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Monday
Nov062017

Eco-Cities Up Close | 2013


Story: David South

Design and Layout: Solveig Rolfsdottir

Publication: Southern Innovator Issue 4: Cities and Urbanization

Publisher: United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)

Date: 2013

Eco-cities Up Close in Southern Innovator Issue 4.

An infographic showing planned and unplanned cities.

Meet Southern Innovator.

Southern Innovator Issue 4: Cities and Urbanization is published by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

The first five issues of Southern Innovator. The highly influential magazine was distributed around the world and each issue was launched at the annual Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo hosted by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

© David South Consulting 2017 

Tuesday
Jun232015

Favela Fashion Brings Women Work

 

A highly successful cooperative of women in Brazil has shown that it is possible for outsiders to make it in the fast-paced world of fashion. Despite being based in one of Rio de Janerio’s slums, or favelas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favela), the women have developed a reputation for high-quality merchandise and even put on fashion shows.

Fashion earns big money around the world: The global clothing industry is estimated to be worth more than US $900 billion a year. But fashion also has a reputation for relying on sweat shops, poor pay and poor working conditions. The poor are the most at risk of exploitation in the industry – upwards of 90 percent of sweatshop workers are women (www.feminist.org).

Yet the COOPA-ROCA cooperative (www.coopa-roca.org.br/en/index_en.html) – or Rocinha Seamstress and Craftwork Co-operative Ltd – has pioneered a way to involve poor women in the business, build their skills while creating high-quality products, and be flexible enough to make time for their families’ needs. It particularly helps single mothers.

The cooperative was founded by Maria Teresa Leal in Rocinha – the largest favela in Rio, home to over 180,000 people. After visiting her housekeeper’s home in the favela, Leal was impressed by the sewing skills of the women but found they weren’t making any money from their work. She decided to found the cooperative in 1981 and start making quilts and pillows. By the early 1990s, the cooperative had attracted the attention of Rio’s fashion scene. And in 1994, it jumped into making clothes for the fashion catwalks. Fashion designers in turn taught the women advanced production skills and about fashion trends.

Today, the coop has established a hard-won reputation for quality and sells its clothes to the wealthy elite of Rio. Its success has led to contracts with major clothing stores, including Europe’s C&A.

“Creativity is an important tool for transforming people and raising their consciousness,” Leal told Vital Voice. “My great passion is beauty. Beauty has the capacity to inspire, to touch individuals in a more subtle way. For this reason, I like to make beautiful things with the artisans of COOPA-ROCA.”

Leal realized that most small businesses helping the poor fail despite their best intentions. They often make the same mistakes: they fail to produce high quality goods, they fail to do market research and understand who they are selling to, they fail to develop the skills of their workers, and most importantly, they fail to see that they have to compete in a global economy with lots of other enterprises. How many people have seen crafts and knickknacks for sale that nobody really wants?

Slum dwellers are on the increase across the South. As the world becomes a more urban place – and 70 million people move every year to the world’s cities (UN) – the growing population of poor women and households presents a dilemma: how to provide meaningful work so they do not fall risk to exploitation? Without work opportunities, women can feel pressured to turn to prostitution, or even be trafficked by gangs for work or sex. And women in slums experience greater levels of unemployment than those who live elsewhere (UNHABITAT).

Women now make up the majority of the world’s poor: 70 percent of the world’s poor are women, as are a majority of the 1.5 billion living on less than US $1 a day (UNESCO).

Established in 1981 from a recycling project for local children, COOPA-ROCA started with finding ways to use thrown away scraps of cloth to make clothing. It eventually evolved into a cooperative. It focused on improving traditional Brazilian decorative craftwork skills like drawstring appliqué, crochet, knot work and patchwork.

“COOPA-ROCA works with traditional handicraft techniques that are widely used by women around the world,” explains Leal. “As COOPA-ROCA works with fashion, and fashion is always linked with media, the COOPA-ROCA artisans inspire other women who recognize in themselves the potential to do the kind of work that COOPA-ROCA does.”

For its first five years, COOPA-ROCA concentrated on building the organization and the skills of the artisans. Once a production structure was in place, quality control workshops were set up to increase the quality of the products so they could compete better in the marketplace.

