Lee-Roy Chetty

How poor is poor?

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. — James A Baldwin Poverty and hunger remain a global challenge. However fewer people live in extreme poverty in the 21st century compared to previous generations. According to the World Bank, between 1981 and 2008, the proportion of people…

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Filling in the gaps – understanding white space spectrum

Technological innovation and information communication technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing world nations to foster economic growth and development, improve levels of education and training, as well as address gender issues within society. Put simply, ICTs help reinforce, converge and integrate all three key pillars of sustainable development, and also support and facilitate the…

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Africa falling short on millennium goals

Despite Africa’s exponential economic growth and development over the past decade and additional support from the international donor community, progress and the realisation of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been slow in progress. Greater gains have been made over the past 15 years, however Africa’s performance overall continues to lag on health…

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A vision for an African infrastructure agenda

The recognition that the African continent’s infrastructure gap still remains a development challenge has reached consensus among the international development community and African governments alike. Not only is Africa’s level of endowment low, but the continent also faces higher access costs for all infrastructure services compared with other developing regions around the world. When all…

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Economic growth set to reduce poverty in Africa

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5% on average between 2013 and 2015 as a result of high commodity prices worldwide and strong consumer spending on the continent, ensuring that the region remains among the fastest growing in the world. In 2012, about 25% of countries on the African continent…

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The changing landscape of financial inclusion

Today, there is broad recognition that access to capital is only one of the inputs required for economic development and poverty alleviation. Furthermore, the marginalised — like anyone — require and use a variety of financial services for a variety of purposes. And some of these services work better than others, for reasons we are…

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Africa’s mobile revolution in education

For a continent that has historically been largely unconnected via land-based telecommunications, mobile telephony uptake over the last few years has been nothing short of a revolution on the African continent. In 1995 there were an estimated 600 000 mobile phone subscriptions in Africa. A decade later this number rose to 87 million and in 2012 it…

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The importance of technology for education

In a globalised economy with a high degree of competition among countries, the success of a nation depends on the educational level of its workforce. This is true not only for those just entering or already integrated into the labour market but also for the unemployed, who may lack the qualifications required by the growing…

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The importance of financial inclusion in the developing world

Financial inclusion poses policy challenges on a scale and with an urgency that is unique for developing countries, which house nearly 90% of the world’s unbanked population. Developing country policymakers have recognised that complex and multi-dimensional factors contribute to financial exclusion and therefore require a comprehensive variety of providers, products and technologies that work within…

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Unemployment fuels social unrest

Jobs influence who we are and our relations with others. In most societies, jobs are a fundamental source of self-respect and social identity. Jobs also connect people with others through networks. The workplace can be a place to encounter new ideas and information and to interact with people of different cultures and ethnicities. The distribution…

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