The idea: create sustainable employment in sub-Saharan Africa, get college students interested in social entrepreneurship, and keep making lots of fraternity and sorority T-shirts. Oh, and there's a Bono connection, of course.
The December issue of Finance and Development is dedicated to Africa.
'Africa: Making Its Move' explores some of the obstacles facing sub-Saharan Africa as it attempts to capitalize on changes that offer fresh opportunities for growth and poverty reduction.
Why do the global emerging market funds ignore African-listed securities? Are mutual funds discriminating against Africa?
Not at all, said Todd Moss from the Center for Global Development in a presentation on his recent work to Bank staffers yesterday. Turns out there's no market failure at all. The problem lies with the African stock exchanges themselves.
I spent Wednesday in a training session on communication strategies to promote government reform. In development jargon - "policy advocacy". You might think business environment issues like small business tax rates, construction permit simplification, and customs clearance procedures are so sexy that they sell themselves. As it turns out, they do not. Hence a concerted effort across the IFC to get better at explaining why this stuff matters - to politicians, the media, the business community, and the average citizen.
Today is World Aids Day. Is there anything new that can be said? I found the chapter on Aids in Bill Easterly's "White Man's Burden" insightful. He criticizes the aid industry for being too focused on treatment, which is expensive but makes for good press. Because prevention is less glamorous it has received relatively less attention.