foods whilst at the same time reducing carbon footprints, and creating employment and provide training, helping poverty alleviation. Website:

5) Vertical farming, where hothouses are piled one on top of the other, is an option being promoted as a solution to the food needs of urban dwellers. Website:

4) Turning Animal Waste Into Paper

Animal waste is a messy fact of daily life in rural communities across the global South. This byproduct of life has many uses – but an ingredient for making writing paper is probably not the first that springs to mind.

But animal dung is cleverly being recycled into high-value products in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Both countries have elephants who are under threat. In Sri Lanka ( the large but endangered elephant population is considered a nuisance. They damage crops and are often killed for this reason. There are upwards of 3,000 elephants in the country – down from 14,000 in the 1800s. Nonetheless, they create vast quantities of excrement. In Sri Lanka, they face many threats: ivory poachers, being killed to protect crops and houses, starvation from drought and deforestation.

Animal waste ( has many uses: it can be turned into fertilizer for crops, fuel for cooking, placed in a digester and fermented into bio-gas for heating and cooking, and if from a herbivore animal, into fibrous products like paper and cardboard. Packing boxes can also be made from the excrement.

As a vegetarian animal, elephants’ excrement and dung is made up of vegetable matter and is rich in cellulose ( And cellulose is what makes up the majority of traditional wood-pulp paper (

Re-using the waste is also a good way to make elephants valuable to local people, rather than just being perceived as a nuisance.

Dung produces a natural, recycled paper. While harvesting trees for paper is an expensive and energy-wasting process, the elephant’s digestive tract does the hard work by breaking down the cellulose, making it ideal for the next stage in becoming a paper product.

According to the Environmental Paper Network (, 50 percent of the world’s forests have been destroyed, and 80 percent of the remaining forests are in a degraded state.  By turning to alternative sources to make paper, trees are saved and vast quantities of energy reduced. Traditional paper-making also uses many chemicals in the process, something that is avoided in using animal dung. Vegetable products are used to bind the paper together and water-soluble dyes are used to colour the paper.

Dung paper has earned some high-profile fans as well. The Turner Prize-winning British/Nigerian artist Chris Ofili (, uses elephant dung paper in his works.

The Elephant Dung Paper company ( in Thailand was one of the first to pioneer the technique. This business was started by dung paper pioneer Mr. Wan Chai. He tells a story of how he became enchanted by the paper-making process when he walked past a paper factory one day. Later, when he was at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang, northern Thailand (, he noticed the elephant dung was rich in fibres like those used in making paper from wood pulp.

Inspired, he embarked on a process of trial and error using his wife’s food processor to turn elephant dung into a fibrous stew that is then shaped, dyed and dried to make paper (

Wan Chai has gone on to be a formative influence in the founding of a sheep dung paper making operation in Britain, Creative Paper Wales.

Another dung paper business is Mr. Ellie Pooh ( in Sri Lanka. Established with the goal of reducing conflict between humans and elephants, it has turned to making paper products to boost local incomes and create a direct economic incentive to protect the elephants. It is setting up handmade paper workshops in rural areas and teaming them with artisans to add value to the products and make them more desirable. Design is critical to making any product – no matter how ethically produced and how green – desirable to consumers.

The dung products Mr. Ellie Pooh makes include a wide variety of coloured papers, scrapbooks, note boxes, stationery pouches, greeting cards, ‘to do’ list pads, memo books, and a children’s book.

The process of making elephant dung paper takes about 13 days – three days of sorting, boiling and disinfecting, followed by 10 days to pulp, mix, press and dry the paper. Mr. Ellie Pooh makes about 1,000 sheets a day and 30,000 a month. Each sheet makes six A4-size pieces of paper.

The company was founded by Dr. Karl Wald and Thusitha Ranasinghe, and is managed by recycled paper firm Ecomaximus ( based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a workshop in Kegalle.

Ecomaximus was started in 1997 by its Managing Director, Ranasinghe, who was following a family tradition going back three generations of working in printing.

The business started recycling waste printing paper and then moved into recycling a wide variety of other cellulose waste: rice paddy straw, cinnamon and banana bark. It now employs over 35 people on two sites.

It is proof that it just takes creativity and a new perspective to turn something considered as waste into wealth: and jobs and sustainable incomes.


1) Creative Paper Wales: Makers of Sheep Poo Paper, this company in Wales uses sheep dung to make a range of paper products. Sheep are plentiful in Wales and are found all over the hills grazing. Website:

2) Paper High sells online paper products made from Sri Lankan elephant dung. This includes note books, greeting cards, photo frames, and photo albums. Website:

3) Red Dot: Red dot stands for belonging to the best in design and business. It champions design in business through awards and events. Website:

Window on the World


How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices Ahead by Dambisa Moyo, Publisher: Allen Lane. The new book from challenging thinker Moyo, it argues the West needs to start following China’s economic model or face economic ruin. Website:

The China Miracle: Development Strategy and Economic Reform by Justin Yifu Lin, Publisher: The Chinese University Press. Website:

Africa in the Global Economy by Richard E. Mshomba, Publisher: Lynne Rienner. Website:

The Recession Prevention Handbook: Eleven Case Studies, 1948-2007 by Norman Frumkin, Publisher: M. E. Sharpe. Website:

The Roller Coaster Economy: Financial Crises, Great Recession and the Public Option by Howard J. Sherman, Publisher: M. E. Sharpe. Website:

Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance by David McNally, Publisher: PM Press. Global Slump analyzes the global financial meltdown as the first systemic crisis of the neoliberal stage of capitalism. It argues that – far from having ended – the crisis has ushered in a whole period of worldwide economic and political turbulence. In developing an account of the crisis as rooted in fundamental features of capitalism, Global Slump challenges the view that its source lies in financial deregulation. Website:

Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis by Philippe Legrain, Publisher: Little, Brown. Website:

Creative Ecologies: Where Thinking is a Proper Job by John Howkins, Publisher: UQP. Website:

The Global Crisis: The Path to the World Afterwards by Frank Biancheri, Publisher: Anticipolis. Website:

The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal, Publisher: Crown. Website:

Arrival City by Doug Saunders, Publisher: Pantheon. A third of humanity is on the move. History’s largest migration is creating new urban spaces that are this century’s focal points of conflict and change — centres of febrile settlement that will reshape our cities and reconfigure our economies. Website:

China: And the End of Poverty in Africa – Towards Mutual Benefit? by Penny Davis, Publisher: Diakonia and the European Network on Debt and Development. Website:

Globalization and Competition: Why Some Emergent Countries Succeed while Others Fall Behind by Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, Publisher: Cambridge University Press. Website:

Tourism and Poverty Reduction: Pathways to Prosperity by Jonathan Mitchell and Caroline Ashley, Publisher: Earthscan. Website:

State of the Field in Youth Enterprise, Employment, and Livelihoods Development Publisher: Making Cents International. Website:

Urban World: A New Chapter in Urban Development Publisher: UNHABITAT Website:

Papers and Reports

Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation Publisher: UNCTAD. Website:

State of China’s Cities: 2010/2011: Better City, Better Life Publisher: UNHABITAT. Website:

Competitiveness and Private Sector Development: Egypt 2010 Publisher: OECD. Website:

Still our Common Interest: Commission for Africa Report 2010 Publisher: Commission for Africa Website:

World Economic Outlook Update: Restoring Confidence without Harming Recovery Publisher: IMF. Website:

Trade and Development Report, 2010: Employment, Globalization and Development Publisher: UNCTAD. Website:

Empowering People and Transforming Society: The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2011 Publisher: World Economic Forum. Website:

The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries Publisher: OECD. Website: (PDF – 2.09 mb)

The BRICSAM Countries and Changing World Economic Power: Scenarios to 2050 by Manmohan Agarwal, Publisher: The Centre for International Governance Innovation. Working Paper: Shifting Global Power. Africa and Mexico has the potential to change the balance of economic power in the world. This paper analyzes this potential building on developments in these economies over the past four decades in the context of the evolution of the world economy. Website:

The Implications of China’s Ascendancy for Africa by Hany Besada, Publisher: The Centre for International Governance Innovation. Working Paper: Shifting Global Power. This paper examines the extent to which China’s engagement with Africa has produced mutual benefits for both and whether Africa is reaping the necessary benefits required for poverty alleviation and economic development. Website:

