African leaders discuss poverty eradication, unemployment

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Johannesburg - As African leaders continue to grow their countries’ economies, they will together eradicate poverty and massively reduce unemployment, says South African President Jacob Zuma.

“As governments in our various countries, we are committed to continue creating enabling environments for our private sectors to operate and expand,” he said while welcoming Heads of State and Government and Captains of Economic Industry at the African Union Fundraising Dinner, on Saturday.

The Dinner was held under the Stewardship of the African Union Foundation at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg.

He said the Gala Dinner intended to provide an opportunity for the Heads of State and Government and Captains of Industry from all over the continent to interact and exchange views on how they can take Africa forward within the context of Agenda 2063.

President Zuma said Africa has experienced steady economic growth as a bloc in the past decade on average, a factor that he said has brought increased attention by other regions.

“Our collective effort will also provide skills for Africa’s human resources, particularly the youth, and to equally expand the role of Women in our economic sectors.

“In order to achieve the objectives and aspirations of Agenda 2063, all sectors of our societies, including business, need to play their role for this vision to be realized,” said the President.

He said the January Summit endorsed and approved the framework document on Agenda 2063, which is a shared vision of the Africa We Want, containing aspirations of citizens and governments.

“We therefore wish to reach out to our compatriots in the private sectors of our dynamic and vast continent. We invite you to embrace our march towards greater growth and inclusivity in our economies,” he said.

The President said Africa’s business entities are making a mark globally in areas such as power and energy, telecommunications, infrastructure and construction, food and agro-processing, mining, banking and financial services, tourism and hospitality industry, and the services industry in general.

He said a number of the business leaders who attended the dinner were even changing and transforming financial markets.

“You are listing not only in the stock-exchanges of your own countries but also cross-listing in the exchanges of other fellow African countries, and beyond this continent. This is one example of contributing to pan-Africanism and African renaissance,” he said.

He said leaders look forward to the period when African companies control and own major stakes in reputable and large companies outside Africa.

He said the business sector is a critical role-player in the story of the rising Africa.

“In order to implement our plans and realise our aspirations, we need the required resources, particularly financial resources. The programmes of the African Union, under the stewardship of the African Union (AU) Commission, need funding and technical expertise.

“We look forward to continue walking together on this journey towards a united, non-sexist, industrialised and prosperous Africa,” he said. -

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