Businesses have a key role to play in Africa – Zuma

2011-12-14 11:11

Businesses in South Africa and Mozambique need to “go beyond the ordinary” in order to uplift the economy of Africa, President Jacob Zuma said today.

“If Africa is to be the next economic frontier as all predictions indicate, it is up to us to ensure that we play a pivotal role in the economic future of our own continent.

“What is required is that we do things that go beyond the ordinary. It cannot be business as usual on the African continent,” Zuma said in notes prepared for delivery at the SA-Mozambique Business Forum during his visit to the southeast African country.

Zuma said a proposed developmental integration project between the two countries would place emphasis on building productive and industrial capacity, and would address constraints such as limited road, rail, ports and energy infrastructure.

He also congratulated the country for being ranked among the fastest-growing economies in the world.

“This country ... has the potential to become one of the strongest economies in Africa,” he said.

Zuma said more needed to be done to better market the continent to the rest of the world.

“International events have proven to be one of the most powerful means of opening up a positive side of the continent to a world that had been fed stereotypes and stories of gloom and doom,” he said.

Zuma used the 2010 Fifa World Cup as well as the recent UN climate change negotiations in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, as examples of successful marketing.

“When all pessimists had decided that Durban was the burial ground for the UN climate change negotiations, Africa sprang a surprise ... It rescued the climate change negotiations process,” he said.

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