Europe-North Korea: Between Humanitarianism and Business? Edited by Myungkyu Park, Bernhard Seliger and Sung-Jo Park, Publisher: LIT. Website: – North Korea book.pdf

From the Web

mDirectory: The mDirectory is the most comprehensive database of information on mobile tech for social change on the Web: case studies, mobile tools, research, and how-to guides. Website:

Global Economic Decoupling Alive and Well Emerging economies decouple from the US, come closer to Europe. Website:

Global Development: Launched in September 2010, this new website from the Guardian newspaper will track progress on the MDGs, encourage debate on its blogs, offer a rich datastore collating datasets from around the world, and feature monthly podcasts and resources for schools. Website:

The Global Urbanist: News and analysis of cities around the world: planning, governance, economy, communities, environment, international. Website:

ICT Update: A bimonthly printed bulletin, a web magazine, and an accompanying email newsletter that explores innovative uses of information technology in agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Website:

Youth-Inclusive Financial Services (YFS-Link) Program website: The first space for financial services providers (FSPs) and youth-service organizations (YSOs) to gather, learn and share about youth-inclusive financial services. Website:

The Global Financial Crisis and Africa’s “Immiserizing Wealth” Research Brief, United Nations University, Number 1 2010.  Website:

China now leading world out of recession, says OECD Economic Surveys: China 2010. Already the world’s second largest economy, China could well overtake the United States to become the leading producer of manufactured goods in the next five to seven years. Website:,3343,en_2649_34571_44495047_1_1_1_37443,00.html

Africa begins to make poverty history: US economists challenge conventional view that the continent is a basket case Website:

Triple Crisis Blog: Global Perspectives on Finance, Development and Environment Website:

Where Western business sees ‘risk’, Chinese entrepreneurs see opportunity by Dr Jing Gu. Dr Gu and her China based team from the China-Africa Business Council (CABC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) have had direct access to private Chinese companies working in Africa, including 100 in-depth interviews with Chinese firms and business associations and officials in both China and Africa. Website:

Can China Save Western Economies From Collapse? Website:


Have an event you would like the South-South community to know about? Then send details to

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Implementing Sound Practices in Youth-Inclusive Financial Services and Market Research with Young Clients

Dhaka, Bangladesh (23 January 2011)

During this 4.5-day day course, Making Cents will facilitate a practical hands-on capacity building program for organizations looking to more effectively serve as a provider or a link to providers of youth-inclusive financial services. Through applied activities, case study discussions, and experiential learning, the course will provide participants with an understanding of the issues particular to the youth market and will introduce participants to the tools and field experience necessary to conduct market research with young people.



8th World CEO Forum: Opportunities for Green Development: Rio +20 and beyond

Delhi, India (2 February 2011)

Organized by TERI-Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) India in association with WBCSD, the 8th World CEO Forum focuses on the notion of a Green Economy. This concept has gained momentum in recent years due to the increasing global attention given to environmental issues, and the need to focus on Green Growth. Following a path of green growth will enable societies to develop without compromising long-term environmental and social sustainability.


The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2011

(7 February 2011)

Rewarding innovation in corporate sustainability. Has your organisation delivered a leading sustainability initiative in the past 12 months? Isn’t it time you shouted about it? Enter the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards to get the recognition you deserve and the opportunity to showcase your work on the new Guardian best practice exchange.


Making Cents International’s Youth-Inclusive Financial Services Linkage (YFS-Link) Program

Alexandria, Egypt (8-20 February 2011)

Making Cents International and Alexandria Business Association are pleased to invite you to explore financial services through a youth-inclusive lens during the 10-day Youth-Inclusive Financial Services Training course.

Course Details: Making Cents International will facilitate a practical hands-on capacity building program for organizations looking to more effectively serve as a provider or a link to providers of youth-inclusive financial services. Through applied activities, case study discussions, and experiential learning, these courses will provide participants with:

  • An understanding of the issues particular to the youth market;
  • Tools and field experience on how to conduct market research with young people;
  • Strategies and tools to design, adapt, or deliver products to young people; and
  • Strategies for effectively creating partnerships to deliver financial services to young people.



