The sustainable development portal
|Scheme of sustainable development:
at the confluence of three preoccupations. Clickable.
Sustainable development has been defined as balancing the fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
The field of sustainable development can be conceptually divided into four general dimensions: social, economic, environmental and institutional. The first three dimensions address key principles of sustainability, while the final dimension addresses key institutional policy and capacity issues.
The economy of Africa
consists of the trade
, and resources of the peoples of Africa
. As of July 2005, approximately 887 million people
were living in 54 different states
. Africa is by far the world's poorest inhabited continent, and it is, on average, poorer than it was 25 years ago. Of the 175 countries reviewed in the United Nations
' Human Development Report
2003, 25 African nations ranked lowest.
Africa's current poverty is rooted, in part, in its history. The transition from colonialism has been shaky and uncertain. Since mid-20th century the Cold War and increased corruption and despotism have contributed to Africa's poor economy. While China and India have grown rapidly and Latin America has experienced moderate growth, lifting millions above subsistence living, Africa has stagnated and even regressed in terms of foreign trade, investment, and per capita income. This poverty has widespread effects, including low life expectancy, violence, and instability, which in turn perpetuate the continent's poverty. Over the decades, attempts to improve the economy of Africa have met with little success.
The Grameen Bank
: গ্রামীণ ব্যাংক) is a microfinance
organization and community development bank
started in Bangladesh
that makes small loans (known as microcredit
) to the impoverished without requiring collateral
. The system is based on the idea that the poor have skills that are under-utilized. The bank also accepts deposits, provides other services, and runs several development-oriented businesses including fabric, telephone and energy companies. The organization and its founder, Muhammad Yunus
, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Muhammad Yunus, the bank's founder, earned a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University in the United States. He was inspired during the terrible Bangladesh famine of 1974 to make a small loan of $27 to a group of 42 families so that they could create small items for sale without the burdens of predatory lending. Yunus believed that making such loans available to a wide population could ameliorate the rampant rural poverty in Bangladesh.
The Grameen Bank (literally, "Bank of the Villages", in Bangla) is the outgrowth of Muhammad Yunus' ideas. The bank began as a research project by Yunus and the Rural Economics Project at Bangladesh's University of Chittagong to test his method for providing credit and banking services to the rural poor.