Dubai, UAE: Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus is bound to prick some consciences among delegates attending this year’s Leaders in Dubai Business Forum 2007 in November.
The Bangladeshi social entrepreneur will be elaborating on his personal view that banks engage in the “most flagrant financial apartheid” when it comes to lending to poor people.
Professor Yunus considers poverty to be an artificial creation that does not belong to human civilisation and believes there is a need for institutions and their policies to be radically redesigned. He will tell delegates to the Forum that charity is not a long-term strategy for addressing the global imbalances between rich and poor.
“Our experience has shown that most people want to be able to help themselves, and not rely on others,” Professor Yunus says. “Often all it takes is a bit of encouragement and some seed capital.”
Professor Yunus is the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank which helps people lift themselves out of poverty in rural Bangladesh by providing credit without requiring collateral. Grameen Bank has lent more than US$1 billion to more than five million borrowers, 99 per cent of which have maintained their loan repayments.
He and the bank were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below”, based on the premise that poor people can be both reliable borrowers and avid entrepreneurs. His ideas on micro-credit have now been taken up and applied across developing nations on five continents.
Other confirmed speakers for this year’s Leaders in Dubai Business Forum 2007, which will be held at the Dubai International Convention Centre from November 18-20, include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson; business strategy gurus Robert S Kaplan, Philip Kotler and Steve Forbes; plus Google’s Nikesh Arora.
The line-up is expected to attract a record-breaking number of delegates and the organisers are encouraging interested people to register early at www.leadersindubai.com to ensure they don’t miss out.
Leaders in Dubai Business Forum 2007 is supported by:
Citi Private Bank, Nokia, Dubai Properties, BIDAYA, Addax Bank and The Monarch Dubai.
International Media Partner CNN & Headline Media Partner Al Arabiya News Channel
Al Barari, Ithmar Capital, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, TCS Express, SP Jain Center of Management, Damac Properties, Omniyat Properties and Dubai Real Estate Institute.
Arabian Business, Emirates Today & 103.8 fm, AME Info and Al Hayat.