Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: ANCYL - Purr, Young Lions, Purr

analysis

African Union Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, addressed an ANC Youth League event on Tuesday night.

GREG NICOLSON found the esteemed guest's speech important, but rambling and rather uneventful. Not the sort of stuff to put fire in the belly, much like the ANCYL itself.

To be fair, Dlamini-Zuma touched on most of the important developmental issues facing continent. Like her speech to the Africa-India trade ministers meeting earlier in the day, where Dlamini-Zuma kicked off with the Berlin Conference of 1885, the Wits event started with a bit of history. She mentioned the first Pan-African Conference, in 1900, and the founding values of the ANC Youth League.

Then she spent around an hour traversing African issues related to long-term development and the youth. Africa is very big, she proved. We need to fight sexism and embrace diversity.

The continent needs infrastructure. It must produce skilled graduates, who need to know they are the world's best, especially in science and technology. Electricity availability must increase. Africa needs to stop importing its food and start exporting.

It needs to add beneficiation to its minerals and stop buying finished products from outside. Countries have to start agreeing to fair rather than exploitative contracts and...

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