9 July 2018

South Africa: Chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni - Fourth Brics Youth Summit

press release

Media briefing remarks by the Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni on hosting the 4th Brics Youth Summit, at Tshedimosetso House, GCIS Head Office, Hatfield Pretoria

Deputy Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Ms Bavelile Hlongwa,

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Waseem Carrim,

Members of the Media,

The National Youth Development Agency has successfully held celebrations of youth month 2018 across South Africa. Held in remembrance of the sacrifices and commitment by young people of 1976, whom their uprising ushered a new era in the battle for democracy and freedom . These celebrations coincided with the Centenary year of celebrating Tata Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu.

We are now ushered into a month of the late struggle icon Tata Nelson Mandela. Tata Mandela played a significant role in bringing about much-needed change in South Africa.

Today, young people are benefiting from his selfless leadership and sacrifice he made until the time of his passing. We, therefore, commend our a global declaration of taking the 18th of July 2018 as an International Day of Service in honour of the Father of the Nation.

We meet exactly 15 days before the 10th BRICS Summit convened under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution". South Africa assumed the rotational Chairship of BRICS from 1 January to 31 December 2018. The 2018 Summit will be a seminal milestone for BRICS cooperation, as it represents a decade of BRICS cooperation at the highest diplomatic level.

During the second cycle when Russia was chairing and the hosting the 6th BRICS Summit in 2015, a proposal for the 1st BRICS Youth Summit was implemented. It was held in Kazan, Russia from the 01 to 06 July 2015.

South Africa also participated in that 1st BRICS Youth Summit. The South African delegation (34) was led by the former Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela.

The first BRICS Youth Summit was aimed at initiating a permanent platform for youth cooperation and to encourage extended dialogue amongst young people from the BRICS countries. On that basis, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on youth affairs was signed on 06 July 2015 in Kazan.

The MoU serves as a basis for mutually beneficial intergovernmental cooperation aimed at deepening coordination and cooperation in the field of youth development.

The 1st BRICS Youth Summit produced an outcome document in the form of "The Summit Action Plan". The Action Plan gave wide-ranging recommendations for cooperation amongst the BRICS nations, in various fields, namely, economic cooperation, political cooperation, humanitarian cooperation, cooperation in information sphere, and scientific and technical cooperation.

South Africa also participated in the 2nd BRICS Youth Summit that took place in place in Guwahati, India from 1-3 July 2015. The 2nd Summit took further the initiatives of the 1st BRICS focused on (i) skills development and entrepreneurship; (ii) social inclusion, (iii) youth volunteerism; (iv) youth participation in governance. South Africa's delegation was led by the former CEO of the NYDA, Mr Khathu Ramukumba.

Last year, at the 3rd BRICS Youth Forum in Beijing, China from 24-28 July delegates focused on the following action plan:

Youth Policy

Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Youth Participation in Global Governance

At the conclusion of the 3rd BRICS Youth Summit delegates agreed on concrete measures to establish a center for BRICS youth research, a platform for information exchanges, a network dedicated to boosting BRICS youth innovation and entrepreneurship, and a BRICS volunteer database for international communication.

In lieu of the above summit, the 4th BRICS Youth Summit organized by the National Youth Development Agency, cooperation with the Department of National Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation takes place from the 15 to 18 July 2018 under the theme "Radical Economic Transformation - Making the BRICS Bank for the Youth". The summit will take place at Zebula Lodge Golf Estate in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province.

The objectives of the summit are as follows:

To encourage young leaders amongst BRICS countries to actively participate in addressing the most significant global challenges, economic and social issue and developmental agenda.

To establish constructive exchange of views on strategic issues empowering youth.

To build ideas for a brighter and better tomorrow.

The NYDA understand BRICS cooperation and partnership as an important platform for South Africa. This is because our country remains an important global player both politically and economically. Thus it is NYDA's preoccupation to ensure that young people benefit immensely from the BLOC.