Sustainable Environment Technology

Los Angeles, CA, USA (31 March – 2 April 2011)

Sustainable Environment Technology (SET) is a hot topic in the news as well as in your community. Everyone is interested in what they can do to increase efficiency while becoming more environmentally friendly. At SET2011 you can learn about new available technology as well as innovative developments.



Engineering Sustainability 2011 Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line

Pittsburgh, PA, USA (10 – 12 April 2011)

Engineering Sustainability 2011 will bring together engineers and scientists from academia, government, industry, and non-profits to share results of cutting edge research and practice directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure.



African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics

Johannesburg, South Africa (5-19 May 2011)

APORDE is a high-level training programme in development economics which aims to build capacity in economics and economic policy-making. The course will run for two weeks and consist of lectures and seminars taught by leading international and African economists.


Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy

Helsinki, Finland (30 May to 4 June 2011)

The Government of Finland will host the 4th Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a biennial infoDev flagship event that convenes a global grassroots innovation and entrepreneurship community to discuss issues of interest, explore new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to network with one another. Previous Global Forums were held in India and Brazil and convened over 1,000 professionals from more than 70 countries.

The 4th Global Forum will feature the following activities:

  • An Innovation policy roundtable convening developing country policymakers who have put innovation and entrepreneurship at the forefront of their development agenda.
  • A Technology Venture Showcase to facilitate international market access and early-stage financing for technology entrepreneurs and start-ups.



Earth Summit 2012: Towards a World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2012

Rio, Brazil (TBC 2012)

The United Nations General Assembly agreed to a new Earth Summit in December. The Summit will be in 2012 and will be hosted by Brazil. The themes are the Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the institutional framework for sustainable development, emerging issues and a review of present commitments. This site will keep you abreast of all the developments and latest news.



Philips Liveable Cities Award

Philips is looking for individuals and community or non-government organizations and businesses with ideas for “simple solutions” that will improve people’s health and well-being in a city to enter the Philips Liveable Cities Award. To help translate these ideas into reality, three Award grants totalling €125,000 are on the line. One overall winning idea from any of the three categories outlined below will receive a grant of €75,000, while the two additional ideas will receive grants of €25,000.


African Economic Outlook

A unique online tool that puts rigorous economic data, information and research on Africa at your fingertips. A few clicks gives access to comprehensive analyses of African economies, placed in their social and political contexts. This is the only place where African countries are examined through a common analytical framework, allowing you to compare economic prospects at the regional, sub-regional and country levels.


Training Opportunities


Participation of Foreign Nationals in the Training Programs at National Water Academy, Pune, India

National Water Academy (NWA) is a premier institute of Central Water Commission functioning as a “Centre of Excellence” for training the water resources professionals. NWA complex is located in the green and clean environs of Khadakwasla, a suburb of Pune, approximately 10 Km from main Pune city.

Every year, NWA conducts several training programs to cover all the facets of development and management of water resources.   The NWA also organizes tailor-made training programs to cater to the requirements of other organizations. The regular training programs of NWA are now open to participants from recognized academic institutions, NGOs, Central/State PSUs, private companies, individuals on payment basis. Some selected programs are also being made open to foreign nationals on payment basis. For more information on NWA, please visit

NWA announces following three programs which are also open for participation of foreign nationals:

Sr. No. Training Programs Dates and Duration
Preparation of Detailed Project Report 17–28 Jan 2011


2 Weeks


Analysis and Design of Dams 31 Jan–11 Feb 2011


2 Weeks


Water Quality Management (Surface Water) 07-08 March 2011


2 Weeks

The Program Brochure giving all relevant details in respect of the following programs can be accessed at:

Sustainable Tourism Criteria Announced

The criteria focus on four areas experts recommend as the most critical aspects of sustainable tourism: maximizing tourism’s social and economic benefits to local communities; reducing negative impacts on cultural heritage; reducing harm to local environments; and planning for sustainability. The GSTC Partnership is developing educational materials and technical tools to guide hotels and tour operators in implementing the criteria.


