Last week the leaders of the G20 met in Seoul for the G20 Summit. For many, the ‘Group of 20’ (G20) is a largely self-appointed and barely legitimate body with no authority to assume its current role. Is this a valid perspective, and what does it mean for the ‘G172’ (the 172 member states of the United Nations)?
Over the next few blog posts I will examine the Seoul Summit Declaration in more detail from a development perspective. What decisions did the G20 make, and are there consequences for other countries excluded from the meeting which are unfair or favourable? What did the G20 Summit mean for influencing extreme poverty, and how does this relate to the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals?
Extreme poverty and business development strangely enough go hand-in-hand. Effective business development can help to replace the burden on aid, but it is by no means a silver bullet.
Writing in the Financial Times, Michael Keating last week provided a good reflection about perceptions. This picks up an idea which the Swedish statistician Hans Rosling speaks about often- that is, the term ‘developing country’ is less relevant now than it was in the past. More so, looking at continents are ‘developing’ or ‘developed’ is just plain inaccurate.
The explosive growth of commercial activity in Africa, both local and international, cannot hide the reality that the continent remains a difficult place to do business.
Africa tends to get a worse press than it deserves, much to its own business community’s frustration. No one talks about Asia as a homogenous block in business terms, lumping Myanmar in with Malaysia, or South Korea with Nepal. Africa is equally diverse. Business conditions vary widely among its 52 countries.
Understanding ‘the other’ is an important step towards the eradication of poverty from our world.
Now and again you come across one of those people who somehow makes the complex simple, and in doing so can turn our assumptions on their head. Hans Rosling, hailing from Sweden makes an interesting twist to how we might perceive development and poverty.
This TED talk from 2007 is worth watching. It was Rich Fleming from the Global Poverty Project who put me onto this information, as I was discussing my intention of doing this run many months ago. He suggested that this question: “Is the seemingly impossible possible?” was worth asking.
In five years the 2o15 deadline arrives for reporting on the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
How can we best use the information and framing that Hans presents to change our own perspective?
Was this useful for you or just an amusing presentation?