Sunday, May 16, 2010

AoC Silatech goes microcredit too

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missned, the wife of the Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Al Thani Al Khalifa, and Chairperson of the Board of the Qatari Silatech Establishment, has announced a donation of USD2 million for supporting the activities of the non profit al-Amal Bank ("the Hope") for micro enterprise financing...Silatech was first announced in 2008 at the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid and launched in June 2008 at the first Doha Summit. Silatech means in Arabic “your connection". Link
Organizations involved in microfinance now include the, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Unitus, Global Partnerships, Microfinance Corp., the Grameen Technology Center and World Vision. Yunus Grameen Foundaton USA President Alex Counts is - like Javier Solana and Joseph Stiglitz - a Fulbright alumni. LINK.

For further reading see also my article "Universal-welfare-with-solana-and-yunus.html".

"SeaMo - Connecting the Microfinance Community:
The 2010 GSEC teams hail from Bangladesh, Canada, China, India, Rwanda, and the U.S. The business ideas include: alternative power generation in India and Africa, cassava-based oral re-hydration saline solution in Bangladesh, accessories made from reclaimed plastic in Jakarta, art education in China, social investment in Ghana, low-cost hearing aids in India, a prick-less anemia scanners in India, rice harvest consultation in Mali, and RFID tracking devices for herding communities in South India.... We are honored for the support of current and former UW Hubert Humphrey Fellows, the GSEC Outreach Partners, and the 2010 mentors and judges from across sectors in Seattle, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Costco, Microsoft, PATH, Unitus, and the UW." Link

"How smart cards and RFID can be well utilised for governance and where they are currently being used, this and more was presented by Tushar Mohanty, Associate Vice President-smart cards, Spanco and Vijay Kumar, Associate Vice President-RFID, Spanco. Mohanty started with explaining the primary purpose of a smart card, which is security, and went on to elaborate on some of the applications in which it can be useful. Applications that he elaborated upon were related to transport, ticketing, finance, e-Governance and payment. For transport, he explained the Gujarat driving license project and the success of the same. Talking about ticketing applications, Mohanty explained that by using smart cards for ticketing the bus conductor or driver can update the system within a short time. Andhra Pradesh is currently using this method and according to him, Spanco is ready to undertake more such projects. Mohanty said, “A smart card as the ration card will be a really great idea. In this, one can set limitations of ration for both, the vendor as well as the citizen, on the smart card” Further, a health card for health services and microfinance applications can be made available with the help of smart cards.

RFID, a technology that allows an object to be uniquely identified without line-of-sight contact was explained by Vijay Kumar who talked about various applications related to RFID and made a brief comparison of RFID and bar codes and argued that RFID is far better than simple bar codes and can provide more detail about an object. “Barcodes are one of the most common means of tagging goods, but how effectively one can find the defects in the goods is the question and that can be done by using RFID tags,” said Kumar. He listed some of the areas in which RFID can be useful. According to him, RFID can be used in shipping relocatable containers, railroads, supply chain, mining, postal, livestock, and airlines. From the security point of view, RFID can be used for ports and border control and by the department of defense." Link

has seen lot of successful pilots using RFID undertaken for the micro finance schemes in
association with major banking institutions and hopefully shall have mass deployments

RFID lifestock solutions: Link

stay tuned!

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