Monday, February 23, 2009

Questions for Dambisa Moyo - The Anti-Bono

Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON, The New York Times
Published: February 19, 2009

Q: As a native of Zambia with advanced degrees in public policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford, you are about to publish an attack on Western aid to Africa and its recent glamorization by celebrities. ‘‘Dead Aid,’’ as your book is called, is particularly hard on rock stars. Have you met Bono?
I have, yes, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. It was at a party to raise money for Africans, and there were no Africans in the room, except for me.

What do you think of him?
I’ll make a general comment about this whole dependence on “celebrities.” I object to this situation as it is right now where they have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent.

You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.
Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.

Maybe that’s because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.
Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.

What do you think has held back Africans?
I believe it’s largely aid. You get the corruption — historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty — and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.

If people want to help out, what do you think they should do with their money if not make donations?
Microfinance. Give people jobs.

But what if you just want to donate, say, $25?
Go to the Internet and type in Kiva.org, where you can make a loan to an African entrepreneur.

Do you have a financial interest in Kiva?
No, except that I’ve made loans through the system. I don’t own a share of Kiva.

You just left your longtime job as a banker for Goldman Sachs in London, where you live. What did you do there, exactly?
I worked in the capital markets, helping mostly emerging countries to issue bonds. That’s why I know that that works.

Which countries sought your help?
Israel, Turkey and South Africa, primarily.

Why didn’t you get a bond issue going in your native Zambia or other African countries?
Many politicians seem to have a lazy muscle. Issuing a bond would require that the president and the cabinet ministers go out and market their country. Why would they do that when they can just call up the World Bank and say, “Can I please have some money?”

I keep reading about a new crop of African presidents who are supposedly free-market guys, including Rupiah Banda, the president of Zambia.
There are lots who are nominally free market, but they haven’t been aggressive about implementing those policies.

What do your parents do?
My mother is chairman of a bank called the Indo-Zambia Bank. It’s a joint venture between Zambia and India. My father runs Integrity Foundation, an anticorruption organization.

For all your belief in the potential of capitalism, the free market is now in free fall and everyone is questioning the supposed wonders of the unregulated market.
I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day Loan-a-Thon / Winners!

And the winners are......
drum roll please...
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Kiva hat----> M + M !!!!!!
Now the real winner of the Kiva hat-----> Ximena (El Paso, TX)
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Kiva lanyards:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Juan (Cd Juarez, Mexico)
Sergio (Somerton, AZ)
Carlos (New Orleans, LA)
Cozumel (Port Jeff Station, NY)
Veronica (Cd. Juarez, Mexico)



Big M has spoken!!!!


Please let me know to what address you want your items shipped.


That's it for the Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon, congratulations and thank you everyone on the success of this effort.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Loan-a-Thon / Final Summary, Sunday, February 15:

Valentine's Day Loan-a-Thon / Final Summary, Sunday, February 15:

Here is a list of members that obtained “tickets” today:
Amalio-----7
adela y elias-----3 (just in time)
Carlos-----2
el Chapulín Colorado-----2
Isabel-----3
Jim&Conchita Burmeister-----2
Juan-----4
Murillo-Fuller-----1

The final tally of “tickets” per member in the Loan-A-Thon is:
Amalio-----11
adela y elias-----3
CHRISTINE-----1
Carlos-----2
Cody-----1
Cozumel-----1
el Chapulín Colorado-----3
familia lugo-----1
Hector-----1
Henry W. Moore School-----2
Isaac-----1
Isabel-----3
Jana-----1
Jim&Conchita Burmeister-----2
Juan-----4
Luis-----2
Maribel-----2
Michael and Louisito-----8
Murillo-Fuller-----4
Ron & Linda-----1
Sabrina-----8
Sergio-----4
Tomás / Toño-----1
Veronica-----2
Ximena-----8

Take a look to the list carefully. If I missed someone or the number of "tickets" is wrong, let me know immediately. If no changes are needed on the list, it will become the official “ticket” list.

Now about the lottery:
1) I will perform the lottery on Monday, February 16, sometime after dinner, so team members have enough time to review the “ticket” list.
2) I will print as many physical tickets with your name as the number of loans you funded during the Loan-A-Thon.
3) All 77 physical tickets will go to a brown bag.
4) My older daughter Big M (the first M of M + M), will withdraw the tickets. Little M is still too young and may try to chew them.
5) The first item to be given away will be the Kiva hat.
6) The next five tickets taken out of the bag will define the winners of the Kiva lanyards.
7) The moment one of the team member wins one of the items of the lottery, she/he will not be able to win one more time, all the rest of his/her tickets will be disqualified. (If you think a team member should have a shot to winning more than one item, let me know).
8) I will publish the results on Monday February 16 or Tuesday February 17. I will need the address the winners want their items shipped, and that’s it!

Congratulations again on the success of the Loan-A-Thon, the initial goal of reaching $10,000.00 in loans was easily surpassed. It was a lot of fun tracking down the loans on the message board and watching how the total loaned grew up all the way to $11,525.00

See you later and I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!

