2009: Will a crisis turn into an opportunity?
This week (9 January 2009) on SciDev.Net, David Dickson notes that
Massive investments will be needed, including subsidies to clean energy projects in the developing world
In a recent television interview, former Microsoft boss Bill Gates identified two priorities for the US administration of President-elect Barack Obama, as it prepares to face the biggest global economic crisis in recent history.
The first was to maintain funding to tackle developing countries' needs. Although Obama has promised to double US spending on foreign aid, there are understandable fears that acute domestic financial pressures will push development assistance down the political agenda.
The second was to continue investing in scientific research and technological innovations, which, argued Gates, provide the foundations for future economic growth and social progress.
As the developing world braces itself to meet the stormy times ahead, sustaining an emphasis on these two themes — and maintaining the links between them — will be a key challenge for 2009.
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