The 45th World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in the Swiss town of Davos from January 21 to 24th. World leaders in governments, business and non-profit organizations gathered for the annual meeting to address major issues on the global agenda.
During their stay in the Swiss Alps, they discussed new global context. The forum consisted of 280 sessions and each one of them tackled particular issues the world is facing. Each year bring issues that the international community has to address and the question is what`s the new approach that needs to be taken in 2015.
Opening the forum Prof Klaus Schwab, the Executive Chairman of the WEF said that the organizers had prepared a program whereby all major issues on the global agenda would be addressed. "Last year I said that there are four ingredients of true leadership: brain, soul, heart and good nerve and I hope you bring those talents."
He went on saying it is true that world leaders were present in Davos to pursue their own interests but also as a community to improve the state of the world. "We are here to be passionate and show compassion, sharing and caring is the motto of this meeting".
As usual since 1994, the forum starts with the Crystal awards that honor exceptional personalities who are outstanding artists and cultural leaders. Those personalities are chosen because they are concerned and committed about many problems the world is facing. Hilde Schwab presented the 21st Annual Crystal awards to three artists that embrace the mission of the forum, which is to improve the state of the world.
The awardees are respectively Andrea Bocelli a musician from Italy, Shigeru Ban an architect from Japan, Angelique Kidjo from Benin who is a singer, songwriter and UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
World leaders discussed many global issues ranging from the financial, economic and political system that are being turned on their heads. It is within that context that we heard about specific discussions ranging from monetary policies to the use of technology. Philanthropic topics such as poverty alleviation, climate change, and energy challenges were also discussed.
A lot of focus remained on China as a country that has gained an influence in the global economy. Premier Li Keqiang attended the forum joining 40 other heads of states and governments. Li delivered a keynote speech on the state of China`s economy and its new approach to sustainable growth.
Leaders in government and the private sector also represented Africa. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Jacob Zuma of South Africa are one of African presidents that were present at the forum along with Aliko Dangote - the richest man in Africa. While Africa faces both economic and security challenges, it remains an attractive region for foreign investment.
But one of the challenges that Africa faces is that its citizens are not moving and trading freely among them. This is one of the bottlenecks that delays Africa's social and economic development.
Aliko Dangote the CEO of Dangote Group from Nigeria said that it is a serious issue as he has to apply for visas whenever he travels around Africa for business purposes. Citizens from the U.S or Europe on the other hand are not required visas when they enter most African countries.
President Kagame voiced his concern on this issue. "We need to allow Africans to move freely across borders and to invest in and with each other. If we do this, the rest will follow," said the Rwandan President on his Face Book page.