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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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This January, Marketlinks Explores the Role of eCommerce in Advancing Development Outcomes

January 3, 2022
This post was authored by Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group and Technical Director, eTrade Alliance. This January, the Alliance for eTrade Development (“eTrade Alliance”) will be taking over Marketlinks, sharing experiences from its two years of implementation and making the case for why enabling ecommerce should be at the forefront of the development agenda.

The Market Corner: Advice for Aspiring Senior Market Systems Development Leaders

December 21, 2021
Earlier this month, I spoke with market systems development (MSD) expert Mike Klassen and two MSD leaders, Nina FitzSimons CEO of PRISMA, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded program in Indonesia, and Bidowra Khan, Team Lead for Social Inclusion and Support Market Systems for the USAID Feed the Future Rice and Diversified Crops Activity in B

Private Sector Engagement (PSE) and Market Systems Development (MSD): Improving Each Other

December 21, 2021
Reflections from Katie Garcia, Deputy Director of USAID’s Private Sector Engagement Hub, and Kristin O’Planick, Market Systems Team Lead in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. There is a growing amount of convergence between PSE and MSD. For practitioners of either approach, there is value in learning more about the tools and techniques of the other to see how they can be useful in advancing the shared goal of transformational change.

How One Pension Fund Identified Investment Opportunities in Africa

December 15, 2021
By Emily Langhorne, USAID INVEST In 2019, Chicago Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund made its first commitments on the African continent. Since 2017, Chief Investment Officer Angela Miller-May participated in the U.S. Government’s Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure (MiDA) Program. Through the program, Miller-May learned about the continent’s investment opportunities, and, for the first time in her life, she visited Africa.

Why Investing in Emerging Markets is a Win for Investors and African Companies

December 14, 2021
CEO of Development Partners International (DPI) Runa Alam talks about the history of Pan-African private equity, the potential for institutional capital to drive the continent’s development, and the role of the Prosper Africa initiative in catalyzing two-way trade and investment between the United States and African nations.

This Bond Could Be a Breakthrough in Combatting West Africa’s Housing Shortage

December 8, 2021
For most West Africans, homeownership is out of reach. Rapid population growth and urbanization have created a housing shortage, exacerbated by the lack of access to affordable mortgage loans to finance purchases. With support from USAID INVEST, the Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire (CRRH) is bringing a new investment opportunity to U.S. markets that offers investors attractive financial and social returns — and West Africans the resources to make homeownership a reality. By Lauren Yang, INVEST Communications Advisor

Marketlinks in 2021: Year in Review

December 1, 2021
This month, Marketlinks is highlighting the best of 2021, including the standout learning and knowledge-sharing content that has resonated the most with our community.

Are We Too Focused on Access to Credit? Agent Banks Boost Resiliency During COVID-19 Pandemic

November 16, 2021
In early 2020, the Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, began an assessment to understand how the Activity could increase financial access for agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (agri-SMEs) in Bangladesh during COVID-19. The assessment originally focused on opportunities for the Activity to increase financial access through agent banks during the pandemic.

Private Sector Engagement in the Bajo Cauca Region of Colombia

October 29, 2021
By Erin Magee, Regional Advisor, Latin America & the Caribbean, USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance For Diana Arismendy Schroeder, establishing a community-centered approach is critical when working in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

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?