A remarkable revolution is taking place in finance, not in the City, but under the shade of large communal trees in villages across Africa and the developing world. It's a savings revolution, and one with the potential to pump $157 billion into the global economy, and particularly developing nations, if the 2.7bn adults worldwide who are 'unbanked' participate in savings-led microfinance programmes.
This Sunday was World Leprosy Day 2013, but few people are likely to take notice. Few might even know that leprosy still exists today. But it does: it affects more than 15 million people across the world and each year nearly a quarter of a million new cases are detected: that is almost one person diagnosed every two minutes - the time to read this blog post.
Despite little media coverage al Qaeda-linked Islamist groups have been consolidating and extending their grip across northern Mali for several months. Jihadist fighters have reportedly been crossing Mali's porous borders described by Malians as having come from as far afield as Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.
While my travels meant I'd heard of the Central African Republic - unlike many people in the West - and I knew of the huge problem of child soldiers in the region, it was truly eye-opening and enlightening to see the situation up close, particularly the brave work of the UNICEF workers risking their lives to negotiate their release. Thousands of children in the country, out of a population of only 5million, have been abducted, tricked or coerced into fighting.