News & Blogs

Exploring the Uncharted Export

Michele Coscia

Exporting goods is great for countries: it is a way to attract foreign currency. Exports are also fairly easy to analyze, since they are put in big crates and physically shipped through borders, where they are usually triple checked*. However, there is another way to attract foreign currency that escapes this analytical convenience. And it is a huge one. Tourism. When tourists get inside your country, you are effectively exporting something: anything that they buy. Finding out exactly what and how much you’re exporting is tricky. Some things are easy: hotels, vacation resorts, and the like. Does that cover all they buy? Probably not.

Nigeria’s MAX goes from strength to strength as milestones rack

Disrupt Africa

It has been quite a year for Nigerian e-courier startup Metro Africa Express (MAX), which only formally launched in August of 2015.

Since then the startup, which was formed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been named runner-up at the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield event in London and named a “Top 12 Global Inclusive Growth Idea” by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Harvard Center for International Development.

It followed that up by becoming the first African team to gain admission into the Techstars startup accelerator programme in New York, raised a funding round of almost US$1 million in March, and last week completed the acquisition of another startup as it prepares to roll out its own food delivery service.

Research Report Sheds New Light on Economic Impacts of Tourism in Colombia

Bogota – Against the backdrop of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Medellin, MasterCard released a new analysis of foreign tourist spending in Colombia based on research conducted in collaboration with the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. The analysis reveals rare insights on the economic benefits of tourism, and the role of payment acceptance in driving more inclusive growth.

Uncovering New Insights For How Business ‘Knowhow’ Impacts Economic Growth

MasterCard data helps reveal how ‘knowhow’ moves around the world


Cambridge, MA
– A unique research collaboration between the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University and the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth is uncovering new insights on the dynamics of global business travel and its impact on economies. Through the first-ever MasterCard grant of commercial insight data, researchers at CID are working to understand the flow and accumulation of business ‘knowhow,’ a key driver for inclusive economic growth.

What Should We Do About Inequality?

By Ricardo Hausmann (originally published in GrowthPolicy)

Inequality is the result of many different phenomena. Some of them should be a source of policy concern while others should not. My main problem is the inequality that arises from differences in productivity—namely, differences in productivity across regions, across cities, within cities and across social groups. We know that there are huge differences in income across countries of the world: the richest countries are 200 to 300 times richer than the poorest countries in per capita terms. That’s inequality at the global scale.

Re-Inventing the Corner Store

Q&A with Busi Radebe

Busi is the founder of iShipa, technology that will allow small business owners in South Africa to keep track of their sales and inventory management information.

What was your inspiration?

When I started working on this project the focus was pretty much from a South African context, but when I looked at the request for proposals, it gave me the view that the problem I’m trying to solve is not unique to South Africa.

Geolocation-Based Public Information System

Q&A with Ashish Rana

Ashish Rana is the software developer behind Qbila - a geolocation based public information platform that connects government organizations with people living in the region they are serving.

What was your inspiration?

It started when I was living in Delhi, near the place where the rape incident of December 16th happened in 2012. The most disturbing part for me was that that place was just two streets beyond where I was living, but I was not able to know it from the local source, but from the news agencies, the national news agencies. So it showed how disconnected we are from our localities.