We need innovation during global financial crisis - Zuma

2015-12-04 17:08
President Jacob Zuma and President Xi Jinping
PHOTO: Elmond Jiyane / DoC

President Jacob Zuma and President Xi Jinping PHOTO: Elmond Jiyane / DoC

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Johannesburg - There was still hope for Africa despite the global economic downturn, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

The crisis was affecting trade outlook and investment flow, he told the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation at the Sandton Convention Centre.

"African economies and the sub-Saharan region in particular have some of the fastest growing economies in the world," Zuma said. 

"Importantly, China and African countries share the advantage of having largely youthful populations. We also have the numbers." 

Together China and Africa made up a third of the global population. Africa had around 1.1 billion people and China 1.3 billion. 

"This translates into immense potential, both as markets, but as producers as well," said Zuma. 

He said Africa had unique agricultural conditions, huge economic potential in its oceans, and significant quantities of mineral resources, to name a few.

Speaking about mineral resources, Zuma said that although it was a blessing it also made Africa vulnerable to exploitation.

Improved connectivity

"It is for this reason that we want to prioritise benefaction and value-addition. In that way, what is buried in the belly of our soil will translate into benefit for the bellies of our citizens," he said.

"We are also keen to explore co-operation with China to ensure the long term viability of African mining and extractive industries in a global market. This is important in light of the declining demand for commodities." 

Zuma also welcomed co-operation between Africa and China on infrastructure development on the continent.

Africa needed improved connectivity through roads, rail and air. It also needed water infrastructure, energy and a lot more to improve economic activity and improve peoples' lives, he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced 10 programmes which would be implemented to help with Africa's development.

Read more on:    xi jinping  |  jacob zuma  |  china  |  economy

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