“Many social projects believe that money is the only resource required to begin their work. The COOPA-ROCA case proves that social organizations must use a more entrepreneurial vision to understand the concept of resources.”

The cooperative’s mission statement is to “provide conditions for its members, female residents of Rocinha, to work from home and thereby contribute to their family budget, without having to neglect their childcare and domestic duties.”

By doing this to a high standard, the profile and reputation of traditional crafts has been raised.

The COOPA-ROCA hopes the work shows others how they can increase income in poor communities. The cooperative has 150 members and has partners in the wider fashion and decorative design markets.

The women equally share responsibility for production, administration and publicity. While they work at home, they come to the office to drop off the completed pieces and pick up more fabric.

The success of the cooperative has led to donations of funds to build a new headquarters designed by architect Joao Mauricio Pegorim.

Despite the cooperative’s success, it is still not easy to work with partners. “There are many negative preconceptions about Rocinha and the people who live there, both within and outside of Brazil. COOPA-ROCA is consistently rejected when it applies for loans,” Leal said. “Furthermore, the cooperative’s commercial partners usually do not enter the favela themselves, and I must serve as a bridge between the two worlds.”

But Leal is still ambitious for bigger things: “I envision COOPA-ROCA expanding to include 400 women artisans, producing for commercial partners, selling their own brand in Brazil and abroad, and carrying out fashion and design projects in the new headquarters in Rocinha.”

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: March 2010

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Qx2YBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+march+2010&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsmarch2010issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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Monday
Jun222015

Ending Gang Violence While Cleaning the Streets in Haiti

 

 

The Caribbean nation of Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line (CIA World Factbook). The country had been enjoying some positive economic growth since 2005 after decades of economic and political turmoil.

The country’s political vacuum and economic problems gave rise to violent gang rule on its streets and a collapse in public services, in particular garbage collection. The piles of waste became a source of disease and squalor as well as providing barricades for gangs to wage their street battles.

Haiti was also hit by four devastating hurricanes in 2008, with heavy damage to the country’s agricultural sector and transport infrastructure.

But a project by UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (http://ssc.undp.org/Home.118.0.html) has turned around a Haitian neighbourhood by simultaneously cleaning up the garbage, creating employment and income and reducing gang violence and despair. The United Nations has been working in Haiti to restore the economy and bring peace and good government to the country since the 1990s. Its most recent mission, MINUSTAH (http://minustah.org/), has been running since 2004.

Called ‘Love n’ Haiti’ and located in the Carrefour-Feuilles district (http://www.maplandia.com/haiti/ouest/carrefour-feuilles/) of the capital Port-au-Prince, the project used a ground-up strategy to tackle the problem of waste removal.

“I know we have a bad image. But the violence is going down in my neighbourhood,” said Gislène La Salle, a widow and a mother of six from Carrefour-Feuilles, to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

“But when the security situation deteriorated sharply, I could not work in the streets. Luckily, six months ago, I found work in this project. Now, life is more stable. I have a regular income,” she said.

“The money I earn allows me to feed my family better and send three of my six children to school.”

The neighbourhood has a population of 150,000. Nine community leaders were identified and a management committee set up called the Committee d’Action Sanitaire de Carrefour Feuilles (CASCAF). The management committee then undertook difficult negotiations with local street vendors to establish garbage collection points. A waste collection plan was drawn up, and around 400 workers were hired to clean the streets and canals and collect the waste.

The workers were divided up into nine street cleaning teams and three waste collection teams, comprising people who were members of rival groups.

The project started in 2006 from a very basic point: generating awareness in the population about the dangers of waste and the need for it to be disposed of. The breakdown in public services from decades of political turmoil and poverty had meant a culture of waste disposal no longer existed. The project drew on similar experiences in Brazil and used Brazilian expertise.

A triage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Triage) centre was set up to sort the waste into paper, plastic, metal, glass and organic matter for recycling. Two products are made from the waste to earn income: cooking briquettes and fertilizer.

The cooking briquettes may also help stem Haiti’s horrific deforestation. The country shares its island with the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, and anyone flying over the island can see a sharp dividing line between the green and lush forests of the Dominican Republic and the almost-barren and dusty Haitian hills.

