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Emerging market sponsors dominate infrastructure investments

Our latest Viewpoint highlights recent trends in private sector participation in infrastructure. All in all, flows increased by a welcome 12% in 2004, though this growth was mostly limited to the telecommunications sector. Greenfield projects also continued to be the main mode of entry. Perhaps the most interesting story is the increasing importance of sponsors from emerging markets.

Africa Diaspora Investment Week

A few weeks ago the 2005 Africa Diaspora Investment Week came to a successful conclusion. The conference brochure and presentations are now available online. Presentations discuss SME development, the role of media and information technologies, the potential of tourism and the importance of financial markets and remittance corridors.

Word of the day: Amakudari

In Japanese, 'amakudari', literally descent from heaven, describes the phenomenon of being employed by a firm in an industry one has previously, as a government bureaucrat, been involved in regulating.

A great word describing the unfortunate brain-drain that cripples many developing county regulators. The BBC gives us 19 more unusual foreign words. I need to try to work 'handschuhschneeballwerfer’ into a conversation soon.

Banking at the base of the pyramid

USAID has released a primer for commercial banks on banking at the base of the pyramid. See also their guidelines for successful partnerships and a case study on the profitability of microfinance in commercial banks.

No school fees, but what about efficiency?

The President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, has taken the brave step of dropping fees for primary school, thereby making access to primary education easier for many children in the country. But what about the education sector's ability to cope with a sudden increase in demand for education? Are there enough teachers? Is there enough money? And, as the student to teacher ratio will inevitably increase, what happens to the quality of education these children will receive?

Private participation in healthcare events

Two events next week for those of you in DC:

On October 4 the Center for Global Development will be having an event on Private Sector Responses to HIV/AIDS: The Case of Debswana, Botswana’s Diamond Company.

On October 5 the USAID funded 'Banking on Health' project will be having a discussion on Strengthening Contracting Out in the Private Sector in Nicaragua.