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Unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs in Africa

Makhtar Diop's picture
Also available in: Français
Merharriet Hailemariam, from Addis Ababa, studied to be a journalist but changed her mind when she found out she could earn more money as an electrician. Stephan Gladieu/World Bank


Walk around a major city in Sub-Saharan Africa and you will quickly realize that women are a highly visible part of the economy, selling all manner of products and services. In some ways, women are powering the economies of the continent to a greater degree than anywhere else in the world; Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where women make up the majority of self-employed individuals.  

In Côte d’Ivoire, every story counts: Bridging schools allow Ivorian children to make up for lost time

Taleb Ould Sid’Ahmed's picture
Also available in: Français


 

The story of a country’s economic development is often told through the lens of new roads, factories, power lines, and ports. However, it can also be told through the voices of every day heroes, individuals who have taken action to improve their lives and those around them. In this blog series, the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Ivorian newspaper Fraternité Matin and blogger Edith Brou, tells the stories of those individuals who, with a boost from a Bank project, have set economic development in motion in their communities.

Young Soulama Siaka is dressed in his khaki school uniform and is sitting quietly next to his uncle, Kone Birama, in the yard of their family home. The bare yard reflects the destitution of his family after the political crisis. “I couldn’t even afford to send my children to school,” he says. Children drop out of school nearly everywhere in Côte d’Ivoire because their families cannot afford the tuition fees.

Turning Trash Talk into Action: A Story of Ibadan, Nigeria

Salim Rouhana's picture
Solid waste presents a significant challenge to Ibadan's capacity to manage its high exposure to flooding and further contributes to outbreaks of infectious diseases by human contact with improperly disposed and untreated waste. Photo credit: Farouk Banna

In a rapidly urbanizing world, our incautious thirst for plastics and non-degradable products continues to adversely affect local environments and air quality, and contributes to climate change. The need to rethink how to collect and dispose of solid waste is urgent. Whilst many countries and cities have put forth encouraging efforts to recycle and reduce waste, the levels of consumption and the production of waste continue to increase.

Madagascar 25 years later: Human development investments are making a difference!

Lynne Sherburne-Benz's picture
Also available in: Français
Lynne Sherburne-Benz, World Bank Senior Regional Advisor for Africa, exchanges with young beneficiaries of the Madagascar Social Safety Net Project.


I first visited Madagascar in 1985 as a student doing research with FOFIFA, Madagascar’s national center for agricultural research. I was fortunate to be able to come back in the early 1990s as a task team leader for a project funded by the World Bank, at a time when the Bank was restructuring its projects to respond to drought in southern Madagascar. Over two decades later, here I am again in the South of this beautiful country, which is suffering again from drought and continues to be counted among the poorest countries in the world.

In Côte d’Ivoire, every story counts: How one bridge transformed rural access to markets

Jacques Morisset's picture
Also available in: Français

 

The story of a country’s economic development is often told through the lens of new roads, factories, power lines, and ports. However, it can also be told through the voices of every day heroes, individuals who have taken action to improve their lives and those around them. 

In this blog series, the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Ivorian newspaper Fraternité Matin and blogger Edith Brou, tells the stories of those individuals who, with a boost from a Bank project, have set economic development in motion in their communities. 

10 Knowledge Products from Sub-Saharan Africa You Don’t Want to Miss

Daniella Van Leggelo-Padilla's picture
Examine, evaluate, analyze, and explore… The World Bank Group’s comprehensive research, reports, and knowledge products do just that, providing policy makers and stakeholders from all sectors across Africa access to reliable evidenced-based data to assist in their decision-making processes.

Addressing inequality of opportunities can ensure equitable growth in Ethiopia

Olansis Mulugeta Wolde's picture
Farmers sort tomatoes in Ethiopia. Photo: Stephan Bachenheimer / World Bank


In 2016, World Bank Ethiopia launched a Blog4Dev contest inviting students to share their ideas for how Ethiopia can reach middle-income country status without leaving anyone behind. This is the third of three winning entries.
 

In the two past decades, Ethiopia has shown a remarkable performance in diversifying its economy and building essential infrastructures that helped the economy to boom. Ethiopia is now one of the fastest growing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the country has earned a fair amount of recognition from international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.
 

What’s behind poor education outcomes in Côte d’Ivoire?

Jacques Morisset's picture
Also available in: Français
Today, young Ivorian students spend on average only eight years in the classroom while pupils in emerging countries spend almost the double (14 years). As if this wasn’t worrisome enough, studies show that this gap has widened over time and that the quality of education has deteriorated. At the end of the primary school cycle, less than half of Ivorian students have the required reading or mathematics skills, as evidenced in the graph below. These statistics illustrate the extent of the effort needed to make up for lost time, a challenge that the Ivorian authorities are set on tackling as the country embarks on the path of emergence.
 
And for good reason. Countries such as South Korea and Malaysia have succeeded in transitioning to emerging market status thanks to their investments in building some of the best education systems in the world. For the Nobel Prize winner in economics, Robert Lucas Jr. and the  World Bank’s chief economist, Paul Romer, economic development depends above all on a country's ability to value its human capital. This not only allows the country to increase its current added value but also to create tomorrow’s technological innovations.
 
 Employment Benchmark, 2016.)
This graph presents a regional comparison of the acquisition of mathematics and French skills at the end of the primary school cycle.
(Source: World Bank, Côte d'Ivoire: Employment Benchmark, 2016.)

In Côte d’Ivoire, every story counts

Taleb Ould Sid’Ahmed's picture
Also available in: Français
 Taleb Ould Sid'ahmed/World Bank Côte d'Ivoire

I met Prince Brokou four years ago in 2013, when he joined a road maintenance group as part of the Youth Employment and Skills Development Project (PEJEDEC) funded by the World Bank. At the time, he was still living with his parents in Yopougon, a sprawling suburb of Abidjan.

Brokou performed labor-intensive public works such as clearing out detritus from clogged road gutters that result in flooding during Côte d’Ivoire’s rainy season. This short-term activity allowed him to earn a monthly salary of CFAF 60,000 (about $124) for six months, and receive training on how to set up a small business to ensure his transition to future employment. He was also able to benefit from classes on civics, community development, public health, HIV/AIDS, and the environment.

Leave no Ethiopian behind by involving as many citizens as possible, and by solving the country’s challenges

Rediet Firdu's picture



In 2016, World Bank Ethiopia launched a Blog4Dev contest inviting students to share their ideas for how Ethiopia can reach middle-income country status without leaving anyone behind. This is the second of three winning entries.

How can Ethiopia reach middle-income country status without leaving anyone behind?

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