Industries in Depth

21 must-read stories for the weekend

Adrian Monck
Managing Director, World Economic Forum Geneva
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Six African nations are among the world’s 10 most unequal. More jobs for the young and fair taxation would help make Africa work for the many, not just the few.

Seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa. The boom is being shaped by demographics, the rise of the individual, enabling technology, and six other mega-trends. 

Who is responsible for human rights? Not just governments, say company executives, as human rights enter the corporate mainstream.

Are happy workers productive workers? A question so fundamental that the answer could determine whether you succeed or fail.

The Doha Round has stalled. How can we reinvigorate the global trade system?

Africa’s reliance on services. Sub-Saharan economies have leapfrogged manufacturing — the traditional development gateway — raising concerns about competitiveness.

This week’s podcast: a conversation with former Israeli President Shimon Peres.

On this week’s World Economic Forum on Africa:

  • Leaders should shift their focus to the longer term, say the meeting’s co-chairs. (Mail & Guardian Africa)
  • Africa’s gender gap costs the continent the equivalent of 9% of its GDP, says meeting co-chair Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. (Independent Online)
  • Africa and the world need to relate as equals, President Jacob Zuma tells the meeting. (Business Day)
  • African Davos to focus on continent’s upbeat economic future. (Daily Mail)
  • And, the meeting in a nutshell. (Eyewitness News)

Why is the US falling behind on infrastructure? And what can the superpower learn from China? Draws on World Economic Forum data. (Forbes)

What Saudi women can and can’t do. Cites World Economic ForumGlobal Gender Gap Report. (Arabian Business)

Face-to-face meetings are here to stay. The internet will never be able to replicate “the moment when people bump into new ideas or individuals in a corridor or over dinner”. (Financial Times)

The financial value of a strong reputation. A recent Forum study shows that reputation accounts for 25% of a company’s market value. (Huffington Post)

Does education really drive economic growth? China started with less education than Tunisia, Mexico or Iran in 1960, yet its growth has since blown them all out of the water. Education may be a necessary but not sufficient condition for growth.

Closing the occupational gender gap could help men live longer.Men don’t cope as well as women with socio-economic adversity. But when they do the same jobs the gap narrows. Equality in the workplace could help close the gender mortality gap.

Americans are exporting their knowledge to China. The country’s middle class is becoming a surprising new source of jobs.

Germany’s demographic crunch.  With the world’s lowest birth rate, Germany’s workforce will be shrinking faster than Japan’s by the early 2020s, undermining its role as Europe’s leading economy.

Near-zero interest rates have created a series of bubbles. At the same time, markets have become more illiquid. Crisis-predictor Nouriel Roubini says this won’t end well.

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Author: Adrian Monck is Managing Director and head of Public Engagement at the World Economic Forum.

Image: Dusk settles over Cape Town’s central business district, November 2, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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