Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are Loans the Answer?

The path to sustainability for Sub-Saharan Africa has many obstacles. Although this region is seeing growth as of late, sustaining their newly found increases is the most important topic to look at for the future of their development. While there have been many small changes, these countries require a sweeping, grand change in order to push their development to the next level. These developing lands require efforts to sustain their growth and give them a chance at financial independence.

Grameen Bank’s Loan Strategies

As of late there have been many strategies to give this region the boost in self-reliance that it needs and one of the most successful endeavors has been the work of the Grameen Bank. The Grameen Bank, founded by Muhammad Yunus, a professor at the University of Chittgong, is a microfinance organization that helps communities develop by making small loans to places of need without these regions needing to provide collateral. The

idea is that if the poor are given the ability to provide their services, they can earn money and gain sustainability. Because they don’t require anything in return, this gives impoverished people a chance to gain a stable flow of finances without having to worry about finding a way to afford the loan in the first place. This has shown to provide great advances in places that were previously stuck in poverty. The Grameen Bank and Yunus were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, gaining worldwide recognition as a force of good in regions that desperately need the help.

Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank

Another project that the Grameen Bank was involved in is the Mobile Technology for Community Health project, where mobile phones are given to impoverished people to help the spread of technology and information. It is used both to help people communicate and to spread potentially life-saving information across these regions. For example, they are able to provide first aid information for people with illnesses or pregnant women. This is a combined operation by the governments of these lands, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and Grameen Bank and it has shown great promise. By connecting people that were previously hundreds of miles apart, they are able to communicate about trade, current events and emergencies more easily. Grameen Bank’s loans into this program allowed it to spread rapidly and help advance technologically deficient societies, which in turn has helped them prosper.

While it is still a form of aid, the loans being given to these regions allow them to become self sufficient and work towards a promising future. This fits in with Dambisa Moyo’s plan to quit giving direct aid and instead help poverty-stricken regions form a future for themselves. Perhaps it is a middle-ground between throwing money into a unstable economy and completely cutting off aid as a whole. The people of these lands are making their own sustainable future and they are able to do it because of the help of the Grameen Bank and other loan systems that give them a chance at a successful economy in the future.

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