By turning the trash into cooking briquettes, people are being offered an alternative to chopping down the forests and burning trees to make charcoal fuel for cooking.

Income for the waste collectors has increased to US $3 a day and the project has removed 70 percent of the neighbourhood’s waste, making it easier to get around and get things done (another boost to incomes).

Georginette is also a widow. Like Gislène, this mother of seven is thrilled to find a regular job. “Earlier, only three of my seven children went to school. Many children from the neighbourhood roamed the streets. But since November 2007 when I began working here, I can afford to send five,” she said.

Prior to the project, the neighbourhood was one of the most dangerous in Port-au-Prince. The project unexpectedly found the history of violence and conflict were quickly overcome when the project began to make quick progress.

Collecting the waste now earns an income for 380 families. And by gravitating community leadership to nonviolent leaders, relationships between people and groups improved.

The 50 waste collection points and public garbage bins now contribute to a reduction in common diseases that are rife in other parts of Haiti: leptospirosis, worms, canicola fever, tetanus, yellow fever, typhoid, dengue, and malaria.

Originally, the government of Haiti appealed to the India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Trust Fund) (http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/press_release/2007/Sept/17.asp) to get to grips with the woeful garbage collection in the capital, while tackling the violence in the slums and lack of economic opportunity.

The project is also a partnership between Port-au-Prince’s city hall, the Ministry of Public Works and other government ministries, Quisqueya University, UNDP Haiti, IBSA, and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation. The project is run on the ground by UNDP Haiti.

Where once the trash made flooding worse by blocking canals, having it removed has prevented the stew of waste that was produced when floods occurred.

“Impressed by the positive results so far, the Haitian government would like to replicate this model in other regions of the country,” said Eliana Nicolini, the UNDP project coordinator.

It is hoped the project can be scaled up to reach across Haiti and even be replicated in other countries. The UN Special Envoy for Haiti, former US President Bill Clinton, has been drafted in to help with raising funds for expanding the project.

The Love n’ Haiti project has been selected by the BBC’s World Challenge contest, which invites the general public to vote for which project they think is the best. Voting takes place on their website:http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk. The project is number eight in the list on the website.

“It is not easy to choose who to hire in a place where so many are desperately in need of work. Many people beg us for work but we don’t have vacancies at the moment. If we can hire even 100 more persons, it would solve a lot of problems,” said Patrick Massenat, a local youth heading a committee created to implement activities contributing to waste management and to ensure effective involvement of governmental institutions.

“Most people in this area never knew real work. Now, they have experienced it. They also have families. The area is cleaner; the women who lost their husbands in gang wars and police firing are happier. It’s a beginning.”

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: October 2009

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tRKYBgAAQBAJ&dq=development+challenges+october+2009&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsoctober2009issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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Friday
Jun192015

Fashion Recycling: How Southern Designers are Re-using and Making Money

 

With the rising awareness of the importance of doing fashion in an ethical and sustainable way, more and more fashion designers in the South are getting very creative. Fashion earns big money around the world: The global clothing industry is estimated to be worth US $900 billion a year.

In Paris, the Ethical Fashion Show, now in its fifth year, showcases fashion that respects people and the environment while still being glamorous, luxurious and trendy. It has attracted designers from around the world, including Mongolia, Thailand, China, Peru and Bolivia. The show demands that all participants adhere to International Labour Organization conventions – including banning forced and child labour – respect for the environment, creating local employment and working with craftspeople to ensure skills are retained and the fashion reflects the diversity of the world’s cultures.

In Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Felicite Mai is using pride in her nation’s top export commodity, cocoa (Ivory Coast is the world’s number one exporter of cocoa), to make smart fashion wear at affordable prices. She has turned the beige-coloured jute sacks used to ship cocoa beans around the world into clothes for men and women.

“Ivory Coast’s economy is based on agriculture, especially cocoa and coffee. So I decided to promote these crops by creating these fashion designs,” Mai, whose real name is Maimouna Camara Gomet, told the Reuters news agency.

“For me, it’s a way of drawing the whole world’s attention to cocoa and coffee,” she said

Mai comes from a family of cocoa planters and is a graduate of a sewing school. She works out of a studio-cum-shop in the Treichville suburb of Abidjan.

