John Iwori with agencies reports
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has called for action on key issues that will drive the African economy. Participants at the forum which took place in Durban, South Africa yesterday stressed the need for Africa to move beyond theory and planning. Pointing out that the â€œtime for action has arrivedâ€, they argued that the phrase â€œAfrica Risingâ€ should be amended to â€œAfricans Risingâ€ â€“ to reflect the enormous potential of the continentâ€™s human capital They argued that Africaâ€™s first priority should be to embark on what they called â€œa path of sustained, sustainable and inclusive growthâ€ The Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril M. Ramaphosa in his closing address at the WEF stated that the fundamental imperative for Africa was to pursue inclusive growth, which would transform it from the continent of potential to the continent of prosperity.
Ramaphosa called on the continentâ€™s leaders to think hard about â€œthe type of Africa we are going to leave for future generations.â€ His words: â€œWill it be a place of ashes or of half-baked solutions, or will it be a product of leadersâ€™ best efforts to be responsive and responsible to their citizens? We must lead with respect and dignity. We are trustees and guardians of the continent for future generations.â€ According to him, a comprehensive reform of the approach to education was one of the first calls to action. Promotion of science and innovation must be central to learning, as must broadening access for all, but especially for girls and young women. And education cannot be the preserve of an emerging middle class, thus perpetuating inequality. On his part, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Transnet, South Africa Siyabonga Gama noted that there was a real sense of urgency in Africa.
Gama suggested that governments should be run as if they were large corporates with constant monitoring of performance in hitting targets, bold decision making and the removal of impediments that slow down growth. He argued that the priorities are to integrate Africaâ€™s five economic zones into one giant economic marketplace. â€œIntegral to this is a major drive to build infrastructure and power- generation capacityâ€, he added.