News / Economy

    Davos Economic Forum to Tackle Challenges of a Changing World

    World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab addresses a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, Jan. 15, 2014.
    World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab addresses a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, Jan. 15, 2014.
    Lisa Schlein
    A stellar cast of more than 2,500 business, government, academic and civil society leaders are expected to attend this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The meeting, which takes place from January 22 to 25, will address the challenges facing today’s changing world. 

    As in previous years, glitz and glamour will be in abundant supply at the World  Economic Forum.  Security will be tight in the small Swiss Alpine town of Davos to protect some of the world’s leading movers and shakers.  

    Among the more than 40 heads of state expected to attend are the prime ministers of Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and the presidents of Mexico, South Korea and Brazil.  

    For the first time since 2004, a sitting president of Iran will come to Davos.  Forum organizers say Hassan Rouhani will speak about Iran’s place in the world and present his view of Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world.  

    The list of luminaries expected to attend is extensive.  Many will participate in panel discussions focused on this year’s unwieldy theme -- “The Reshaping of the World:  Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.”

    The forum's founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, says some of today's best minds will be asked to try to unravel the world's complexities.  He says they will be asked to look at hot-button issues, such as the situation in the Middle East.  They also will be asked to address fundamental underlying development issues, including the new digital and technological landscape, job creation and global warming.

    “What we want to do in Davos this year in this respect is to push the reset button," he said. "Let me explain. The world is much too much still caught in a crisis management mode and we forget that we should take now into our hands and we should look for solutions for the really fundamental issues.  We should look at our future in a much more constructive, in a much more strategic way.”  

    Among the many highlights in the program are sessions on climate change and the post-2015 development goals, the future of health and healthcare, and the pressing problem of youth unemployment.  Others include panels on economic prospects for major emerging economies including China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Russia.  The future of North Africa and the Middle East also will be discussed.

    Africa, too, will figure prominently, but differently from previous years.  Nearly 40 African leaders, among them nine heads of government, will attend, including the presidents of Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia.

    In a departure from traditional practice, WEF Director, Head of Africa, Elsie Kanza, says this year there will be no formal sessions devoted to Africa.  She tells VOA African issues will be dealt with on the sidelines of the meeting, or they will be integrated into other global topics that are addressed.

    “Something that is important from the African community, and which we paid heed to this year, is that they were tired of being boxed into an Africa corner," she said. "They said Africa is very much part of the world and Davos is really a platform that is global, and that therefore what you have is African voices on global issues.”

    Kanza says African leaders do not want their issues to be treated as isolated cases.  She says they want to be seen as equals to all others who attend the meeting.  They say they want the Davos focus to be more on Africa’s place in the world, rather than on the continent or region of origin.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8869
    JPY
    USD
    112.70
    GBP
    USD
    0.6894
    CAD
    USD
    1.3922
    INR
    USD
    68.241

    Rates may not be current.