Munich, October 18, 2012: Prominent visitor to the UN city, Bonn. Dr Auma Obama, sister of the incumbent US President, Barack Obama, will deliver the opening speech of the international sustainability conference SusCon
“Too many young people leave their homes in the countryside because they see no prospects. Hope for a better life, however, ceases in the slums”, says Auma Obama whose opening speech is titled “The social pillars of sustainability – challenges and opportunities for the business community”. She continues by explaining that life in the slums is “fatal” from a country’s “social and economic perspective” because, although the youth have great potential, they are not able to become financially independent in the slums. The result is poverty.
Auma Obama has, for many years, been an active aid worker. After completing her doctorate, Obama worked with youth organisations in England, and then in Kenya as the East African Coordinator for the aid organisation CARE International. In 2011, she created her own foundation “Sauti Kuu”, in English “Strong Voices”. Obama knows that there is no economic future without the youth. It is for this reason that “Sauti Kuu” supports disadvantaged children and youth in Kenya.
Obama’s foundation supports the youth in their personality development, provides them with education, support for self-help and combats rural exodus. “Kenya has resources. It is a question of using them in harmony with nature” she explains. In order to truly combat poverty, it is important to adopt an integrated approach. “The World Summit in Rio de Janeiro showed how closely poverty, environmental protection and the economy are related. The Green Economy is our chance to integrate social alongside ecological issues in a sustainable economic system. We must include so-called poverty in the process.”
During her visit to Germany, Auma Obama will find herself on familiar ground. When she was 16 years old the native of Kenya studied German at the Goethe Institut in Nairobi. Then in 1980, at the age of 18 she went to Germany where she lived for several years, doing German Studies in Heidelberg and a doctorate at the University of Bayreuth.
SusCon 2012 – The “International Conference on Sustainable Business and Consumption” brings representatives of the economy together with important stakeholders from government and UN organisations, as well as NGOs. In 2012 the conference will take place for the first time in the UN city, Bonn, Germany. On November 27th and 28th businesses, NGOs and politicians will discuss the topic of the “Green Economy” and introduce solution approaches for sustainable supply chains. Topics that will be focussed on are technical innovations, CSR 2.0, resource efficiency, certification, as well as financial transition and lifestyles. Four hundred participants are expected. In 2010, the last SusCon conference attracted 300 delegates representing businesses and financial institutions, governments, NGOs and the media from 28 countries.
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