Investment banker turned art entrepreneur, Karabo Morule, founder of Capital Art and a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, goes into detail about her involvement as a panellist and discusses other topics on the agenda at Davos. From climate change and deglobalisation to the creative arts, Karabo is soaking it all in.
Karabo Morule on the issue of financial inclusion
It’s quite a lot. But I really enjoyed the sessions and was fortunate to participate in a panel on financial inclusion. I got to talk a little bit about the great work that TymeBank has done, because I’m a non-executive director of TymeBank. This covered the area of financial inclusion, in general, but financial inclusion for women and low-income women in particular. People can see some of the research at the C-Gap.org and so that’s really fantastic. I also shared my experience around financial inclusion for middle-income customers and key people in the lower income grouping. In particular, it is related to insurance.
On the inspiration received around discussions in Davos
I received inspiration across a number of areas. You know, I tried to make sure the programming that I had for my gender was very varied. So since it is Africa Day today, I’ll just give you a sense of some of the themes around Africa. I really enjoyed the comments from the President of Namibia and the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, and we had some other sessions about regional integration in relation to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
I also loved how they were talking about value add. It is really important that we make sure we capture more value add on the African continent. The Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire spoke about a fascinating statistic in the context of the cashew nut value chain, Cote d’Ivoire captures only about 7% of it, and that’s really stark. We need to make sure we are producing more on the continent than just creating more value-add. And the second big theme was around creating jobs, but some of the leaders also spoke about a focus on know-how. I love that because I believe the more important thing is to increase the amount of know-how on the continent, in certain areas, and for people who are at risk of being job insecure. I think that is one of the big themes. I went to a session on advanced manufacturing. It was fascinating to hear that only 7% of manufacturing is circular. And that’s the theme we need to focus on.
On the lessons that will be taken back to South Africa
I am definitely going to share the learnings I had because that has always been my focus; leveraging the fact that I’m a Young Global Leader. I feel like I’m there so much. I have the privilege of attending and realising and learning from a lot of the WEF sessions. I want to share it with as many people as I can. But certainly, yes, I’m going to take these into some of the areas of focus that I have on the outside. It has been great to chat with so many people about what I’m doing in my art technology startup and lots of people have had positive feedback and want to connect me with other people. I’ve been having a wonderful time.
On the discussions centred on climate change
It has been interesting in the context of the session that we had this morning with the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, which was really fantastic. She spoke about how the WTO is thinking about leveraging the understanding of the global supply chains to assist with the climate debate. Something else, which obviously was mentioned by several African leaders, was the issue that net zero doesn’t necessarily mean zero carbon emissions from fossil fuel energy. That sounds like a contradiction. I think it’s just talking about the transition and that t Europe is now backtracking with regard to coal. On the African continent, we need to be growing our GDP; we are actually coal rich in many places like South Africa. Let’s make sure we’re thinking of different ways to get to net zero but are still leveraging the impact that coal still has in our economy and the number of jobs that it creates, which is a very fair point to make.