In Benin, Can Resilient Investment Solutions Save a Battered Coast?

I was raised in a small town called Hornsea on England’s east coast, a magnificent blog-in-benin-can-resilient-investment-solutions-save-a-battered-coast-780x439placethat attracts tourists but is eroding faster than the rest of Europe. Some of the impressive, clay cliffs are literally crumbling. Local roads and the old settlement and have fallen into the sea. More than once, forward-planning residents have demolished and rebuilt their houses from salvaged materials as their coast recedes.

Continue reading

World Bank Helps Bangladesh Improve Water and Sanitation Services in Chittagong

On August 6, 2017, The government of Bangladesh signed an additional $47.50 million Bangladesh partnershipfinancing agreement with the World Bank to continue construction of new water infrastructure in Chittagong, and provide access to safe water to around 650,000 inhabitants in the city.

The additional financing to the Chittagong Water Supply Improvement and Sanitation Project will help the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) to complete constructing the Modunaghat Water Treatment Plant and Patenga Booster Pumping Station, as well as to install 60 km of new water transmission pipeline and rehabilitate another 73 km pipeline from Kalurghat to the Patenga Booster Pumping Station.

Continue reading

Community-Driven Projects Reduce Poverty and Empower Youth in Nigeria

STORY HIGHLIGHTSng-community-driven-projects-reduce-poverty-and-empower-youth-in-nigeria-780x439.jpg

  • To combat poverty, the Commercial Agriculture Development Project for Nigeria involves beneficiaries as key players and partners.
  • The project supports the strengthening of skills and capacity of Local Government Authorities and sectoral public agencies to provide support to communities.
  • The community-driven, development approach has resulted in 3,435 micro-projects, of which more than 50 percent are completed and in use.

Continue reading

Finger Splints, Coding, Drones and R2D2: The Evolving Face of Technology and Development

Blood-delivering drones? Check. 3D-printer working off grid to print finger splints?drone Check. Disadvantaged women trained and employed in software-developing? Check. Is this how technology can deliver for development?

First things first. Let’s go back to the first principles. The World Bank’s World Development Report 2016 used a 3X3 framework to think about digital technology from a development lens: inclusion, efficiency and innovation for people, governments and businesses. Digital technologies, when employed as a tool for development, have the capacity to promote inclusive economies and societies, build upon existing capital and generate economies of scale. Herein lies powerful potential.

Continue reading

Women and finance: unlocking new sources of economic growth

From basic financial services to board rooms, strengthening women’s role in finance is women-finance-blogpost.jpgone of the keys to boosting economic growth.

In every country, women and men alike need access to finance so that they can invest in their families and businesses.  But today, 42% of women worldwide – about 1.1 billion – remain outside of the formal financial system, without a bank account or other basic tools to manage their money.

Poor financial access makes it harder for these women to get ahead, but it also holds back development in many countries.  This is because women tend to invest more of their money in education, health care and children’s welfare.  These priorities not only strengthen their families but also underpin a society’s long-term strength.

Supporting data for development: applications open for a new innovation fund

I’m pleased to announce that applications are now open for the second round of a new uganda_stills_006data innovation fund which was announced last month at the UN’s High Level Political Forum. The fund will invest up to $2.5 million in Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development – ideas to improve the production, management and use of data in poor countries. This year the fund’s thematic areas are “Leave No One Behind” and the environment.

Details on eligibility, criteria and how to apply are here: bit.ly/wb-gpsdd-innovationfund-2017

Continue reading

New Trade Information Portal Improves Transparency in Vietnam

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon River

  • With support from the World Bank Group, Vietnam is improving trade facilitation with the recently launched trade information portal aimed at generating more trade and investment
  • The Vietnam Trade Information Portal makes it easier and less costly for the private sector to move goods and services
  • With the launch of the trade portal, Vietnam is moving towards full compliance with the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement to make trade-related information accessible to the private sector

Putting women’s health and empowerment at the center of development

Last week on World Population Day, I was thinking of the joy of children and the right of babieswomen to decide when to have them. It matters to women, but it matters to society as a whole. There can be no sustainable development without women’s empowerment, and there can be no women’s empowerment without access to comprehensive maternal and reproductive health services. Family planning is part of them.

Continue reading

Unlocking Investment in West Africa

Despite West Africa’s enormous investment potential, its integration into the global nigeria-fdi-hoeleconomy is low. One sign of this is that the region captures only 5% of Africa’s total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The main hurdles for national, regional, and foreign investors are cross-border constraints. Small businesses and service providers are especially affected.

“In Nigeria, burdensome and non-transparent administrative procedures, land, the clearance of goods and services at ports and airports, and access to finance are some of the obstacles hampering investors,” said Bala Bello, Deputy Director for Policy and Advocacy at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

Continue reading