Global Cooperation

6 key moments from day four at Davos

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke about global risks and his priorities for the future. Image: World Economic Forum

Poppie Mphuthing
Editorial Lead, Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum LLC
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

1. Davos experts explain the Venezuela crisis

Following news on Tuesday that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was unseated by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, experts gathered to discuss how the country got here and where it is headed.

South American countries and Canada have recognised Guaidó as interim president. Earlier on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump did the same.

Gabriela Saade, an economist and researcher on the Davos panel, argued that it was the will of the Venezuelan people that prompted the power change.


2 . UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke about global risks and his priorities for the future

Guterres outlined current global challenges, highlighting the intersection of climate change, the movement of people and digitalization.


Guterres also foreshadowed the issues on his agenda, which includes gender parity across society and politics. He discussed the wide-ranging nature of the problem and necessary solutions from addressing the need to achieve gender parity in governments and business to fighting early marriage and female genital mutilation.

3. Microsoft CEO: Privacy is a human right

On a panel on digital trust and transformation, Satya Nadella asserted that there needs to be a GDPR for the world, making reference to the data privacy laws that Europe recently enacted.

"My own point of view is that it's a fantastic start in treating privacy as a human right. I hope that in the United States we do something similar, and that the world converges on a common standard," Nadella said.

The default position had to be that people owned their own data, he said.


4. African leaders pledge to bring lifelong learning to the continent

Paul Kagame “did what many people thought was impossible” when he united 49 African Union nations under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva said as she introduced the Rwandan President, and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa to the Davos stage in this session.

“Africa is talking more and more about integration, working together in all sorts of ways,” Kagame said.

But how will this agreement create opportunities for growth and – in particular – jobs for Africa’s burgeoning youth population?

“The coming together of a market of 1.2 billion people is a huge opportunity for any business person or any business,” said Ramaphosa.


But young people don’t want to wait a decade for jobs, added Ramaphosa. “They want it now,” he said. “In fact, you could say that we have been failing the young people of the African continent.

“Africa now has this great opportunity, having lost out on the previous revolutions ... we should now have the courage to be ahead of the curve and embrace technology in the fullest way.”


A culture of lifelong learning and development will be key to giving young Africans the opportunities they deserve, both presidents said.

"You don't start educating a child when they are five years old. The effort starts when the baby is still in the mother's womb, and benefits from a well-fed mother," said Kagame.

5. An interview with Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Laureate 2018

Dr Denis Mukwege is a gynaecologist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his global campaigning against the use of rape as a weapon of war.

It is this shaming that Mukwege wants to change, dreaming of a time when the perpetrator will hide his face and the victim will be able to talk freely about what has happened, he said.

"The silence [of women] is really a strong tool of rapists so they can go on destroying girls and women," he said.

"If she stays in silence, she can be raped again and again. And she can’t protect others."


6. How to deal with the electronic waste crisis

We’re burying ourselves under a mountain of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) and it’s putting the environment and the wellbeing of people under growing pressure.

According to a new report launched at Davos 2019, there is so much of it that it would weigh more than 125,000 Boeing 747 jumbo jets – 44.7 million tonnes in total. That’s enough to build 4,500 replicas of the Eiffel Tower. Every year.

Read more about the problem of e-waste and the report's main findings (including what we can do to solve this critical issue), here.

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