Week Eleven — International Aid and Finance

Grameen Bank Model

In Ghana, the Grameen Foundation has worked with the Ghana health service to improve maternal and neonatal care. One of the ways in which they’ve done this is by creating mobile apps through the Mobile Technology for Community Health. One of the apps they’ve created called the Mobile Midwife Application alerts pregnant women, new mothers, and their families with “time-specific” information about their pregnancies and childcare via text message. Another app they developed is call the Nurses Application. It collects patient data and uploads those files to a database. This makes it easier for nurses to track their patients.

In Kenya, the Grameen Foundation paired with Farm Concern International, developed a mobile system to alert farmers with important and time-sensitive financial information concerning their crops. Grameen also created the Fairtrade Access Fund which lends short-term, micro-loans to small farmers who would otherwise never be able to get a loan.

KIVA is another example of an organization that gives micro-loans to small time farmers in developing countries. The Hunger Project has also developed microfinance programs to help out smaller businesses in underdeveloped countries.

Moyo’s Interlinked Stages

In Dead Aid, Moyo talks about how no more aid should be given to aid-dependent countries so that they can develop on their own. She has a three-stage process to help these countries become more dependent.

1. Developing an economic plan that reduces a country’s aid-dependency each year.

2. Reducing spending and trimming national budgets will reduce the amount of capital needed in the short-term to give time for foreign direct investment, trade, and other kinds of investments. It will also give time to spur the economy.

3. Strengthening institutions within the actual countries to ensure that progress is not lost and growth can continue

This directly contradicts Sach’s point of view in that international foreign aid is the best way to end extreme poverty.

Sangu Delle has found that most people want jobs instead of being entrepreneurs. Giving larger amounts to one entrepreneur to create massive businesses that creates jobs. These businesses are more likely to create international connections. Micro-finance loans are not going to solve Africa’s economic crisis. They are only temporary solutions.

Delle is the co-founder of Golden Palm Investments, a company that backs larger startups. He’s also worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Valiant Capital Partners.

Herman Chinery-Hesse is a Ghanaian entrepreneur that has developed a profitable software company. But he’s found that international foreign aid has been an obstacle when he’s trying to develop his business. NGOs will offer his services to his clients for free and he loses business. Unless African business and institutions can develop independently, countries will continue to be dependent and rely on it.

Both of the men featured in these videos could be considered cheetahs. The both have studied in Western countries, but are returning to their African, home countries to work on developing businesses and institutions there. Delle is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard, and Chinery-Hesse studied at Texas State University.

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