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MENA: The Final Mobile Money Frontier
By admin February 8, 2018

  The mobile money industry has had a fantastic decade. We have seen how one connected handset can transform the life of not just its owner, but also the lives of his or her family and broader community. A mere ten years after M-Pesa launched in Kenya, the mobile money industry now celebrates an impressive

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The Uncertainty of Latin America’s Election Cycle
By admin February 6, 2018

Source: Brookings Institute (https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-state-of-democracy-in-latin-america/) Latin America has entered a period of significant political uncertainty. Starting last year in Honduras and Chile, between 2017 and 2019, fourteen of the eighteen countries in the region will go through major elections. This period of major political change in the region takes place in the context of major political

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Jerome Powell becomes the new chair of US Federal Reserve
By admin February 5, 2018

After the former US Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, left office, Jerome Powell will be sworn in today. Since the nomination of Powell at the end of last year, what policy the Federal Reserve will adopt has been a subject of concern. The Federal Reserve is responsible for fulfilling the responsibilities of the U.S. Central

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UN Commission on the Status of Women: How is Civil Society Involved?
By admin February 2, 2018

United Nations Headquarters in New York will host the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) from March 12th to 23rd; this year’s priority theme is “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”  CSW62 has a review theme as well: “participation in and access of women

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Major Economic Challenges Faced by MENA Countries
By admin January 31, 2018

Note: Graph from the World Bank The MENA countries contribute around $3.3 trillion in GDP every year, which accounts for about 4.5% of the world’s total economy. Most of the population in the MENA region concentrate in middle-income countries, which are home to about 60% of the world’s oil and 45% of the world’s natural

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Russia’s Upcoming Elections: The Main Challengers of Putin’s Candidacy
By admin January 26, 2018

On December 6, 2017 Russia’s incumbent president Vladimir Putin announced his intention to seek re-election once again. If Putin wins in April, 2018, he will serve another 6-year term as Russia’s president. Despite Russia’s economic challenges and international criticism of president’s crackdown on civil society, Putin has had consistently high approval rates among the electorate,

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Positive signal sent out as North and South Korea agreed to march together with single flag at Winter Olympics
By admin January 24, 2018

Last week, on January 17th, the Yonhap news agency reported that the North and South Koreans have agreed that the two national teams will march together at the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony under the Korean peninsula flag. The two nation-states also decided to form a unified women’s hockey team. North Korea will send 30 Taekwondo

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New Leadership Under South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa
By admin December 21, 2017

On Monday, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) rebuked President Jacob Zuma of South Africa by choosing Cyril Ramaphosa, an anti-apartheid protégé of Nelson Mandela and business tycoon as its new leader. With fierce rivalry in the race that exposed stark divisions in the party, Mr. Ramaphosa defeated cabinet minister Dlamini-Zuma, Mr. Zuma’s ex-wife, 2,440

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The Russian HIV Epidemic Continues to Grow
By admin December 20, 2017

For nearly two decades, Russia has been dealing with an HIV epidemic that has explosively grown in the past five years. Although it has gone unnoticed by the rest of the world until recently, reported cases of HIV have grown by an annual 10 percent since 2012. The crisis been exacerbated for three main reasons: 

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Universal Health Coverage Day 2017
By admin December 19, 2017

In a new report released by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, more than half of the world’s population cannot obtain basic health services. The findings, released in “Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report,” indicate that over 800 million people spend minimally 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses

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The Political Implications of US Recognition of Jerusalem
By admin December 13, 2017

Last week, President Trump announced that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning decades of official US policy. Trump justify the move as a method to advance the peace process in the Middle East. Immediate reactions included Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lambasting Trump’s announcement, warning that such a decision actually poses insecurity

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UNICEF Innovation Fund Investing in Social Change Technology
By admin December 12, 2017

  On December 8th, UNICEF announced the six start-up businesses that will receive funding from the Innovation Fund to continue their work in improving children’s lives using frontier technologies such as data science, virtual reality (VR), drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). The $12.6 million fund provides capital to early stage emerging tech companies that develop

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Initial Brexit Talks Result in Agreement, What Next?
By admin December 8, 2017

On Friday, British Prime Minister Theresa May and members of the European Union were able to finally hash out an initial round of Brexit agreements necessary to move talks on to a more serious phase. Though this agreement is the first of the many needed to enable Britain’s transition out of the EU, the pact

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President Trump Officially Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
By admin December 7, 2017

Palestinians have not taken the decision lightly, as hundreds of protestors rioted in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza this morning, viewing their capital as stolen from them by Israel and the West. The Palestinian Authority called for a strike in Palestinian cities and Hamas has called for a third intifada against Israel. All of

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The Death of Former Yemeni President Saleh
By admin December 5, 2017

In a recent turn of events, Yemen’s deadly war has also claimed the life of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday. This comes as a shock to most Yemenis, as it occurred only days after Saleh had announced he was open to negotiating talks with a Saudi-led coalition that Yemen’s Houthi rebels have

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Celebrating World AIDS Day 2017
By admin December 4, 2017

  On December 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated World Aids Day, a celebration for people worldwide to unite together in the fight against HIV. Founded in 1988, World Aids Day was the first ever global health day focused on galvanizing support for eradication efforts. Today, over 21 million people are receiving antiretroviral therapy

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No Results Yet in Honduras Election
By admin December 1, 2017

Amid contested presidential election results in Honduras, tensions are mounting as protesters angrily take to the street. It has been almost a week since Sunday’s attempted election and the electoral commission has still not yet declared a winner. Incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez is accused of attempting to hold onto the presidency through illegal meddling in

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Net Neutrality Policies: Proponents and Opponents
By admin November 28, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proceeding with long-anticipated plans to dismantle net neutrality protections, a decision that would have large implications for much of the general public. Last week, Ajit Pai, the chair of the FCC declared his intention to change the way access to the internet is regulated. The FCC subsequently released a

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WHO’s Commitment to Curbing Global Tuberculosis Cases
By admin November 27, 2017

On November 17th, 2017 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an urgent action to end Tuberculosis (TB) by 2030. Seventy-five ministers and high-level officials affirmed their action to end TB at the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response. Over 1000 participants were in attendance at

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Poland Reprimanded by the EU
By admin November 24, 2017

The European Union (EU) has worked for a long time to achieve economic and political peace within its member states through the mechanisms of collective action, including threat of loss of funding, privileges or expulsion from the Union. The power of the EU is largely in its capability to orchestrate a concerted action against a

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