How Access to Microfinance and Education through Technology Can Alleviate Poverty in Third World Countries
KATHRYN M. GOW
IJED, Vol. 3 No. 1, (2001)
The World Bank has argued that the best way to help people climb out of poverty is to give them an education. Professor Yunus of the Grameen Bank (GB) has demonstrated that poverty alleviation can also occur through microfinance – the provision of small loans of money to very poor women who wish to commence a small business. After twenty-three years of working in Bangladesh which is still one of the poorest countries in the world, the GB has already taken the mobile phone to rural villagers who pay to use the cell phone to call relatives overseas; and Grameen Net is planning to bring the Internet to rural towns. The author explores whether a combination of microfinance (GB Replicas) and access to education through communications technology could speed up the empowerment process in third world towns and rural areas at a time when globalization and the lack of access to technology is making many third world countries poorer.