Daily Brief: ICT, Infrastructure, and For-Profits on Global Giving

Here’s your Daily Brief for November 16th:

How to Profit off the Poor… and Keep Your Soul – This is a great TechCrunch article about a growing ICT company setting up computer kisoks in the slums in India. This is my favorite part of the article:

Instead Mitra wondered what would happen if he left a computer out in the open for a group of children to discover. So he literally knocked a hole in the office wall to the slum on the other side. He shoved a computer in the hole and set up a camera on a tree limb to record what happened. A 13-year-old, illiterate kid who’d never seen a computer wandered over tentatively, and soon realized he could move the cursor by moving a finger across the touch pad. Within four hours, a small group of kids had gathered. They had figured out how to open Internet Explorer and were playing a game on Disney’s Web site. “All of us were absolutely shocked watching that,” says Abhishek Gupta who heads the program now. Some expected the kids to break or even try to steal the computer.

World Bank Uncovers Major Deficiencies in Africa’s Infrastructure (via Africa Business Source) – The World Bank recently released a report that takes a hard look at Africa’s infrastructure challenges. The most pressing issue is that of electricity – a major factor that drives economic growth:

The report estimates that US$93 billion will be required annually over the next decade, more than twice what was previously thought. The bulk of that, Almost 50 billion, of this amount is needed to address the continent’s current power supply crisis that is hindering Africa’s growth. The new estimate amounts to roughly 15 percent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP), comparable to what China invested in infrastructure over the last decade.

The study, “Africa’s Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation”, was conducted in 24 countries  and shows that the poor state of infrastructure in Sub Saharan Africa – its electricity, water, roads, and information and communications technology (ICT) – cuts national economic growth by 2 percentage points every year and reduces business productivity by as much as 40 percent.

The study found that existing spending on African infrastructure is much higher than previously known, $45 billion a year.  Also surprising was the fact that most of this is domestically financed by African tax payers and consumers.  The study also found that there is also considerable wastage to address; a number of efficiency improvements could potentially expand the available resources by a further $17 billion.

The full report may be found here: http://www.infrastructureafrica.org/aicd/

Infostate of Africa (via Appfrica) – Some very cool graphical representations of infrastructure development in Africa.

Africa is the final ICT Market (via VC4Africa) – A good look at the ICT Market in Africa

Global Giving Addresses Socially Conscious For-Profits – Traditionally Global Giving, the online philanthropy website, has supported a wide array of nonprofit projects around the world. Given the growing interest in for-profit driven social enterprises, Global Giving will be specifically highlighting such projects on their site!

Tasteful Company | Madécasse – The Moment Blog (NYT) – Madécasse Chocolate featured on NYT Blog!

By : Marco Puccia /November 16, 2009 /Uncategorized /0 Comment

What are your thoughts?