Thursday, April 08, 2010

"Banker to the Poor" Speaks on Africa's Need for Social Business

"People are ready in Africa, there is no problem with the people, it's a question of institutional and conceptual arrangement," said Mohammad Yunus in a recent Reuters interview. Yunus is a former Nobel Prize winner for his work in the field of micro-finance leading to huge successes in Bangladesh. Yunus now focuses his efforts on an idea he calls "Social Business" as a way to fight global poverty.

There is an immense need for new legislation creating new types of banks that actually work with the poor. This legislation has not occurred in Africa, thus all the micro-finance is left up to non-governmental organizations-which isn't enough.

Asia is home to more than 80% of the world's 150 million micro-finance beneficiaries, largely due to Yunus' work. Mohammad spoke on the untapped potential of African women, saying: "African women are very active compared to any women anywhere in the world...but financing is never brought to them." Hopefully with Yunus' words of wisdom Africa can pass the legislation necessary to reach Asia's level of micro-finance success.

-Nick Mohazzabfar