The 4th BRICS Youth Summit will be convened with the view on the following outcome:

Creating a youth element to the New Development Bank including the establishment of a youth fund and mentorship for youth owned enterprises especially start-ups in the area of innovation

Lobbying for the BRICS Business Council to establish a youth work stream to facilitate cross-border trade, business support and training, market linkages and learning for youth-owned enterprises.

Determining the assessment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on our relevant economies and the nature of our response. This will include shared learning from each member countries skills development and exchange opportunities understanding the jobs for the future.

Opportunities among BRICS nations

The BRICS countries cover 40 per cent of the world's population, more than 25 per cent of the world's land and are accounting to almost 30 per cent of the world's GDP to a tune of $18.5trillion (R216.5trln).

In 2012, the BRICS nations established Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) by eminent professionals and entrepreneurs. The CCI is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation. Young people must fully participate in the CCI to ensure that they promote commerce and industry among BRICS nations.

The BRICS Youth Summit presents us with an opportunity to further accelerate youth development in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030, which articulates that the "ICT will underpin the development of a dynamic and connected information society and a vibrant knowledge economy that is more inclusive and prosperous".

Our Government will establish a 4th Industrial Revolution Commission to make recommendations on the immediate, medium and long-term priorities and goals for society as a whole, especially for young people. Furthermore, as Government continues to roll out the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting transmission, the NYDA is also seized with coordinating a national strategy for young people to ensure that they benefit from such opportunity.

Moreover, the collaborative efforts of the NYDA, the Government and BRICS nations to ensure that young people fully participate in the mainstream economy shall move beyond the ICT sector. South Africa's natural wealth such as gold, diamonds and platinum must benefit young people at all levels. The NYDA, as the Agency that advocates for youth development in this country - will look for opportunities in the natural resources as to diversify youth development programmes.

In 2010, a document produced by the Government, the New Growth Path highlighted the core challenges that continue to hamper young people from transforming their lives and are not participating meaningfully in the mainstream economy. These include joblessness, poverty, and inequalities among many others.

The recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) continues to depict a dire situation for young people. The 4th BRICS Youth Summit will produce much-needed opportunities for young people to ensure that their lives is transformed. The delegates from BRICS nations will also chart a way forward to ensure that young people including those in rural areas reap the benefits from the New Development Bank and other programmes aimed at them, especially the youth fund.

It is disheartening that young people from rural areas migrate to urban areas in search for better opportunities. It is very important to ensure that the BRICS Youth Summit find ways to encourage youth to stay in their communities and contribute to the growth and development of the rural areas.

Therefore, the NYDA as entrusted and mandated to ensure that youth development reaches every corner of the country will work closely with BRICS New Development Bank in rolling out programmes for young people.

It is for this reason that, as an Agency, we decided to move out of the boardroom and go to rural areas. We have taken the NYDA to where young people are.

For instance, last month we have opened a full-service branch in Richards Bay as to ensure that an entrepreneur from eNseleni and Ngwelezane have access to NYDA branch across the street. This month, we will open two new branches in Groblersdal, Limpopo and in Newcastle, KZN.

The NYDA calls for all South Africans to rally behind the BRICS nations as it plays an active role in creating an opportunity for us to work towards finding solutions for our common challenges such as poverty, inequalities and unemployment rate.

It should also be noted that all BRICS countries enjoy comparative and competitive advantages in specific fields.

The Summit provides us with an opportunity and it also crafts a paradigm that is mutually beneficial to all five nations. The Summit will impact positively on the lives of our people.

Young people must come out in number to exchange ideas with other delegates from other nations. The NYDA will continue to explore these mutually beneficial cooperation ties with all our partners to ensure that young people lives are transformed for the better.

As we continue celebrating the live and times of Tata Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu we are calling on all men to join the #100MenMarch tomorrow. The March will be a resounding commitment by men to end violence against women and children . This protest action aims at creating a safer environment for both our women and children. Like Samora Machel says " The Emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee of its continuity and a precondition for its victory."

I thank you.

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

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