Thursday, May 25, 2017

All of Africa Needs Radical Economic Transformation
The whole of Africa needs radical economic transformation‚ Dlamini-Zuma says

ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma believes radical economic transformation should sweep through the entire African continent.

Dlamini-Zuma made these remarks during her keynote address at the SA Funeral Practitioners Association (Safpa) gala dinner on Monday night in East London.

Dlamini-Zuma attempted to explain what the popular phrase means‚ touching on various sectors‚ including minerals‚ the ocean economy‚ land and energy.

She said as Africa embarks on a journey to economic transformation: “South Africa must be a locomotive as one of the continent’s big economies.”

Exports vs Imports

Dlamini-Zuma believes Africa should reconsider exporting its raw resources that it cannot afford when they come back as imports of finished products.

“The problem with this is that when you export raw materials‚ you are exporting jobs‚” she said. “Instead of jobs being created here in Africa‚ it means they are created in the countries to which we are exporting to.”


According to her‚ Africa at the moment is not using land productively and the continuous selling of land to foreign investors is unsustainable. The continent also needed to start processing the food it produces instead of exporting it to Europe and America for that to be done.

Said Dlamini-Zuma: “Africa is the only continent that imports 87% of processed food that it consumes. How can we‚ because processing food is not rocket science? We can do it ourselves‚ this has to change.” She added that 60% of the world’s arable land was in Africa “but we must be careful because foreign people are coming to buy land. Before we know it‚ we will not have enough land for the growing population of our continent.”

Mineral resources

For the former African Union Commission chair‚ it was puzzling that Africa‚ despite all its mineral resources‚ continued to have high levels of poverty. “That paradox must change. We cannot have a rich Africa with poor people‚” she said. “Developed countries elsewhere used what is ours to be what they are.”

Financial illicit flows

Dlamini-Zuma said Africa was losing billions every year via illicit financial flows because it lacked skills while foreign companies were doing as they please. She blamed trade agreements African states had with foreign companies‚ saying they favoured the latter. “We must understand (foreign) companies are not here for charity. In isiZulu‚ sithi ifa leyilima lidliwa ziyihlakaniphi (the wise benefit from the sweat of fools). Therefore we need to be clever.”


For Africa to achieve real growth and prosper on its own‚ it had no choice but to industrialise on a massive scale‚ said Dlamini-Zuma.

Ocean economy

It is in this industry that Africa is being short-changed as everything is foreign-owned and controlled‚ she said. To this end‚ the continent must “reclaim our seas“.

Said Dlamini-Zuma: “We do not have ocean vessels of our own that take exports and imports‚ even though 90% of exports and imports of ours are transported through the sea but we do not own those vessels.

“The people who work in the vessels are not ours‚ the consumables are not ours‚ insurance of cargo is not ours‚ therefore we must reclaim this whole area of economic activity.”

Energy infrastructure

She said: “Can you believe the whole African continent is generating energy that is the same amount as just one European country — Spain?” This was changing but not fast enough‚ she went on: “We cannot do things we want to do without enough energy. We must change this.”


For “radical economic transformation” in Africa to be achieved‚ peace on the continent was imperative. “We must work hard to silence the guns in Africa by 2020. This does not mean there will be no conflict but it must be dealt with through dialogue‚ not the barrel of a gun‚” she said.


For all the above to be achieved‚ women and the youth must be at the centre‚ said Dlamini-Zuma. “Africa has a big population of a billion-plus ... This programme towards prosperity must not exclude women and youth‚” she said.

No comments: