Yunus urges AFDB to help building social business
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and micro-credit promoter in Bangladesh, Muhammad Yunus, on Tuesday 12 March in Tunis urged the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide support to social business given its consequential impact on poverty reduction. Yunus was speaking before members of senior management of the AfDB during a meeting organized by the Office of the Chief Economist of the institution.
Following a brief introduction on the background on social business and the Grameen Bank (Bank for the poor) that he created, the economist and Nobel Peace laureate explained the object and philosophy behind his initiative called ' Yunus Social Business'. In his words, the aim is to come to the aid and assistance of the poor by improving their conditions of living and help them fend for themselves. This approach is more or less philanthropical with the sole difference that it has nothing to do with giving. But but to lend a hand to these poor populations, investing in the social sectors or setting up business ventures, the ultimate objective of which is not profit making as done in ordinary capitalistic business enterprises.
This initiative, says Yunus, is his contribution to the high levels of poverty that prevailed in his country Bangladesh, during the 1970s when he completed his studies in economics in the United States. This is capitalism with a human face made of humanitarian motives and the dividends are reinvest- ed into the initial commercial channel. The impact of microcredit and of Grameen Bank and their social approach is immense, says Yunus. In Bangladesh, the latter is tangible as it has helped to increase considerably socio- economic indicators with regard to women and children. A high proportion of women have in this way attained social and financial autonomy.
This has made it possible to provide better health care for their children and higher education through scholarship training programs.