RENEW Strategies

In Africa, Do What Works

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Joshua Weissburg
| November 28, 2009

What a refreshing piece from the New York Times columnist (and longtime development aid advocate) Nicholas Kristof in last Sunday's Times. His insightful take on the much-debated value of development aid titled simply How Can We Help the World's Poor, was right on the money. Kristof advises that we take note of but look past the headline-grabbing debates between the various camps promoting or excoriating aid as a giant waste of time.

Look, says Kristof, to the projects that are being rigorously evaluated, some of which actually produce measurable results for the poor. And guess what? Many of these turn out to be businesses:

I was recently in Liberia, a fragile African democracy struggling to rebuild. It is chock-full of aid groups rushing around in white S.U.V.’s doing wonderful work. But it also needs factories to employ people, build skills and pay salaries and taxes."

Through our online Marketplace, RENEW is working to provide a forum for these entrepreneurs to tell the story of the impact they have had and the impact they hope to achieve.

Take a look and tell us what you think.