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Browse recent blogs of interest to the Marketlinks community. Use the search box or the filters on the left-hand side to refine the listing of blogs by keyword, topic, and/or region/country.

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Pension Funds Could Close the SDG Gap. What’s Holding Them Back?

October 11, 2021
Pension funds and other institutional investors hold more than $100 trillion in assets, and their stakeholders are increasingly interested in utilizing those funds to make socially responsible investments. At the same time, countries in Africa are growing fast — but risk falling behind if they can’t finance the necessary infrastructure to support their growth. On the surface, it would seem like a perfect union of returns and social responsibility. Yet only a fraction of institutional investors hold assets in developing countries. What is holding them back?

Unlocking Capital for Women Entrepreneurs Can Improve Livelihoods In Developing Countries: A Look at Kenya

September 1, 2021
Jane Wangige is a rice farmer in Kirinyaga County who has made money and improved her family’s livelihood from her rice farm. Her business prospered due to her membership in Mwea Rice Growers Multipurpose Co-operative Society (MRGM). MRGM is a farmer’s cooperative society that has accessed financing from USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)—or specifically, a KIM partner financial institution, Co-operative Bank of Kenya.

Removing the Tampon Tax in Ethiopia

June 22, 2021
This post was originally published on the Global Waters website and written by Lisa Schechtman, Senior Policy and Partnerships Advisor, USAID Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Kathrin Tegenfeldt, Climate and WASH Advisor, Economic Growth and Transformation Office, USAID/Ethiopia.

Kenyan Coconut Enterprise Tries Out New Recipe: Gender Equity

June 10, 2021
By Carolanne Chanik, INVEST Communications Coordinator About an hour drive outside of the port city of Mombasa lies the coastal town of Ukunda, a modest road stop on the way to Kenya’s Diani Beach. On the outskirts of Ukunda are a smattering of general stores and auto repair shops to serve motorists and day travelers, and a coconut processing plant owned by Kentaste Products Limited.

Tanzania Looks to Blended Finance Solution for Hospital Network Modernization

June 9, 2021
By Desmond Dodd, INVEST Communications When Tanzania’s government recently began reducing funding, medical supplies, and staff available to faith-based hospitals, Peter Maduki quickly understood the stakes involved for his members. “Some of our hospitals will be at a high risk of closing,” said Maduki, the Executive Director of the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), a national ecumenical organization that facilitates health services through member churches.

Systems Theory through a Gender Lens

June 1, 2021
While the gender gap represents $28 trillion that could be added to global GDP by 2025, the pipeline of potential investments remains elusive for many funds. This is due to a range of factors including unconscious bias, a rigged system, lack of access to female networks, and lack of women in decision-making roles. These existing systemic issues are further exacerbated by COVID-19 and the uneven burden placed on women during the pandemic.

Cash Transfers and Economic Resilience

June 1, 2021
With pandemic lockdowns crippling labor demand and supply around the world, government interest in social protection and labor market programs in general, and cash transfers in particular, has increased dramatically.

Supporting an Environmentally Friendly Economy For a Healthy Amazon Basin

May 28, 2021
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released the Amazon Vision 2020 Report describing its achievements in biodiversity and sustainable landscape initiatives across Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname. As part of this progress update, the report focuses on the Agency’s work to promote a more sustainable and innovative development model that supports Amazonian entrepreneurs with a vision for a sustainable local economy.

Mangoes and More – Building a Better Business Enabling Environment for Investment in Kenya’s Makueni County

May 25, 2021
The Opportunity – Massive Mango Production and Processing Potential Makueni County is Kenya’s top mango-growing region, producing more mangoes (38,000 metric tons per year) than any other county. With a short harvest season from November to March, more than 40% of production goes to waste due to processing and demand constraints. Further, mango farmers struggle with dramatic price fluctuations, including an annual collapse in mango prices during the peak production season in January.

Climate Finance and the Urgency for Adaptation in the Developing World

April 28, 2021
There is growing momentum in the international community to ramp up climate finance for mitigation and adaptation actions. Undoubtedly, a focus on climate change adaptation in the developing world must be a priority for the financing. At the same time, there is a rallying call for countries to focus post-COVID-19 recovery investment on green and resilient pathways that take into consideration urgency to address climate change priorities.

Safeguards for IKI Projects

April 13, 2021
The IKI has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and emerging countries and in transition economies since 2008 and the IKI wants to ensure that the measures carried out by the projects do not have any negative effects on the people, their living conditions and nature.

ECommerce Accelerates Opportunities for Women-led MSMES

March 29, 2021
Engagement in international trade provides many benefits for MSMEs including diversifying and expanding their market base, driving revenue growth and job creation, and increasing competitiveness. For these reasons intentional trade has been recognized as a powerful tool for creating economic opportunity and reducing poverty in developing economies.