In the effort to understand the principles of economics and how they constrain efforts to bring about positive change through social-entrepreneurship, Africa has been a major educational source since its has been the arena of greatest challenge and opportunity for those engaged in such efforts.
Ode Magazine : Small farmers, bigger markets write of the inspiring efforts of TEDGlobal Fellow and agriculture activist Thomas George to build fair-play marketplaces for poor farmers in Kenya. His organization, Vipani, is a resource for workers on small farms -- people without credit, connections or know-how -- to access networks of other farmers, buyers, suppliers and lenders.
George's work -- which he plans to expand to Rwanda and Uganda -- will resonate with fans of Eleni Gabre-Madhin, who spoke on Ethiopian commodities markets at TEDGlobal Africa in 2007, and Iqbal Quadir, who talked about empowering communities by connecting farmers with mobile phones.
"A thriving rural economy," says George, "will benefit not only farmers, but everyone in the community." -- Matthew Trost
The two women carried on about liquidity and profit margins, and recalled with pride attending the first shareholder meeting of KenGen this year, an event so huge that it had to be held in the city's largest soccer stadium. About 200,000 people from all corners of the country came like so many newly minted executives.
"I felt so good," Kariuki recalled. "It was just normal, common people. People dressed well. What impressed me was the number of old women -- they were coming in their traditional clothes. They were telling me, 'Yes, we bought!' "
Professor Cowen provides the full story that ran in the Washington Post.
More on the debate from a European perspective. The links below were tagged Kenya under the EUFORIC del.icio.us tagging account. There are more links available. The way this post was set up to use all of this weblog's tagging systems, you can save theoretically save to StumbleUpon or to del.icio.us, as always, this is an experiment.
About the briefings « Brussels Development Briefings
The ACP-EU technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the European Commission, the EU Presidency, the ACP Group, Euforic, Concord, and other partners plan to organize regular development briefing sessions in Brussels on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation.
These issues are complicated even more with concerns over diverting crops for use as bio-fuels and farm subsidies in developed countries. I gave my two-cents at a past Marginal Revolution comments section discussing Kill the Farm Subsidy Bill.