The Huffington Post

Finance as a Tool for Inclusive Growth

Finance can be highly disruptive and destructive, but it can also be an immeasurably powerful tool for good, according to Bertrand Badre, Managing Director and World Bank Group CFO. Flow of capital into emerging markets and developing economies for infrastructure increases the availability of basic services, resulting in increased access to water, electricity and sanitation, more hospitals, schools and roads and stimulation of entrepreneurship, trade and prosperity. Many countries are investing in financial inclusion strategies. Religion permeates almost every facet of development and faith organizations play an instrumental role in combatting poverty as service providers, change agents and advocates. Partnering with faith-based groups will allow us to combine technical approaches with the motivating power of hope.

Will Investing in MENA Technology Fuel Philanthropy?

Lately, for the Middle East & North Africa region, a long list of big-name institutions and investors have been recommending that investing in MENA's technology sector may be the way to address their unemployment and infrastructural problems -- even the political unrest. Meanwhile, a variety of NGOs are establishing themselves in the MENA region, or regrouping, to better fix the infrastructural problems they see -- and maybe the unemployment. Technology and philanthropy may operate better within a social enterprise model that rewards talent -- achieving "social good" together. On Thursday, November 7, Al-Mubadarah (The Arab Empowerment Initiative) will host the first summit on philanthropy and technology in Washington, D.C.: MENA + SocialGood.

MBA Students: How Would You Solve Unemployment in the Middle East & North Africa?

Middle Eastern business leaders gathered to discuss "Economies of Freedom: Reshaping the Future of the MENA region" at the second annual Wharton MENA Business Conference on Feb. 16, which was held in Philadelphia. Iraqi entrepreneur Shwan Taha, one of the panelists at the conference, advised the young audience to invest in frontier markets in whichever sector that could serve the young generation. Joe Saddi, who heads Booz & Company added that logistics is a big opportunity. The general recommendation for young US MBA students was to invest their time and business strengths into an uncertain environment instead of worrying about the unemployment statistics from MENA countries.

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