melissa benn, Author at Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

Looking for equity after COVID-19? Prioritize African women.

COVID-19 has presented not only a health crisis, but a burgeoning economic catastrophe as well. A recent McKinsey report notes that in 2020, African economies could experience a catastrophic loss from US$90 billion to US$200 billion, a 3–8% drop in GDP growth, and delayed or reduced foreign direct investment. Such a massive hit will require […]

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Inspiring Agricultural Innovation and Transformation

William Kamkwamba signs books during the Agricultural Transformation Summit, held in Lilongwe, Malawi on November 14, 2019   Inspiration can come from all places. For some, inspiration comes from listening to the words of others. Moments of inspiration can also hit during times of great need, or times of reflection. For William Kamkwamba, the Malawian […]

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beyond traditional gender lens investing: an intersectional approach

GENDER LENS INVESTING: The deliberate integration of gender analysis into investment analysis and decision-making Gender lens investing (GLI) is “an investing approach that deliberately incorporates a desire to make a difference in the lives of women and girls, while meeting the risk/return objectives appropriate for an institutional portfolio.” The Criterion Institute and Jackie VanderBrug, Managing Director of Global […]

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meet the 2018 youth agri-preneur pitch competition winners

Ngabahila Chatata, and her husband, after winning first prize in the Youth Agri-preneur Pitch Competition in Lilongwe, Malawi, standing with Rob Henning, Director of Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs (left) and Jim Lutzweiler, Vice President of Agriculture and Livelihoods (right) Without a doubt, pitch competitions set an exciting scene. Entrepreneurs nervously pace as expert judges […]

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transformation through collaboration, consortium, and commitment

A word diagram from the WhatsApp conference group   The last week of November, approximately five hours before my flight left from DC to Lilongwe, I opened my suitcase and began to pack. Some may argue that sprinting around with literal moments to spare may not be the most prudent way to prepare for a […]

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