Stories tagged with Africa

Sep 9, 2014 KE Kenya


My first boda experience in Kenya occurred on a wet morning, in the pitch-black darkness that is the 5 o'clock hour, on uneven dirt roads winding through the rural farmland of Isibania, Kenya.  I was wearing the broken helmet of a former Kiva Fellow who had been in a motorcycle accident in exactly these conditions.



 
The beauty of being a person afflicted with many fears is that is doesn’t take much to experience an adrenaline rush.  In this situation, I might as well have been free climbing Mt. Kenya for the amount of dopamine... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 GO Global Update
Paynesville south - suburb of Monrovia, Liberia

I have just realized that my definition of poverty has evolved over the past 6 months as I have gotten to know my host countries and have met with various people in different communities. Poverty is not always the lack of resources to enjoy a minimum standard of life and well-being, provided that how one assesses that is anything but straightforward. Sometimes, it’s also the unwillingness to take advantages of opportunities that could improve one’s life conditions... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2014 BF Burkina Faso

Maboudou, 27, was one of the first graduate students to fund his studies with Micro Start through a Kiva loan of $4,250


I’m currently working with the partner Micro Start, a microfinance institution based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. They are one of the few in West Africa offering a loan product to college students. Since 2012, they have been piloting this product with a graduate school of public works based in Ouagadougou. So how does this work? The school identifies high-achieving, responsible... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2014 ZM Zambia
After three weeks in the field, I’ve just completed my ten Borrower Verifications for Kiva’s Field Partner, Zoona. I’ve traveled from the capital city, Lusaka, as far north as the Tanzania border at Nakonde, and as far south as Victoria Falls in Livingstone. With at least 3,000 km behind me, and 100+ hours in the field visiting with the entrepreneurs at the very heart of Kiva’s mission, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible and resilient individuals, and had the privilege of hearing their stories.

What has made Kiva’s platform so compelling and successful is the power... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2013 ZM Zambia


Have you ever wondered who writes Kiva loan descriptions? Who takes the pictures and videos you see on the website? Who is responsible for connecting you--the lender--to borrowers?

At Zoona in Zambia, that person is Memory, Kiva Coordinator extraordinaire.

Each of Kiva’s 193 field partners has a Kiva Coordinator, a designated person that manages Kiva loans. The role of Kiva Coordinator varies between partners, and is sometimes shared between multiple people.

...
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May 5, 2013 ZM Zambia


“I just want to be a successful business woman,” Sandra says when asked what she hopes to achieve in the next 2-3 years.

She already is. In fact, she is the most successful agent working with Zoona--a mobile money/transactions company that allows individuals to send and receive money over their phones using the conversion of cash into electronic value, and electronic value back into cash. Zoona relies on a distrubuted network of agents, like Sandra, who operate businesses that provide the cash in/out capability....

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May 5, 2013 SL Sierra Leone

The website of a foreign-owned diamond mining company in Sierra Leone states, "Our Diamonds Doing Good: Follow our progress as we demonstrate that responsible and sustainable diamond mining can - and will - elevate and empower the people, the economy, and the country of Sierra Leone."

During my second week in Sierra Leone as a Kiva Fellow, I visited Kono district where this company - among others - bases its operations, and if this trip has taught me anything, it is that there is little evidence that diamond mining has brought any...

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Mar 3, 2013 KE Kenya

On March 4th, 2013 over 12.3 million Kenyans headed to the polls to elect their next parliamentarians, senators, governors and their fourth president since independence 50 years ago. In the weeks prior to the big day, Kenyans urged one another to become registered voters, consequently breaking all of its election records to date. Over 14.3 million people registered to vote, 86.1% of which turned out on election day. Many voters woke up before dawn, queuing as early as 1:00 am, and waited more than 10 hours to cast their ballots.

... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2013 KE Kenya

Although there is a growing middle class in Africa, the lack of basic services, adequate infrastructure and access to banking are still pervasive. Rather than completely stifling growth, these deficiencies have become fertile ground for innovators whipping up solutions and products customized for the continent. In Africa, developmental challenges can be synonymous with opportunity. “We thank God for giving us many problems so that we can find solutions,” joked Kenyan Information and Communication secretary Bitange Ndemo to the Daily Nation at an IBM forum in February...

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