Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Final Current Issues Links Round-Up of the Year

Happy Holidays to all Uweza supporters! The end of the year is frequently a time of reflection, and I know that contributing to Uweza is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done in 2010. I’m looking forward to supporting Uweza’s continued good work in 2011!

And now, a few links for my final blog of 2010:

Equity Bank provides microloans to poor people throughout Kenya. As Equity’s CEO explains, investing in the poor isn’t about charity—it’s about good business. The default rates on Equity’s microloans are the lowest in the banking industry, around 6%. Watch this video to learn more about Kenya’s new “mini-moguls:"

Once every 10 or 15 years, the Masai people hold an initiation ceremony for men to become wazee, or tribal elders. Like much of indigenous culture, this ritual is endangered by encroaching urbanization. This audio slideshow includes narration from two of the new wazee, explaining this crucial rite of passage for the Masai.

The vulnerability of Kenyan schoolgirls to rape, sexual coercion, beatings, and bullying—often by their teachers—has made headlines recently. In this editorial, a Kenyan former schoolteacher decries the everyday abuse of girls and calls for greater attention to the problem. For more information, this report by Plan UK is a comprehensive study of school violence around the world, with recommendations on how to ensure that children “learn without fear.”

In a previous blog, I wrote about the rise of outsourcing in Kenya. This article gives more details about the building of the outsourcing industry, which analysts hope will someday rival tourism as Kenya’s biggest money maker.

Earlier this week the Kenyan Parliament voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is currently investigating the post-election violence of 2008. This vote comes one week after six suspects, all powerful politicians, were named by the ICC as alleged organizers of the violence. Critics say that Kenya’s withdrawal from the ICC signals its continuing refusal to end impunity in the government. Read more here, in Kenya’s main daily newspaper.

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