Global wealth rise leads to local philanthropy
The global wealth boom has not only increased the number of high-net-worth individuals in the UK and USA, it has also seen a growth of billionaires in countries such as Turkey, India, Mexico and Russia, some of whom are turning their assets into tools for social change.
Having ridden the wave of growing economies and newly robust currencies these entrepreneurs, who have made their billions in private-sector industries like telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance, have not only become the richest people in their countries, but rank among the wealthiest in the world.
The International Herald Tribune reports on this growth siting Carlos Slim, the telecommunications entrepreneur in Mexico who has pledged billions to his two foundations that will target health and education; and the richest man in Russia, Roman Abramovich, has channeled more than $1bn into a poor Arctic province where he serves as governor, building schools and hospitals.
In a country that has the lowest ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary school of any country, due to traditional culture that places more importance on educating boys than girls, Turkey’s richest man Husnu Ozyegin has, since 2000, spent more than $50m of his own money building 36 primary schools and girls' dormitories in the poorest parts of Turkey.