World Economic Forum ends on Sunday – The issues so far

by Adebola Rayo

The World Economic Forum, a Swiss non-profit organisation, which brings together 2,500 world leaders, business leaders, and journalists amongst other intellectuals yearly, is holding this year’s meeting from January 25-29. The 2012 meeting is themed: “The Great Transfomation: Shaping New World” and participants discuss the issues facing the world and proffer solutions to them. Below are a few highlights from the forum:

1 in 7 people around the world are undernourished –U.N

“The world can feed itself. Africa can feed itself. The problem is we have vulnerable populations who do not have access to the food.”

– Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria’s Minister of Finance).

World leaders at the forum have agreed that although the financial crisis around the world has been the focus for a lot of countries, it won’t matter unless people have enough to eat and because of that, small farmers have to be helped to succeed and people who cannot afford food also have to be helped.

 Gates gives more

“These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest.”

– Bill Gates.

Microsoft founder, Bill Gates has pledged $750 million to help fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He made the pledge to a health fund that has, due to the global financial crisis and financial losses, lost donors.

The Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has, in its 10 years of existence, provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, treated 8.2 million tuberculosis patients, and given 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria among other things.

 Occupy WEF

“Social corporate responsibility is just a way to attract customers. I’m very ambiguous about that. I don’t think these people are genuinely evil or bad. But this isn’t the solution. We should empower people and not make them dependent on philanthropy.”

 – Laurent Moeri (Activist).

Despite the ‘good intentions’ expressed by participants in the forum, ‘Occupy WEF’ protesters who have been camping in igloos in Davos after being refused entry into the forum, say they are not convinced that business and world leaders truly have good intentions. They have also condemned the participants, saying they do not truly represent the majority of people in the world and they are only interested in strengthening the system and making profit.

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