Money for change

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks to reporters during a press conference in Riyadh. Fayez Nureldine/  AFP
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks to reporters during a press conference in Riyadh. Fayez Nureldine/ AFP

The announcement by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz that his personal fortune of $32 billion (Dh 118bn) will go to Alwaleed Philanthropies, his charitable organisation, is an impressive act by one of the world’s richest men. But what happens next is not as simple as picking a few good causes and hoping for the best.

When it comes to global philanthropy, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has demonstrated how large sums of money can move markets and transform lives. The Gates Foundation is a global leader whose social initiatives have directly affected millions of people across the world.

Prince Alwaleed would be well served to follow the Gates model or even consider giving it some of his fortune. With such vast sums, Prince Alwaleed could affect change all over the world but closer to home, the Prince’s assets could help build desperately needed infrastructure in Yemen, for example. With the right planning, his name will survive for the ages.

Published: July 2, 2015 04:00 AM

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