Business urged to help Africa become self-reliant
Saturday 1 September 2012 06:42
Newly elected African Union (AU) commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.(SABC)
Newly elected African Union (AU) commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has called on the business sector to help in making the African continent self-reliant.
Dlamini-Zuma was addressing the Pan African Business Forum (PABF) dinner banquet held in Sandton via a video link last night, to celebrate her AU appointment victory.
She reminded the gathering of the vision of the Heads of State and Government about the Lagos plan of action adopted in 1980, which stated that: “Africa must cultivate the virtue of self-reliance.”
Dlamini-Zuma said that she hoped that the PABF will continue to support and encourage her in achieving this goal. “I look forward to meeting, working with you to drive Africa’s agenda so that our people can know a better tomorrow.”
She however warned that the continent should not cut itself totally from outside contribution. “However those contributions should only supplement our own efforts. They should not be the main steam of our development.”
We don’t want South Africa to cloud the AU as it needs to be representative of Africa in it entirety
Dlamini-Zuma, who beat former AU chairperson Jean Ping to become the first woman to head the organisation, said that she hoped that she would be able to discharge her responsibilities to the best of her abilities.
The PABF, which was instrumental in helping Dlamini-Zuma win, also called for Africa to focus more on supporting their own business on the continent as opposed to foreign direct investment.
They also called for a successor to former president Thabo Mbeki’s peacekeeping efforts in Sudan, saying that they don’t want “South Africa to cloud the AU as it needs to be representative of Africa in it entirety,” said PABF president and CEO Ladislas Agbesi.
He added that now that Dlamini-Zuma has been appointed as head of the AU, it was now time for a successor from another country, such as Algeria, to take up the mantle and exemplary efforts started by Mbeki.