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.

Bangladesh: A STEP towards better Employability

To ensure better employment opportunities for the Bangladeshi labor force, in both local

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and overseas job markets, skills development and vocational education has to be aligned with the market demand. The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) aims to strengthen public and private training institutions to improve the quality of skills training and employability of trainees, both at home and abroad, including those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Challenges

Bangladesh economy has been registering steady economic growth of around 6 percent over the past decade.  As local and global economic shifts continue toward industry and services, demand for skilled manpower is expected to rise at home and abroad. A labor-surplus country, the Bangladesh government is increasingly focusing on workforce development through technical and vocational education training (TVET). This is a timely response as the country prepares to accommodate and capitalize on the ongoing demographic dividend. However, poor training quality, low employability and inadequate wages plague the TVET sector, requiring interventions for addressing these issues.

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eConsultant2: Mid-term review for the Kenya Investment Climate Program (Phase II)

Deadline: 01-Oct-2015 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.)

The Kenya Investment Climate Program (KICP II) is in the middle of its implementation span, and seeks to engage a consulting firm to undertake a Mid-Term Review (MTR). KICP II aims at stimulating private investment (domestic, FDI and PPPs), leading to job creation and economic growth in the country. The MTR will provide an assessment of the program design, implementation progress and results accomplished towards intended targets to date.

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Global Economic Prospects

The World Bank Group published its Global EcInfographiconomic Prospects (GEP) report yesterday, January 13, 2015.

After growing by an estimated 2.6 percent in 2014, the global economy is projected to expand by 3 percent this year, 3.3 percent in 2016 and 3.2 percent in 2017, predicts the Bank’s twice-yearly flagship. Developing countries grew by 4.4 percent in 2014 and are expected to edge up to 4.8 percent in 2015, strengthening to 5.3 and 5.4 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

“In this uncertain economic environment, developing countries need to judiciously deploy their resources to support social programs with a laser-like focus on the poor and undertake structural reforms that invest in people,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “It’s also critical for countries to remove any unnecessary roadblocks for private sector investment. The private sector is by far the greatest source of jobs and that can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”

Read the World Bank press release here.