The clothes are usually beige, but some are dyed dark brown or blue. They include skirts, tops, trousers, shirts, waistcoats, caps, bags and accessories; she gets the sacks – most emblazoned with “Product of Ivory Coast, Cocoa” — from the city’s port warehouses. She cleans the jute cloth first, before creating the fashions.

“I had this idea from when I was still at sewing school in 1987. Then I opened my own workshop in 1996 and I first launched these kind of designs in 2003 during a fashion contest at Divo (in the south of Ivory Coast)” said Mai, who has several assistants at her shop.

She has been able to attract as clients local celebrities, artists and musicians and even a few from abroad.

In Brazil, it is footwear that is getting the recycled-look treatment. The brand Melissa specializes in plastic shoes that are eco-friendly and made from 100 percent recycled materials. They use a plastic called melflex made from recovered plastic. The shoes are made in injection molds and the factory is so efficient, it has next to no waste as a byproduct. It recycles all the waste and water used in the production process. And as a plus, they make a point of paying the workers well, and supporting social and environmental causes in Brazil.

Their secret to putting zing into recycled plastic shoes is to have high-profile, celebrity designers design some of the shoes. So far, they have had UK fashion mistress Vivienne Westwood, the Campana Brothers, and the UK-based, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid is a controversial figure who always stirs up debate, and her rubber shoes have brought attention to the brand.

The Chilean studio Modulab has turned to recycled rubber from the car industry to make bags. The rubber comes in sheets so it is easy to cut and shape into bags, thus reducing the amount of time and energy used to make the bags. The line is called RTA (ready to assemble) and includes three types of bags: an envelope, a handbag and a messenger bag. Each sheet of recycled rubber comes with the specific slots and pins for the consumer to put the bag together at home, without any glue or sewing involved. Energy used in the making of the entire bag is 100 percent human, except in the production of the material itself.

In Ghana, the cheeky Ghanaian businessman-cum-fashion designer Kwabena Osei Bonsu wanted to do something about the ubiquitous plastic bags that pollute the landscape of the capital, Accra.

In Accra, a small city of 2.2 million people, up to 60 tons of plastic packaging is dumped on the streets every day, a figure that has risen by 70 per cent over the past decade.

“I wanted to come up with an idea that would solve problems in my lifetime,” he said to the Independent.

He came up with the brilliantly simple solution of turning these wasted and damaging plastic bags back into usable and fashionable carryalls and handbags. He collects the plastic sacks and stitches them back together. The business, Trashy Bags, employs a dozen tailors and seamstresses. Launched in December last year, it so far has collected 10 million used plastic sachets from the streets, and sold more than 6,000 bags. Handbags go for US $7.79.

Ghana’s huge quantity of discarded plastic water bottles are gathered up for recycling too. A storage room overflows with more than 3 million sachets that have been collected and cleaned ready for recycling.

Bonsu’s business has turned into a source of income for local people, who receive US $3.89 for 1,000 sachets – a good return where the average yearly income is US $495

“I collect sachets because I am jobless and this gives me money,” said Hadiza Ishmael, a 55-year-old grandmother who has delivered 4,000 plastic bags. “It also makes the place look nicer.”

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: August 2008

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=oEP1Obs4gxYC&dq=development+challenges+august+2008&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsaugust2008issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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Monday
Jun152015

Banning of Plastic Bags and Containers Brings New Opportunities

 

This month, Uganda bans plastic bags, outlawing their import, manufacture and use and joining a growing list of African countries seeking to sweep cities of this menace. Uganda’s ban follows similar moves in Kenya and in Tanzania, where even plastic drinks containers will soon be banished. Rwanda, also a member of the East African Community, has gone further – in 2005 the country banned any products made of very thin plastic below 100 microns. The thinner plastic found in plastic bags (under 30 microns) is particularly troublesome because it is easily blown around by the wind. The proliferation of plastic bags and plastic containers across the developing world has not only become an eyesore, it is also an environmental catastrophe that is poisoning the land.

In Uganda’s capital, Kampala, discarded plastic has combined with toxic waste management practices to make the problem worse. While Kampala has 30 companies dealing in solid waste management, the process is mired in corruption. Poor areas of the city receive no service because it is more profitable for the companies to target wealthy areas for the user fees they collect to remove rubbish.

