The African Union Commission (AUC) has called on African leaders to sustain the hope and economic confidence which the continent is gaining despite headwinds.
According to out-going chairperson of the AUC Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, speaking at the 27th AU Summit of Heads of State in Kigali, Rwanda, noted that four years after the leadership of the Commission was elected and two years after adopting Agenda 2063, efforts have been directed towards building a continent that is integrated, peaceful and prosperous.
“The Africa we have today is full of hope, possibility and optimism, but is also a cause of anguish in some areas. Whilst the farmers, traders, students, entrepreneurs, professionals, teachers, builders, nurses, and innovators from our continent are hard at work and incomes have begun to rise; there are still parts of our continent, where Africans are desperately yearning for peace and the space to rebuild their lives,” she said.
“Despite the blights on our collective souls that these conflicts represent, the Africa we have is still full of hope. We see hope in the resilience of our people, and the strides of countries towards eradicating poverty and transforming our economies.
“We see hope in the ever-changing landscapes of our cities and towns, as we steadily build roads, increase access to energy, ICT, water and sanitation, and build schools, clinics and sports fields.
“We have hope, because the continent’s political and business leadership are preparing to act to make African industrialization a reality in our lifetime, so that our people benefit from their natural and mineral resources.
“The men, women and children, the young people and elderly of Burundi, Eastern DRC, the Lake Chad Basin, Libya, Mali Somalia, and South Sudan deserve no less.”
She disclosed that preparations have begun to mark 2017 as the Year of Investments in Youth to harness the African Demographic Dividend, following meetings over the past four years with African young men and women in their gatherings, and in the annual Intergenerational Dialogues at the AU Summits.
“Your Excellencies, because as Africa’s economies continue to grow despite the headwinds, and we move forward with the Continental Free Trade Area, our Education ministries, teachers and activists, our university and college principals and faculties, our industry and private sector agree that the African skills revolution in science technology, innovation, engineering and mathematics must happen, and are working to make it happen.”
She however stressed that this shift could not happen without Africa taking charge of its transformation, including the financing of its development.
Source: Footprint to Africa