Saudi Arabia is a nation with one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world, coming in at around $55,000; however, it is still affected by a decent amount of poverty, with an estimated 12.7% of the population living in poverty. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is seeking to change this in his own nation and several others worldwide.
Prince Alwaleed made his fortune through expert investment in American, Middle Eastern and European companies and now has a net worth of around $32 billion, making him the 21st richest person in the world. However, rather than spend this fortune on himself, Alwaleed has pledged to donate his entire fortune to charity over the course of his lifetime.
This is a model based off of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: he is seeking good investments and strong organizations that can help him better the global community and increase the amount of respect for Saudi Arabia.
Prince Alwaleed has begun his charity work with a project that is very close to home. Understanding that much of the Saudi native population is struggling, he has vowed to provide his people with 10,000 homes and 10,000 cars over 10 years. According to Arabian Business, this gesture is “an expression of [the prince’s] gratitude to the Saudi nation and its people,” and this small step is truly evident of the greatness that is to come.
The self-proclaimed “Warren Buffett of Arabia” has decided to enact these goals in order to promote cultural understanding, empower women and provide vital disaster relief throughout the world. Alwaleed’s philanthropic organization, Kingdom Holding, is not just focused on building communities: it also has interests ranging from a new Disney theme park to Citigroup, with much more in between.
Prince Alwaleed has recently signed a treaty with France, thus creating a French-Saudi investment fund that is worth upwards of $400 million. He has also invested some of his fortune in Kingdom African Management, which is a Nigerian company focused on exploring alternatives to oil.
While the current investments have mainly been aimed at fostering monetary relationships with other nations, the prince has several other plans to make a difference in the world.
The prince has a rough timeline of what exactly he wishes to do with his fortune, but this is subject to change as the state of the global community changes. Ultimately, it is an impressive and extremely altruistic goal that will allow for mountains of change and hope in the world.
With an increasing number of celebrities and wealthy individuals using their fortunes to do good, there is no telling where the world will be in a few years. The world has long existed in a state of haves and have-nots, but when people realize that society cannot progress without a little help, and are then willing to do what they can to help, it will become a better place and a stronger community because of that.
– Sumita Tellakat
Sources: The Huffington Post, Al-Jazeera