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Future belongs to talentism, not capitalism

The Star
The essence of leadership today rests in three values: respect for human leadership and diversity, to serve communities you belong to above self-interest, and to be a trustee for future generations.

World Economic Forum (WEF) chairman Professor Klaus Schwab stressed these both at the end of his speech and at the end of the session “Africa in the New Global Context” at the WEF on Africa meeting in Durban yesterday.

“Everywhere, there is a crisis of leadership,” he said. “Why?

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“People feel they live in a precarious situation they expect fast solutions for complicated problems and many populists are exploiting this situation,” he said.

“But, in the end, we can have a prosperous and peaceful world if we come back to being value-based.”

He said the Fourth Industrial Revolution would bring about a new dividing line - those who embrace the future and new opportunities and those who looked back and struggle in suppression.

Schwab said a challenge for the future was solving youth unemployment by 2030, especially in Africa where one in four young people will be living.

President Jacob Zuma, who also spoke at the session, said in response to a question from a youth representative from the floor that his recent cabinet reshuffle had involved placing younger people in cabinet positions and said of opposition to such moves: “That’s democracy.”

The youth representative, from Mozambique, asked how youth participation could be speeded up, adding that he would be elderly by the time plans were scheduled to have taken effect and that younger people were still not represented in governments.

“When we try to protest peacefully, governments send tanks out.

“How do we speed up the process?” he asked.

Zuma replied that he had joined the Struggle against apartheid as a young man in his twenties and at times, he and his comrades wondered if they would ever be free.

He called on the man to participate in bringing about change along with his elders.

He also joked that he needed to know which countries’ governments were sending out tanks as he would then have to “talk with his brothers”.

Zuma also spoke out against the removal of “billions taken out of Africa each year”, saying this money should be used for funding the continent’s own development.

“We are encouraged by the work of the financial task force,”he said.

“One of its recommendations is that countries should identify, assess and understand money laundering and terrorism financing and should take action.”

Ending the session, Schwab stressed the importance of education and the need to create skills.

“The future does not belong to capitalism, it belongs to talentism,” he said.

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