According to Grameen’s website, it has developed technology, like mobile based solutions, and access to financial services in order to “improve the livelihoods of the region’s poor.”
One of the examples that is listed on the Grameen website is Ghana.
Grameen said it has been working with the Ghana Health Service since 2008. They said that they’ve mostly been working in rural communities in order to increase “antenatal and neonatal” care in Ghana. The Ghana Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH Ghana) was founded/developed in 2009 (through the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation) –In many of her talks, Moyo talks about how funding should come from other sources, she even mentions Bill Gates.
The technology, appears to be more advanced than what America utilizes for maternal health education and care. Also, the patient database of uploaded patient records has been quite controversial for some time within America, however it is being utilized within Ghana.
Another country listed on the Grameen website is Kenya.
Kenya is also using mobile technology within the country in order to deal with finances. The website reads, “In Kenya, we are using mobile technology to improve access to financial services and information on agriculture.” Meaning, while pairing with Farm Concern International (FCI) and with support from USAID, Grameen Foundation is in the process of developing an “integrated and mobile-enabled system to help smallholder maize farmers.”
The technology or system, would help farmers properly store and manage their crops. It also allows farmers the ability to link to a financial institution, and connect with markets for final sale when prices rebound. Financial services and information would also be available pertaining to farmers managing their crops. This technology, and with the investment fund of The Fairtrade Access Fund, allows farmers to improve their profitability–Commonly known as what Moyo continually refers to as developing the Kenyan economy by relying on the country itself and not aid.
Kiva is a website that is helping with the financial sector of things is Kiva.org. Kiva, is based around micro-financing, and helps small business thrive. Kiva identifies microfinance as, “A general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services.” The idea is to lift low-income individuals out of poverty by giving those individuals access to financial services. For example, SMEP, a microfinance bank is a nationwide licensed banking institution.
The banking institution has partnered with Kiva in order to increase income generating activities among low income entrepreneurs, improve the business management skills of its clients and create an economically sustainable credit program. “The primary goal of SMEP is to improve the standard of living of economically poor and marginalized entrepreneurs by providing access to credit and other services that can stimulate economic growth.”
Moyo suggests that in order to establish what some bank models have already done and will continue to do, that there are three interlinked stages to go through:
1. The first is to develop an economic plan
2. The second, enforcing rules of prudence and to not live beyond its means
3. The third, the strengthening of institutions.
Moyo said the only thing that is now lacking is political will. Sachs’ proposal is obviously different, because Moyo’s suggestion, as we have discussed many times before, wants to completely remove the dependence on aid in order to foster innovation.
Moyo said, “Isn’t it more likely that in a world freed of aid, economic life for the majority of Africans might actually improve, that corruption would fall, entrepreneurs would rise, and Africa’s growth engine would start chugging” (145).
In Sangu Delle’s Ted Talk: I thought It was particularly fresh perspective on the economy in African countries– there are such polar-opposite stereotypes about the people in African Countries. Either they need aid or they need to start up a business- this talk broke that stereotype down and addressed the reality of the economy. Some people are looking for a job, and it’s that simple.
In Andrew Mwenda’s Ted Talk: I thought this was an informative talk, especially on the basis of framework of the economies in Africa. Again, the stereotypes that many people have about the economies of poor African countries are shallow perspectives. Mwenda discusses the details that have set up the countries for failure.