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In the last few years, organic bananas have been popping up in Canadian grocery stores. No longer segregated to natural food outlets, organic bananas are now featured regularly in the nation’s mainstream food chains.
Mariam Dao Gabala, thought leader on microfinance and impact investing in developing nations, took time out of her busy cross-Canada speaking tour to pen this op-ed for SEE Change on the role these financing strategies play in empowering women around the world.
As the world lays Nelson Mandela to rest, we are reminded of the huge contribution he made to the people of Africa and to the global cause of human rights. But the anti-apartheid struggle he led also helped to bring about a transformation in our notion of money, lifting the veil on the social and moral importance of investment.
Six months ago, the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 1,100 people were killed and 2,500 were injured in the deadliest garment factory accident in history.
With its focus on small, often tiny enterprises, microfinance operates outside the realm of multinational corporations and globalized markets. So one of the big questions in Ottawa’s recent decision to merge the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade surrounds the future of CIDA’s microfinance programs. Will the mandate of Canadian commercial interests spell the end of Canada’s publicly-funded microfinance initiatives?