USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for USAID

Silicon Valley in the Savannah

We had a great start to our day in Nairobi — we met an inspiring group of Kenyan media and technology entrepreneurs who are the driving force behind Kenya’s blossoming technology community.

Silicon Valley, watch out. This group of entrepreneurs is forging the next frontier in digital media and mobile based technology. From mobile banking and SMS crowd sourcing technology, to mapping slums and watch-dogging government, I’m convinced these are the kinds of transformational actors that are driving Kenya’s future – and Africa’s future.

They’re the likes of Ory Okolloh, founder of Ushahidi and Mzalendo; Joseph Macheru from Google Kenya, Karanja Macharia, founder of Mobile Planet, Kwame Nyongo, founder of Animations; Mike Rabar, founder of Home Boyz Entertainment and Salim Amin from A24. They’re just a sample of a much broader community of entrepreneurs whose influence and impact is building across the continent.

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Collaborating to Conserve Forests in Southeast Asia

Deforestation in Vietnam

Regional forestry officials met to discuss a common vision to reduce deforestation as part of an activity funded by USAID.

At a U.S.-funded workshop on May 6, representatives from government agencies and non-governmental organizations in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam convened to forge a strategy for preserving the forests of the Lower Mekong. These forests are home to more than 25 million people in Vietnam alone, and are threatened by deforestation and degradation.

Participants at the workshop, which was funded in part by the USAID Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program, discussed current efforts to develop national programs to reduce emissions from deforestation. At the Copenhagen negotiations in December 2009, the United States Government committed $1 billion to support forest conservation efforts.

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Packing for Africa

I’m packing for Africa; I’ve been many times before, but this will be my first trip there as head of USAID.

In both Kenya and Sudan I’ll focus on the development and progress of President Obama’s Global Health Initiative and Food Security Initiative, while gaining a deeper understanding of U.S. bilateral  and regional investments in agriculture, health, democracy and governance.

I’m looking forward especially to engaging with our African partners in health care, including visits to clinics, and to meeting local entrepreneurs. I’ll also be eager to confer with USAID Country and Regional Team officials — Nairobi is home to a regional office running a broad array of dynamic projects across East Africa. And, I’m going to sound out some of our stellar local staff, who are the backbone of US government missions around the globe.

Stay tuned: We’ll let you know when the trip gets under way, and will provide updates throughout.

Administrator’s Note: Welcome to IMPACTblog!

Administrator Shah visits Haitian Earthquake Survivor

Administrator Shah visits Haitian Earthquake Survivor

Hi everyone! Thanks for visiting IMPACTblog, USAID’s new blog. We’re excited about this project and I hope you’ll find it interesting. Every day, I’m told of the fantastic projects USAID is working on throughout the world, and I wanted to create a space where we could share those stories with you in an interactive way.

USAID should seize every chance we get to be more transparent–you may have seen that we renewed this commitment just last week. We want to let people know about the work we do…our successes, our failures, and how we learn always to do better. I hope this will be a place where you can get to know the thousands of development entrepreneurs who make up USAID’s talented staff, the work of our partners, and the

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USAID in the News

It’s been a busy week at USAID…

First Lady Michelle Obama visited USAID. Read her remarks to the staff here.

Administrator Rajiv Shah laid out his approach to high impact development at the US Global Leadership Coalition. Watch his remarks and Q&A here, or read the speech.

Enhanced radio coverage to come to the FATA thanks to a new agreement.

Mosquito nets and more in Ghana.

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits USAID

As a special guest to the employee Town Hall meeting held today at USAID, Michelle Obama visited to thank USAID employees around the world for their work. Mrs. Obama reminded staff that her mother-in-law had worked on USAID projects for almost 20 years in Indonesia.

Mrs. Obama shared insights on her visits to USAID projects in Ghana, Russia, and Haiti, and told the staff: “You have always represented what is truly best about America –- the idea that we have an obligation not just to help those in need, but to also help folks beyond our borders build capacity to help themselves.”

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