October 13, 2006
He Deserves It
Muhammad Yunus and Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank just won the Nobel Peace Prize.
I met Yunus in Bangladesh. Without detracting from his accomplishments, which are vast, I will report that he is at least as good at self-promotion as anything else. That’s why Grameen gets such disproportionate global attention compared to, for example, an organization like BRAC, which also does microcredit in Bangladesh and, by many reports, does it better.
More than anything else, I am delighted that a Bangladeshi organization won the prize. That country is such a puzzle: one of the most populous in the world (almost 150 million people!) but nobody pays any attention to it.
Update: Istiaque uddin Rifat is a Bangladeshi blogger; check out his reaction:
This day is one of the happiest days for our nation since its independence. Dr. Yunus made the nation proud. Dr. Yunus’s name will be uttered with “Mother teresa” and “Nelson Mendela”, two legend who won Noble peace price. Now we can say we are from Dr. Yunus’s country. From today we have a new identity.