What interests me about this approach to ending poverty is that it is turning the solution to the problem on it's head. Rather than just talking about the problem, Yumkella and partners will tackle poverty through the proxy energy head on. Says Yumkella:
But people rather talk about poverty alleviation, saving the poor people in Africa than talking about a true partnership with Africa to transform those economies. That's politics. That's an old paradigm of development in Africa: Africa as a receiver as a poor nation, "save their souls." No, it is about partnerships, it's about making Africa a viable entity in a 21st century global economy. That's the issue. Politicians will talk about poverty because it's a little bit more sexy.
Is the same true in the District of Columbia? Do we talk about ending poverty? Do we create action plans to end it? Do we nibble around the edges?
Yumkella's position is to be aggressive. Ending poverty, says Yumkella, is "doable."
We have the best minds working on this, our friends from the United Nations, friends form the World Bank, the international energy agency. We feel very excited because we just got a big boost in Rio...over 50 developing countries stepped forward wanting to be part of this initiative. The challenge now: we've got billions of dollars of pledges -- how do you convert pledges to real action on the ground over the next 10 years. Can we hold ourselves and countries and businesses accountable that what they pledged they really meant to do?
What can we learn from Yumkella? What can we take from his aggressive and active approach? Who's willing to do the work? Please leave your comments or even better, ask to join the conversation on Branch.