The first Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon ends NOW!!!

Fellow team mates, the first Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon ends NOW!!!

I will publish a final tally of "tickets" later in the day, as well as more info about how the lottery will be performed.

Congratulations on the success of the Loan-A-Thon, more than $2,000 were added to the total amount loaned. The total amount loaned is now $11,375.00.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Loan-a-Thon / Summary for Saturday, February 14:

At the end of Valentine’s Day, the total amount loaned is $10,675. Now let’s beat the AASFSHNR and Obama Teams!!!! (Yeah right).

Seriously, congratulations everyone on this important goal our team has reached. Remember that at the end, we are helping hard working people get the cheap funds they need to establish workshops, grocery stores, restaurants, butcher shops or home improvements that will allow them and their families have a better life.

Now back to the Loan-A-Thon. This is the list of members that obtained “tickets” today:

MemberTickets
Amalio5
Hector (Congratulations. It’s bittersweet, I know)1
Isaac1
Michael and Louisito4
Sergio2
Tomás / Toño1
Veronica2


I know there are members that funded loans, but didn’t write down a message about it on the team’s board. Please do so, I have no way of knowing the exact number of loans you did, and therefore I cannot issue a correct number of “tickets” for you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention “tickets”, please take a look at the old board messages from yesterday. These are some of the team members that I know funded at least one loan but didn’t report it:
Jorge
Bret
ALVARO
Jim&Conchita Burmeister
Carlos (New Orleans)
Juan (Cd. Juarez)

The total number of "tickets" for the Loan-A-Thon is:

MemberTickets
Amalio5
CHRISTINE1
Cody1
Cozumel1
el Chapulín Colorado1
familia lugo1
Hector1
Henry W. Moore School2
Isaac1
Jana1
Luis2
Maribel2
Michael and Louisito8
Murillo-Fuller3
Ron & Linda1
Sabrina8
Sergio4
Tomás / Toño1
Veronica2
Ximena8


Again, kindly review this list carefully. If I missed someone or the number of "tickets" is wrong, let me know immediately.

The Loan-A-Thon continues and ends tomorrow at noon USA CST. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Loan-a-Thon / Summary for Friday, February 13

Excellent! No other word can describe the success of the Loan-A-Thon on its first day. Fifteen team members participated today, obtaining overall a total of 38 "tickets", and we came just $25 shy of reaching the goal of $10,000!!

Here is the list of team members that invested on loans today, and the number of "tickets" obtained:

MemberTickets
CHRISTINE1
Cody1
Cozumel1
el Chapulín Colorado1
familia lugo1
Henry W. Moore School2
Jana1
Luis2
Maribel2
Michael and Louisito4
Murillo-Fuller3
Ron & Linda1
Sabrina8
Sergio2
Ximena8


Please review this list carefully. If I missed someone or the number of "tickets" is wrong, let me know immediately.

To all the rest of the team that didn't participate today, you are missing all the fun!

The Loan-A-Thon continues tomorrow. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

The first Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon starts NOW!!!

Fellow lenders, the first Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon starts NOW!!!

Every loan that you invest in on the following 48 hours will entitle you to one "ticket" that will go into a lottery. With that lottery we will find six winners of five Kiva lanyards and one Kiva hat that I’ll be happy to ship wherever the lucky team members are.

Please, publish one message on the team’s message board for each loan you fund, so I can properly issue a “ticket” for you. Otherwise it will be very difficult for me to track down who did a loan during the Loan-A-Thon.

All right, happy lending, and good luck you’ all. By the way, happy Valentine’s Day!

Let’s hit the $10,000 mark!

==========================

Estimados amigos, el “Loan-A-Thon” del Dia del Amor y la Amistad empieza en ESTE MOMENTO!

Cada prestamo en el cual inviertan en las siguientes 48 horas, les dara oportunidad de tener una “ficha” que ira a una rifa. Asi es como se va a encontrar a seis ganadores de cinco llaveros y un gorro de Kiva, que enviare a cualquier ciudad donde este cada premiado.

Por favor, por cada prestamo que hagan, publiquen un mensaje en el tablero de mensajes del equipo, de esa forma se aseguraran que les otorge una “ficha”. Si no me va a ser muy dificil saber quien otorgo un prestamo durante este “Loan-A-Thon”.

Bueno, Buena suerte y que se diviertan. Por cierto , feliz Dia del Amor y la Amistad!

Hay que llegar a los 10,000 dolares prestados!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine’s Day Loan-A-Thon is tomorrow!