Timbuktu Chronicles: A blog by Emeka Okafor

With “a view of Africa and Africans with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, practical remedies and other self-sustaining activities.”


OECD: Tackling the economic crisis website

The global economic crisis is entering a new phase amid signs of a return to positive growth in many countries. But unemployment is likely to remain high and much still needs to be done to underpin a durable recovery. This website will track the recovery.


The Grassroots Reporting Project

One of our goals at AfriGadget ( is to find more stories of African ingenuity. The Grassroots Reporting Project is our plan to find, equip and train more AfriGadget reporters in the field throughout Africa. AfriGadget’s goal is to leverage the power of current and emerging technology such as video cameras, digital cameras, laptops and phones to bring quality content online and eventually on television. A combination of mobile phones and computers will be assigned to individuals in 10 African countries for the purpose of getting more on-the-ground reporting of stories of African ingenuity to the world. An AfriGadget editor will be in charge of identifying the best candidates for inclusion in the program. This editor will also travel to each country to train and equip the new AfriGadget reporters for the program.

This is possible by creating a network of field reporters who report on stories that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingenious innovation that is new or a repurposing of existing technology in a new way.
  • Interesting in the sense that the story captures the imagination of others, inspiring others to see solutions in uncommon ways.
  • Practical ideas that solve problems in a demonstrable way.
  • Entrepreneurs who are inventing new products or solutions.


Global Knowledge Inititative

The Global Knowledge Initiative seeks to build global knowledge partnerships between individuals and institutions of higher education and research. It seeks to help partners access the global knowledge, technology, and human resources needed to sustain growth and achieve prosperity for all.”


Jobs and Careers – the Media Portal to EU Development Cooperation
The idea behind this site is to support journalists in their EU development coverage. This single entry point provides a comprehensive source of news and background – relevant, up to date and reliable.


Evidence-Based Policy in Development Network
This website aims to establish a worldwide community of practice for think tanks, policy research institutes and similar organisations working in international development, to promote more evidence-based, pro-poor development policies.


ExportHelp – Promoting and supporting access to the European market
The European Commission runs a database for the explicit support of market players in developing countries who want to bring their products to the EU market. The database gives an overview on the EU´s preferential trade regimes established for developing countries as well as lists all tariffs, taxes and other requirements for goods
imported into the EU.


ilissAfrica – Africa Virtual Library on the Internet
This web portal helps with tracking down relevant literature on a specific African topic or country. Users can search for books, anthologies, journal articles and Internet resources. Users are pointed to the relevant website or library where a book or journal can be found. The portal is a joint project of the University Library in Frankfurt and the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.


Development Executive Group Devex Networking Website

Over 90,000 global experts can network and connect and learn about more than 47,000 registered projects. Website:

Website Offers Career Advice to Young Africans

Set up by the Commonwealth Secretariat, is aimed at providing career guidance to African youth and helping them to link with prospective employers. AfricaRecruit is a human resources organisation that provides skills training for African professionals in the Diaspora and on the continent. The website has an inbuilt email subscriber list for all its users and offers a searchable database of career profiles for job seekers and prospective employers. It also offers skills and interest assessments and advice on CV and résumé preparation. It provides tips about interviewing techniques, as well as information on internship and volunteer opportunities, and entrepreneurial skills.


African Diaspora Skills Database
This database was compiled to provide an overview of qualified African Diaspora professionals with varied areas of expertise and experience. The African Diaspora contributes substantially to the social, economic and political development of Africa, and this database is set up to further mobilize this considerable potential.

Aid Workers Network (AWN)
Aid Workers Network (AWN) is an online platform for aid, relief and development workers to ask and answer questions of each other, and to exchange resources and information. AWN is registered in the United Kingdom as a charity. You will find discussions about a range of questions and issues on the AWN forum from aid, relief and development workers all over the world and representing a variety of fields, with new threads or responses posted daily. The forum is a great way to get in contact with
other aid and development workers in your geographic area or working in a similar area of work.

Bizzlounge is where people committed to ethical behaviour meet, who want to establish and maintain business contacts in an exclusive and relaxed environment.

Business Action for Africa
Business Action for Africa is a network of businesses and business organisations working collectively to accelerate growth and poverty reduction in Africa.

