In the sustainable development priorities for the next 15 years adopted by heads of states in New York this week, the United Nations has highlighted financial inclusion as an important enabler for poorer households in the informal economies of the global south to increase resilience and better capture opportunities.
I am closely following the UN Conference on Financing for Development happening now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and I am thinking of the potentialities and the (hopeful) opportunities that a conference of this caliber can have on a global scale, making a meaningful impact on the lives of millions of people in developing countries.
The study of inequality has been going on forever. To give you an idea, the index used to measure how unequal the distribution of income is -- the "Gini Coefficient" -- was invented a century ago. So, why the sudden interest? Why worry now about something that has been the fodder of academics, politicians, and the media for so long?
Every time I travel I am reminded of a sentence I wrote in my journal the first time I went to Africa. "Never underestimate the power of people who have nothing to teach you all you need to know about everything that matters." This empty classroom, full of lessons and hope powerfully whispered the same.
In 2013, McKinsey & Company predicted that by 2025 almost 230 Fortune Global 500 companies would be based in cities in the emerging markets. Whilst I can't yet comment on whether this prediction is likely to come true, it is interesting to look at how companies are shifting their focus to these developing countries.
Girls raised in Mumbai's brothels deal not only with challenging living conditions but also with physical, mental, and sexual violence. Several NGOs provide education and skills training to the children to try to break the cycle of prostitution, but few have their sights set beyond traditional work.