Muhammad Yunus and Microcredit

SummaryAcknowledgementIntroductionWhy Should We Help?The BenefitsThe Venture ItselfHow to Avoid the Marie Antoinette SyndromeThe Action PlanConclusionSelected Bibliography

Even with all Diamond’s evidence about the disadvantages the peoples in Africa have faced for eons and the advantages we enjoy, we might still be inclined to think that it’s still their fault that they are poor. The world today enjoys enormous benefits and opportunities — surely Africa ought to be able to access them and start moving ahead.

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. When people are poor, they are often trapped in poverty for many reasons, for example, aid that, although well meaning, is less than effective, unscrupulous people who take advantage of them, and the system itself.

A stunning example of this fact is the microcredit system developed by Muhammad Yunus, an economics professor from Bangladesh. Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2006 and has won praise world-wide for his innovative work. His system has been copied in many areas around the globe to similar success (Yunus, 2003, Chapter 9).

The story of how Yunus began Grameen Bank to help the poor illustrates the forces that conspire to keep the poor impoverished.

The following is a photo of Yunus from the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

Figure 4: Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

This picture shows Yunus speaking in November 2006 at the Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Read More: It’s Their Own Fault If They Are PoorJared Diamond and Western (Cargo)Ineffective AidMuhammad Yunus and MicrocreditUnscrupulous PeopleThe SystemGrameen BankIt Doesn’t Affect Us, So Why Should We Care?The Poor Will Always Be With UsThere Is No Point In Giving AidWhere Does All The Money Go?Africa’s Onerous ChallengesAfrica’s Extreme PovertyCorruption and Poor GovernanceLack of Modern Values and Free Market EconomiesA Population Explosion?Why Not Leave It to the United Nations and the World’s Governments?The UNThe Governments of the WorldGrassroots Movements