These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
“His full name is Idris Ayodeji Bello, but you might just call him "Afropreneur."
That's the buzzword adopted by the young Nigerian to describe the bright, independent and tech savvy entrepreneurs using creative thinking and the power of innovation to take over Africa's economic destiny.
"Over time Africa has relied on government and big multinationals for solutions -- but they're not coming," explains Bello.” READ MORE
Center for Global Development
Publish What You Buy: Charles Kenny on the Case for Routine Publication of Government Contracts
“Your tax dollars bought that bridge, that road, that school. But unless you live in Colombia or the UK, you probably can’t look at the contracts for these things bought on your behalf. My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Charles Kenny, senior fellow here at CGD and we are discussing his latest work: “Publish What You Buy: The Case for Routine Publication of Government Contracts.”
Charles estimates that government contracts with private firms account for about 15% of the global economy or some $9 trillion a year. He argues that routinely publishing these contracts online is a no-brainer, good for citizens, governments, and the private sector. He also reviews (and easily dispatches) two arguments against such disclosure. We close by discussing some simple mechanisms for rapidly expanding disclosure efforts already underway in a handful of jurisdictions, including Miami-Dade County, Florida, in the United States.” READ MORE
“On 5-7 September 2012, a consortium of RWI partners and allies organized a national mining, oil and gas conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More than 70 participants from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania attended the event, called “Extractive Industry, Sovereignty and Sustainable Development.”
The national conference had a focus on Tanzania but drew lessons and experiences from other countries in the continent. Local communities and citizen groups focused on governance are working to ensure Tanzania's new constitution contains provisions for greater transparency and accountability in the management of natural resources and protection of public interests.” READ MORE
Council on Foreign Relations
Mobile Phones and Business in Africa
“There are so many new applications of mobile technology in developing economies that it is hard to keep abreast of them. From time to time, I try to highlight a few that I think are particularly innovative and promising. In July, I wrote briefly about a non-profit, Zidisha, that makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection and an online payment method to make a loan to an entrepreneur in Kenya or Senegal, among other countries. Would-be lenders can view entrepreneurs’ projects online and make a loan to a project of their choosing; Zidisha then transfers the money directly to the borrower. In Kenya, Zidisha takes the direct payment concept even further, sending a loan over Kenya’s mobile money system through a borrower’s cell phone.” READ MORE
Voices from Eurasia
Radical efficiency – what’s that all about?
“This spring I got chance to visit NESTA, the UK’s innovation foundation, to learn about their work on radical efficiency and improving the delivery of public services.
Now they have synthesized some lessons and observations from their work in several countries in a new publication: Getting Ready for Radical Efficiency (pdf). The context is interesting because the UK is in the midst of a transformation as it decentralizes decision-making power to communities and local government and tries to put communities in charge of planning and let people know how their money is spent.
The NESTA publication gets it right from the very fundamentals: begin by getting new perspectives from community members on the nature of local challenges.” READ MORE