Scavengers in the municipal dump of Kampala earn 50 Ugandan pence a day collecting plastic bags. Most plastic bags do not make it to the dump, ending up blown around the city by the wind, washed into drains and water courses. Worse, the rich soil around Uganda’s towns and villages is now covered in plastic bags. A new layer of polythene and contaminated soil has formed in many areas, with an impenetrable crust that stops rain from soaking through. It leaves water stagnating in pools gurgling with methane gas bubbles.

For entrepreneurs, tackling the mountains of plastic waste is an opportunity – as is providing a replacement once they are banned. A boon time is emerging for the market in recycled and reusable materials and biodegradable alternatives.

The So Afr-Eco Community Upliftment Project for Rural Women in South Africa is a common example. A project that proves money can be made from recycling discarded plastic bags into useful items. Based in the Obanjeni district in Kwazulunatal, it was founded by Jenny Kirkland, who was disgusted with the proliferation of plastic bags littering South Africa’s countryside. She decided to do something that would also hire rural women and give them an income. The plastic bags are cut into strips of twine and then woven together to make hats, bags, doormats and waistcoats. Run as a for-profit business, it now employs 132 families and exports products to 19 countries, including Australia, the USA, the UK, Canada, Sweden and Poland. South African schools are now provided with sun hats and companies order hats for use at conferences. The profits made from sales are significant by local standards. For example, the sale of one beach bag can feed a small family for two weeks, a hat feeds a family for a week, and a doormat for a month.

Anita Ahuja, president of the NGO Conserve, has set up a business making fashionable handbags, wallets and shopping bags from recycled plastic bags in New Delhi, India. Begun in 2003, the project collects plastic bags on the streets and keeps 60 women employed. The recycling process does not require additional dyes or inks and is non-toxic. The bags are sold in London, UK and will soon be sold in Italy by the Benetton clothing chain.

“We braided them and tried weaving them, but the plastic would come loose. Then we hit upon the idea of pressing them to make sheets,” Ahuja said.

But this issue can be more complex than it first seems. After South Africa banned plastic bags of less than 30 microns in 2003, many poor entrepreneurs have complained that it hit hard their making of hats, handbags, purses and scrubbing brushes from them – something that had become a good livelihood.

After the bags are banned, environmentalists say the best option is to use reusable bags made of materials that don’t harm the environment during production and don’t need to be discarded after use.

Alternatives to plastic bags include traditional African baskets or kiondos as they are known in Kenya. Made from sisal and sometimes with leather or wooden handles, the handmade bags support many local women (http://www.propoortourism-kenya.org/african_bags.htm).

In Kenya, entrepreneurs have also stepped in to offer alternatives to plastic and kiondos. Supermarkets and shops in the country distributed 11 million plastic shopping bags a year, so Joseph Ayuka of Greensphere Enterprises has begun to market cotton bags for their easy portability. “People don’t want to carry bulky bags to the supermarket”, he said.

By David South, Development Challenges, South-South Solutions

Published: July 2007

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP's South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South's innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Follow @SouthSouth1

Like this story? Here is a dirty secret: this website is packed with stories about global South innovators. We spent 7 years researching and documenting these stories around the world. We interviewed the innovators to learn from them and we visited them to see how they did it. Why not use the Search bar at the top and tap in a topic and see what stories come up? As for my work, I have been involved with start-ups and media ventures since the early 1990s. While most tech entrepreneurs were either still in their nappies in the 1990s (or just a drunken night away from being conceived in the 2000s), I was developing content for this new thing they called the "Internet". In the years since I have learned a great deal about innovation and digital and have shared these insights in the stories on this website as well as in the 5 issues of Southern Innovator magazine. So, stick around and read some more!    

Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/Httpwww.slideshare.netDavidSouth1development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsjuly2007issue

Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSouth1/development-challengessouthsouthsolutionsjuly2007issue

Southern Innovator Issue 1: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q1O54YSE2BgC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 2: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Ty0N969dcssC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 3: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AQNt4YmhZagC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 4: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9T_n2tA7l4EC&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Southern Innovator Issue 5: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6ILdAgAAQBAJ&dq=southern+innovator&source=gbs_navlinks_s

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This work is licensed under a
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