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In an editorial published today in the Christian Science Monitor, GreaterGood Network CEO Tim Kunin persuasively argues that Africa's greatest resource is its talented artisans and the Internet's ability to link them with a global market.
"The continent’s real wealth is not in its buried minerals or fertile fields (although those are worth plenty). It’s in the heads and hands of Africans, including a diverse group of world-class artisans: weavers in, Ethiopia, and ; stone carvers in Kenya and ; woodworkers in , and many others," writes Kunin, who has traveled to Africa six times during the past seven years to buy crafts, clothing, and other goods sold through the GreaterGood Network's online stores.
"To maximize income for local producers, we partner with organizations such as The African Trade Hubs, Global Mamas, and Aid to Artisans, that connect us directly with craft workers, eliminating a long chain of sellers and re-sellers," he added. This type of purchasing places more money in the pockets of the artisans and helps them invest in their families and communities.
The challenge, Kunin points out, is to continue to support economic development and provide a safeguard against famines like one triggered by the droughts in the Horn of Africa. "Disaster strikes all corners of the globe, but famine only happens when natural calamity intersects with man-made poverty," he said.
At The Hunger Site, the "Click Here To Give" program, product purchases, and donations through Gifts That Give More [tm] program support emergency aid and long-term development in Africa and other regions to combat hunger and poverty. Since 1999, the GreaterGood Network has donated more than $26 million to charities worldwide.