Business Fights Poverty
Business Fights Poverty is a professional network for all those passionate about fighting world poverty through the power of good business.

Business in Development Network (BiD)
The BiD Network Foundation runs the BiD Challenge to contribute to sustainable economic development by stimulating entrepreneurship in developing countries.


By Development Exchange, it offers news, publications and networking opportunities with the world’s development community.


Catalogue of Poverty Networks
UNDP is organizing an online catalogue of Poverty Networks as a means to facilitate access to knowledge and sharing this to a wider audience in 189 countries. Poverty Networks are web-based platforms that provide space for sharing and disseminating development-related information and initiatives. Below you will find information on IPC’s collaborating networks, which help foster dialogue between researchers, policymakers, civil society and multilateral organisations.

Connections for Development (CfD)
CfD is a UK, Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) led, membership based organisation committed to ensuring that UK BME communities, and the organisations they are involved in, are supported in the process of shaping and delivering policy and projects that affect their countries of origin or interest – collectively ”our world”.

Development Crossing
Development Crossing was set up in 2006 by a small group of friends with diverse backgrounds ranging from business consulting to international development. In a world where the environment, corporate responsibility, and sustainable development are becoming increasingly intertwined, our goal was to create a site where individuals that shared our passion could keep up-to-date with relevant happenings in the world and connect with like-minded individuals. The idea behind Development Crossing is to provide a social network that brings together people from a variety of sectors, countries and professions to discuss corporate social responsibility and sustainable

The one-stop-information-shop for the developmental sector, is a membership organization that brings together information for developmental professionals, NGOs, consultancy firms and donors.

dgCommunities on the Development Gateway (now
dgCommunities, a free online service by the Development Gateway Foundation is devoted to knowledge-sharing and collaboration for people working to reduce poverty in the developing world.


Diaspora African Forum
This Forum exists ”to invite and encourage the full participation of Africans in the Diaspora in the building of the African Union, in its capacity as an important part of the Continent”. We will provide the vital linkage for Diaspora Africans to become involved in Africa’s development as well as reap the fruits of African unity.

Eldis Communities
Eldis aims to share the best in development, policy, practice and research. The Eldis Community is a free on-line community where you can meet others involved in international development and discuss the issues that are important to you.

Enterprise Development Exchange
The Enterprise Development Exchange links related communities of practice to advance sustainable poverty eradication. It is facilitated by The SEEP Network through the Value Initiative.

Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Forum
The FSN Forum is a global community of FSN practitioners. It bridges the knowledge divide among the different communities involved in FSN policies and strategies – such as academics, researchers and development practitioners – to improve cooperation and impacts; members in many countries across the world’s five continents.

Global Development Matters
Global Development Matters is designed to engage U.S. citizens and leaders in examining how rich world policies affect global poverty reduction.

GTZ-Communities Sustainable Economic Development
The GTZ-Communities Sustainable Economic Development are open to all practitioners, counterparts, research institutions, donors and interested consultants worldwide facilitating an inter agency exchange of experiences and best practices. This weekly updated website provides you with recent news and lessons learned from GTZ as well as from other development agencies and research institutions in the field of economic development. Its core is a comprehensive database. Participation in this open community is free of charge. However, registration is necessary.
Websites: Africa:
Middle East and North Africa:

LED knowledge
This website is an online space for sharing the experiences and resources of people and organizations supporting local economic development processes at the local level. LED Knowledge is the result of a joint effort of the ILO-LED programme team based in Geneva, and the ILO training arm, the International Training Centre, based in Turin, Italy.


Network of Networks Impact Evaluation Initiative (Nonie)
Nonie is a network of networks for impact evaluation comprised of the DAC Evaluation Network, The United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG), and a fourth network drawn from the regional evaluation associations. Its purpose is to foster a program of impact evaluation activities based on a common understanding of the meaning of impact evaluation and approaches to conducting impact evaluation.
Website: is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities.

XING Group Microfinance Industry
In this new XING Group, microfinance professionals from all over the globe link and discuss topics of interest. Use this forum to discuss financial technology, find employment, identify training opportunities and events, and share knowledge resources with fellow members of the microfinance industry. XING is an online networking tool to manage all personal contacts and to find interesting new business contacts. It’s amazing how quickly it facilitates contact with key people.