We are only one day away from the Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon, and I was thinking that it may be a better idea if we all start lending at the same time as opposite of starting at noon your local time. Most of the team members are on USA central standard time, so I'd like to set the starting time to February 13 at noon CST, ending on February 15, at noon CST. Since we have members spread over several time zones, I'm publishing the equivalent start/end time for you convenience:

Country, City or Region Loan-A-Thon Start TimeLoan-A-Thon End Time
USA Pacific Time, Mexicali (Mexico)Friday, February 13, 2009 at 10:00:00 AMSunday, February 15, 2009 at 10:00:00 AM
USA Mountain TimeFriday, February 13, 2009 at 11:00:00 AMSunday, February 15, 2009 at 11:00:00 AM
USA Central Time, Mexico, HondurasFriday, February 13, 2009 at 12:00:00 NOONSunday, February 15, 2009 at 12:00:00 NOON
USA Eastern Time, Toronto (Canada)Friday, February 13, 2009 at 1:00:00 PMSunday, February 15, 2009 at 1:00:00 PM
Herford (Germany), Amsterdam (Netherlands)Friday, February 13, 2009 at 7:00:00 PMSunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:00:00 PM
Collingwood (Australia)Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 5:00:00 AMMonday, February 16, 2009 at 5:00:00 AM

I hope I'm not making things more complicated !!

Remember, during the Loan-A-Thon, write a notification on the team's Kiva page when you have completed a loan so I can issue you a "ticket" for the lottery, otherwise it'll be difficult for me to track down who did a loan.

Our goal is to reach the $10,000 loaned mark, have some fun and to show some love to those who are less fortunate than us.

Thanks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine’s Day Loan-A-Thon is two days away!

Good day fellow lenders, we are only two days away from the team’s first Valentine’s Day Loan-A-Thon. What better way to show some love than by giving? As you can see, the total amount loaned is inching closer to $9,000; great effort from the team! But if the Loan-A-Thon is successful; we could easily break the $10,000 mark, which would be a great accomplishment for our team to fulfill.

The Loan-A-Thon is over a two days period spanning February 13 to February 15. It will start on February 13 at noon, on your standard time zone.

The idea is that all of us (at this moment, we are 86 members) contribute with at least one loan. If all 86 of all invest on at least one loan, the total amount loaned would be boosted by $2,150.

And don’t forget the goodies! Each $25 you loan will entitle you to one “ticket”. At the end of the Loan-A-thon, each ticket would go into a lottery to determine six lucky winners of five Kiva lanyards and one Kiva hat that I will be happy to ship wherever the winners are:
http://kiva-para-mexico.blogspot.com/2009/01/valentines-day-loan-thon.html

Now, I have to ask you to write a comment on the Team’s page letting me know that you funded a loan during the Loan-A-Thon, so I can issue a “ticket” for you. This is VERY important, since Kiva doesn’t provide a good mechanism to track who did a loan on a team’s behalf. I cannot emphasize this enough, for each loan you fund, write a comment on the Team’s page, or I may not be able to track it!

Well, that’s it for now. Get ready! And by the way, since this is a Valentine’s Day Loan-A-Thon, why don’t you bring over that special one to join our team and participate as well? I bet that is better that giving one of those cheesy Valentine’s Day cards!

Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Think MTV is giving away a $25 Kiva gift certificate.

Seems like MTV is giving away one $25 Kiva gift certificate to whoever signs up to their social activism web site http://think.mtv.com

I'm always cautious when it comes to this kind of "free money" situations. But apparently other Kiva members have been getting the gift certificates, and well, MTV has a pretty solid reputation. I'm going to give it a shot, if you want to try too, by all means do:

Get a Free $25 Kiva Certificate


UPDATE: The promotion ended today. It started on June 30, 2008. How come I found out about it until a few days before it was gone ?!?!?! Shame on me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

January Stats

January was record setting. During the month, we loaned the total amount of $2,550.00. That's twenty five dollars more than the previous record setting month, October 2008. Great job!

Due to the high activity we had over the last month, our team jumped a good number of positions within the Kiva Community. I just wish to remind you that, in order to increase the team's impact, it is better for instance to split $100 on four entrepreneurs than to invest $100 on a single one, so the total amount of loans for the team would increase by four, not just one. Kiva teams are ranked based on number of loans, not amount loaned.

Impact within the Kiva community (out of 4611 Kiva lending teams):
Number of Loans: 248-----Ranking: 72 (+13 from previous month)
Quantity Loaned: $7,950.00-----Ranking: 70 (+12 from previous month)
Number of Member: 82-----Ranking: 58 (-1 from previous month)

Our loaned amount grew up 47.22%. Membership grew up 13.89%.

We came down one position on the Number of Members ranking. I know it is difficult to sustain the same member growth rate as when the team first started, so bring over a friend or two to join us. I'm pretty sure your invitee will have great fun investing on entrepreneurs around the world, and it will be fulfilling too!

Now the graphics:












Welcome to our newest team members: John, Tapatingo, M. Jose, Miguel A. Osuna, darwin, Hector, Mario, familia lugo (first member from Honduras), Marco, Vlad (First member from The Netherlands) and Juan (Chicago IL).

And last but not least. We are now 12 days away from our first Valentine's Day Loan-A-Thon. If this effort is succesfull, we can easily reach the $10,000 dollars loaned mark, which would be a nice achievement for our team to fulfill. Remember there are some goodies that I'm giving away for the Loan-A-Thon, five Kiva lanyards, and one Kiva hat. So get ready, it starts at noon Feb 13, it ends at noon Feb 15, your standard time zone.