With the global political and economic landscape changing rapidly, the World Economic Forum is urging global leaders to be more responsive and responsible. South Africa is heeding that call and is making sure the country is open for business.
By Shamin Chibba
In the coming days the snowy Alpine town of Davos in Switzerland will not be overrun by skiers and holidaymakers, but rather by leaders and thinkers as the World Economic Forum (WEF) kicks off its 47th Annual Meeting on 17 January.
In light of a new global political and economic future, about 2,500 delegates from government, business, academia, civil society, media and the arts will participate in discussions around the meeting’s theme this year, “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”.
The WEF says the theme calls on global leaders to adapt current systems so as to foster growth that benefits everyone.
It says that responsive leadership will answer to the frustrations experienced by those not benefiting from economic and social development with what is called inclusive development and equitable growth. “Their situation will only become more uncertain with the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on future employment,” said WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.
South Africa calls for inclusive economic development
Though Team South Africa heads to Davos with the theme “South Africa is open for business”, its strongest message is that the country will promote economic development for all its citizens to overcome economic inequality. This will tie in with the WEF’s overarching theme.
The country’s proposed reforms in the near future will address the National Health Insurance initiative, issues affecting women and gender equality, land redistribution, rural development, and agriculture and forestry. The government will broaden access to telecommunications, support small business development, and improve growth in tourism.
It also aims to allocate R45-billion to promote industrialisation, economic transformation and sustainable resource management.
Find out more about Team South Africa’s key messages for Davos 2017.
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