AfDevinfo – African Development Information Service
AfDevinfo tracks the mechanics of political and economic development across Sub Saharan Africa. They draw together a diverse range of publicly available data and present it as an accessible and ever expanding online database.


Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM)
The Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative has created a set of data, information and analytical products that will increase understanding of the markets of the poor, including existing opportunities and challenges.

The Soul Beat

The Soul Beat shares a selection of programme experiences, strategic thinking documents, and materials related to the use of mobile telephones for social change in Africa. If you would like your organisation’s communication work or research and resource documents to be featured on the Soul Beat Africa website and in The Soul Beat newsletters, please contact

3D -> Trade – Human Rights – Equitable Economy
3D promotes collaboration amongst trade, development and human rights professionals, to ensure that trade rules are developed and applied in ways that promote an equitable economy. 3D believes that the human rights framework provides strong tools for ensuring a more equitable economy.

Business Planet: a new data map on Entrepreneurship
Business Planet, an interactive Google map, now includes data on new business creation around the world. Measures of entrepreneurial activity are based on the number of total and newly registered corporations. Click on color markers to learn more about each country.

AiDA launches an Interactive Map
AiDA is one of Development Gateway’s aid management tools, which supports the aid effectiveness agenda by publishing information on development activities to help donors coordinate and harmonize their development efforts. With the use of an interactive map generated with technology from Google, development practitioners now have access to a geographical interface for information normally available through the AiDA Web site. Users can click on any country in the world and view a summary of the development activities that are taking place there.


Trustive World-wide WiFi Access
The reality of WiFi is usually a fragmented service with different hotspot operators having their own log in methods, billing systems and coverage restricted to certain countries or even cities. The Dutch provider Trustive decided to overcome these challenges in order to improve this reality for the whole Trustive community. Following 5 years of heavy investment and the conclusion of strong roaming agreements with 70+ hotspot operators in 65+ countries, Trustive is now able to offer a seamless service that is both reliable and competitively priced across a unified and ever expanding network of 65,000 WiFi hotspots in 65+ countries, including 350+ airports.


Fellowship Opportunity

South-South Experience Exchange Facility

Supported by Mexico, China, India, Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands, and the U.K. and now Colombia, the South-South Experience Exchange Facility is a multi donor trust fund that promotes the idea that developing countries can learn from the successes of other developing countries in overcoming similar challenges. In the past 12 months, the trust has given out 35 grants to countries for learning activities ranging from working with at risk youth in the Caribbean to outsourcing IT services in Africa.


Africa Entrepreneurship Platform

This ground breaking initiative is created as a forum to showcase innovative ideas and businesses from Africa that have the ability to scale internationally, driving job creation and sustainable economic development between Africa and the Americas.


Piramal Foundation in India

Has established a US $25,000 prize for ideas that help advance full access to effective public health care in India. The Piramal Prize is a $25,000 Social Entrepreneurship Competition focused on democratizing health care in India that seeks to encourage and support bold entrepreneurial ideas which can profoundly impact access to higher standards of health for India’s rural and marginalized urban communities. The award recognizes high-impact, scalable business models and innovative solutions that directly or indirectly address India’s health-care crisis.


The Pioneers of Prosperity Grant and Award

This competition is a partnership between the OTF Group and the John F. Templeton Foundation of the United States, and promotes companies in East Africa by identifying local role models that act as examples of sustainable businesses in their country/region. It is open to businesses from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

Five pioneers will receive US $50,000 to re-invest in their business. It is open to for-profit businesses that provide high wages to their workers and that operate in sustainable ways.


African Writers Fund

Together with the Ford Foundation, the Fund supports the work of independent creative writers living on the continent. The Fund recognizes the vital role that poets and novelists play in Africa by anticipating and reflecting the cultural, economic and political forces that continuously shape and reshape societies.


