New Guinea Commerce

Governance, growth and next generation leadership in the Indo-Pacific

Should Sinking Islands in the South Pacific Worry Us?

The need for good governance persists

Sean Jacobs, Alochonaa (Dialogue), 30 April 2014

“Climate change is an issue that I will continue to talk about for as long as I have breath in my body,” said Kiribati President Anote Tong to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. “This is a critical issue for the survival of our people and for all of humanity. It remains the greatest moral challenge of our time.”

Few images in the West are more emotive than a small island archipelago slowly being consumed by rising sea levels. A sense of guilt is generated in the developed world by images of intrusive waters dabbing the stilts of idyllic, thatched houses. Coconut trees and village gardens, we are told, are drowning under tides that rise much higher than in previous years.

Alongside melting ice caps and the plight of polar bears, this imagery has been deployed to promote a dizzying list of climate change and environmental projects in the South Pacific. For the region’s political leaders, the mere mention of climate change in the halls of Geneva or New York is enough to stimulate more rounds of aid and a proliferation of pacts, memoranda, protocols, declarations and international agreements on climate change and the environment.

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Dennis Kimbro on Black Wealth Creation

Dennis Kimbro, The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires, New York, 2013, Palgrave Macmillan

In 1955, when Martin Luther King Jnr led the Montgomery Bus boycott, there were only five Black millionaires in the United States. There are now 35,000.

Dennis Kimbro has done a great service for those aspiring to similar heights in his latest book The Wealth Choice. These pages aren’t just for black Americans but anyone interested in sustaining the values for wealth creation and carving a path to prosperity.

In his years interviewing and profiling black millionaires Kimbro purposely avoided the ultra-rich – entertainers like Oprah and Jay-Z. Black Americans, he feels, need to emulate the everyday successes built away from the spotlight. And the economic stats on Black America suggest there hasn’t been a more crucial time to promote the message of wealth creation:

  • The median wealth of White households is 20 times that of Black households
  • Nearly one-third of White households own 401(k) or thrift savings accounts, compared with less than one-fifth of African American households
  • Approximately 35 percent of African Americans had no wealth or were in debt in 2009
  • Twenty-four percent of African Americans spend more than their income compared with only 14 percent of all Americans

Early in the book Kimbro emphasises that wealth isn’t about cold hard cash or mindless materialism. ‘Wealth and abundance are not measured in terms of possessions and money,’ he writes, ‘but in relationships, values, knowledge, and action; in what we do, not what we know.’

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