WEF co-chair Winnie Byanyima said 'there is an urgency to look at the economic model and plan differently'. PHOTO: Siobhan Cassidy
Durban  – Calls for radical transformation came thick and fast from all quarters at the World Economic Forum's Africa meetings on Thursday, including from Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International's executive director. Byanyima, who is one of the co-chairs of the WEF meeting being held in Durban until Friday May 5, told media and her fellow co-chairs that the need for radical change in the status quo in Africa was increasingly urgent. 

Adrian Monck, WEF's head of public and social engagement, asked for her thoughts on the need to balance the people's demands for radical change and business's need for stability and predictability. Monck, who was chairing the briefing called to give media the opportunity to hear directly from the co-chairs about their expectations for the meetings and their outlook for Africa, noted that these two forces appeared to be in conflict. 

The head of Oxfam stuck to her guns. "It's time for a new business model," she said. "There is an urgency to look at the economic model and plan differently." Byanyima added that it was imperative for business to transform. "We need to encourage business models that share value with more stakeholders."