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Game-changers and whistle-blowers: taxing wealth

Jim Brumby's picture
Also available in: Français 

High and rising income inequality is a serious concern in many countries, as highlighted in the IMF’s recent Fiscal Monitor. Wealth, however, is distributed even more unequally than income, as in the picture below.

Antananarivo: A city for whom?

Salim Rouhana's picture

América Latina posee una larga, fracturada y en definitiva fracasada historia en torno a los medios públicos. Los llamados “medios públicos” generalmente han operado como instituciones controladas por el gobierno con fines espurios —propaganda y clientelismo— en lugar de presentar contenidos de calidad al servicio de los múltiples intereses públicos.

In Africa, sustainable urbanization starts with effective financial management

Sameh Wahba's picture
Aerial shot of Bazaruto's clear blue waters. Photo: Andre Aquino/World Bank

An innovative World Bank project with a co-management agreement hopes to make conservation more equitable in one of Mozambique’s most beautiful national parks.
If paradise exists, it looks like central Mozambique’s Bazaruto archipelago. White-sand beaches and sky-high dunes ring Indian Ocean islands draped in forest, savannah, and wetland. Crystal-clear waters support an abundance of marine-life—manta rays, sharks, and whales make their homes amongst the mangroves, beds of algae, and coral reefs.

Why providing pre-seed and seed capital is the essential step to bringing West Africa and Sahel’s entrepreneurs to the next level

Alexandre Laure's picture
Also available in: Français

"In Chad, young people increasingly turn to innovative entrepreneurship but often become demoralized when confronted with the common issue of lack of early-stage financing.” This is how Parfait Djimnade, co-founder of Agro Business Tchad, a leading e-commerce agribusiness and social enterprise in Chad, described the challenge many aspiring entrepreneurs face in securing the necessary capital to fund and grow their start-ups, specifically in the Sahel and West Africa.

The frustration Parfait highlights is common across the Africa region, where more than 40 percent of entrepreneurs cite access to finance as the major factor limiting their growth, according to World Bank Enterprise Surveys. West African start-ups and innovative young SMEs are indeed facing the classic ‘valley of death’ — the space between where the entrepreneur’s own resources from family and friends (“love money”) gets depleted and when the company is financially viable enough to attract later-stage investment and financing available on the market. The shortage of financing in the market starts from the pre-seed stage (US$20,000) to early-venture capital stage (US$1 million).

Why technology will disrupt and transform Africa’s agriculture sector—in a good way

Simeon Ehui's picture
© Dasan Bobo/World Bank
© Dasan Bobo/World Bank

Agriculture is critical to some of Africa’s biggest development goals. The sector is an engine of job creation: Farming alone currently accounts for about 60 percent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa, while the share of jobs across the food system is potentially much larger. In Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, the food system is projected to add more jobs than the rest of the economy between 2010 and 2025. Agriculture is also a driver of inclusive and sustainable growth, and the foundation of a food system that provides nutritious, safe, and affordable food. 

How can Côte d’Ivoire help its businesses and citizens acquire new technologies?

Anuella Hélaise's picture

Photo Credit: Tim Wang via Flickr Creative Commons

According to the World Bank Group’s Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) Database, an estimated 10-30% of global infrastructure projects with private-sector participation in low- and middle-income countries are unsolicited, meaning the proposal was submitted by a private sector entity without an explicit request from a government to do so. The considerable use of this alternative procurement method, where the private sector rather than the government takes the leading role in initiating and developing a project, raises important concerns for public infrastructure practitioners at both technical and political levels due to the nature of unsolicited proposals (USPs). USPs offer potential opportunities for governments, but experience shows they can introduce several challenges, such as diverting public resources away from the strategic plans of the government, failing to attract competition, and ultimately leading to opportunities for corruption.

Global Youth Well-Being Index: "We need more opportunities for youth"

Ritu Sharma's picture
 Department for International Development - Supplying medicines (CC BY 2.0)
Photo: Department for International Development : Supplying medicines (CC BY 2.0)

Fighting corruption was at the center of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia that ended in September. Not surprisingly, Open Contracting, an approach to bring deals between governments and businesses into the open, was identified as a key tool in fighting corruption in the Putrajaya Declaration that emerged from the Conference.
Government contracts are one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption. As contracts cut across sectors, every service a government provides can be affected by it. Life saving medicines, and schools buildings, and infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, bridges, estimated at US $1 trillion worth, provide opportunities for agreements behind closed doors that can harm societies in the long-term.

Creating a flood resilient city: Moving from disaster response to disaster resilience in Ibadan

Salim Rouhana's picture

Courts must expeditiously, but fairly, adjudicate corruption cases, and the penalties imposed on those convicted must be sufficient to dissuade others from similar acts.  To ensure that anti-corruption laws are indeed being effectively enforced, governments need to monitor the enforcement process. 

Doing so can provide performance measures to inform and guide policy design and implementation.  These performance measures also serve as indicators of corruption.  In the short run, policy makers may not be able to do much to change these indicators, but  measures, focused on performance, can provide a country something more concrete to act upon, helping policy-makers to prioritize.

For example, if the number of completed corruption investigations in a particular country is low because of difficulty in obtaining evidence, it can identify changes in policy and procedures which expand or strengthen investigators powers and tools such as providing it with subpeona powers or access to financial records.

Is acceleration the panacea for scaling growth entrepreneurs? Reflections from XL Africa

Natasha Kapil's picture
XL Africa entrepreneurs at the XL Africa Residency, Cape Town, South Africa.
Digital entrepreneurs at the XL Africa Residency, Cape Town, South Africa.

The World Bank Group has helped strengthen the ecosystem for digital entrepreneurs and seed digital incubators in several countries around the world, including KenyaSenegal, and South Africa, just to name a few. Start-ups in these “mLabs” have developed or improved more than 500 digital products or services, and some 100 early stage firms raised over $15 million in investments and grant funding. But is this the answer to scaling growth entrepreneurs on the continent?

Podcasts to prevent intimate partner violence: Leveraging social networks in Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia

Anne Bennett's picture

طرق جديدة لجمع البيانات

تتيح البيانات للحكومات فرصا للعمل بمزيد من الكفاءة والفعالية، (e) كما تتيح للمواطنين الانخراط مع الحكومات والاضطلاع بدور أكثر فعالية في المجتمعات المحلية، وللناشطين دعم جهودهم في الدعوة بالاستناد إلى الحقائق، ولمنظمي المشاريع طرح منتجات وخدمات جديدة في السوق، (e) ولقطاع كبير منا بأن يتمكن من اتخاذ القرارات التي تتعلق بالحياة اليومية.

على صعيد تنظيم مشاريع العمل الحر، يستكشف فريق البيانات المالية المفتوحة لدى البنك الدولي القيمة التجارية للبيانات المفتوحة، ويبحث عن فرص لدعم منظمي المشاريع. هذه الأهداف يمكن إنجازها بفضل الحكومات التي عززت الإبداع حول إتاحة البيانات للجمهور من خلال اتخاذ الخطوات اللازمة لإتاحتها للجميع. ماذا يحدث إذا لم تتح الحكومات البيانات للجمهور؟ هل من الممكن أن يستفيد منظمو المشاريع من البيانات المفتوحة التي لا تتوفر للجميع؟