Joint NAM S&T Centre – ICCS Fellowship Programme
Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) and International Center for Chemical Sciences (ICCS), (H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research), University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
Click here for more information
or contact:,,

Oxford Said Business School Youth Business Development Competition

Open to youth between 16 and 21 across the world, the competition is run by students at Oxford University to promote social enterprise. A prize fund of £2,000 in seed capital is up for grabs. It calls itself the ‘world’s first global youth development competition’.


US$250,000 for Best Lab Design

AMD and Architecture for Humanity have announced a prize of $250 000 for the best design for a computer lab that can be adapted and implemented in third-world countries.

The Open Architecture Prize is the largest prize in the field of architecture and is designed to be a multi-year program that will draw competition from design teams around the world.


PhD Plant Breeding Scholarships at the University of Ghana

The University of Ghana ( has been awarded a project support grant by the Alliance for a Green Revolution ( in Africa (a joint venture between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, for the establishment of a West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI).  This is available to scientists working at NARIs, universities and international centres in West Africa. Women scientists are especially encouraged to apply for a fellowship under this programme. Website:

Institute of Social Studies in The Hague

A collaboration between 25 international think tanks in international development, is a search engine for indexing and social book marking online resources in international development.

Genesis: India’s Premier Social Entrepreneurship Competition

Is a social entrepreneurship competition aiming to bring together social entrepreneurs, students, NGOs, innovators, incubators, corporations and financiers and encourage them to come up with innovative ideas which are socially relevant and feasible.


Echoing Green: Social Entrepreneurs Fund




Rural Development Institute is now called Landesa: “In recent months we have had the opportunity to scale our work across the world, and especially in India and China. Our global staff now numbers nearly 100, with concentrated focus in India, China and Sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more about how millions of families received legal control over their land last year in our 2010 Impact Report.


Commonwealth Teams up with Private Equity Firm to Deliver up to $400 Million in Investment in Africa

Small and medium enterprises across Africa are set to benefit from a multimillion dollar investment fund set up by private equity firm Aureos Capital ( with the Commonwealth Secretariat’s assistance. The Aureos Africa Fund, launched in November following feasibility and due diligence studies funded by the Secretariat, will provide long-term capital and support for promising and successful businesses across the continent. Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith, speaking at the launch of the fund at the Marriot Hotel in London, UK, on 2 November 2009, hailed the fund’s launch. He warned that investment in Africa was “critical” if recent development gains were not to be lost amid the current worldwide recession. “This fund has the potential to make a real contribution to Commonwealth countries in Africa, by helping ordinary businesses to reach their potential and boost much needed growth and jobs across the continent,” he said.


The Africa Land Fund

The fund has raised almost €2 billion from an American pension fund to invest in African agriculture. The Africa Land Fund, created by the UK-based hedge fund Emergent Asset Management, wants to raise a total of €3 billion and is canvassing a range of investors. It plans to invest in agricultural land and livestock, including African game, which will be sold on to private reserves and safari parks. The fund also plans to develop bio fuel crops on marginal land, saving prime agricultural acreage for crops to feed people.

Tel: +44 (0) 1428 656 966
Fax: +44 (0) 1428 656 955

While SMEs in rich countries represent half of GDP, they are largely absent from the formal economies of developing countries. Today, there are trillions of investment dollars chasing returns – and SMEs are a potentially high impact, high return investment. However, only a trickle of this capital currently reaches SMEs in developing countries. Our goal is to increase this flow.

We want to show that SMEs can be profitable investments. We will do this by focusing on lowering transaction costs, deepening capital markets to increase liquidity, and catalyzing capital for investment.



InnoCentive ( is a challenge to the world’s inventors to find solutions to real scientific and technological problems affecting the poor and vulnerable. It is an open marketplace where anybody with a problem can post it, and rewards for effective solutions stretch up to US $100,000. They use rigorous intellectual property protection so ideas are not stolen without credit being given to the inventor. You can read more about the challenges here:

Global Social Benefit Incubator: A US $20,000 Bottom of the Pyramid Scholarship

Offered by Santa Clara University’s Global Social Benefit Incubator, it selects 15 to 20 enterprises from developing countries and provides an eight-month mentoring process. This ends with a 10-day process in Santa Clara, where entrepreneurs work with their mentors.


Job Opportunities

Business Fights Poverty

Many job opportunities on their website:

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