Unfair for one country to carry another's failures - Zille

2016-05-25 17:23
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – It was unacceptable for one country on the subcontinent to be burdened with the failures of other states, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Wednesday.

It was terrible for people to have to flee their country because they were being persecuted politically, because there were no opportunities, because of bad governance, and because of failure to develop infrastructure, she said during Africa Day celebrations at the Artscape Theatre.

“It is absolutely untenable for one country on a subcontinent to take over the consequences of failure of all the other states. So what we need to be able to do is build competent, capable, developing states where people are free to use their freedoms wherever they want. That is the challenge of Pan-Africanism.”

She said while xenophobia should be condemned, the conditions and the persecution that resulted in people becoming refugees should be equally criticised. 

Africa Day, celebrated on May 25, commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the current African Union.

The OAU was not a great success in helping Africa fulfil its potential. While the AU had done a bit better, there was huge scope for improvement, Zille said.

While the African Agenda 2063 had noble intentions, she said the biggest challenge was translating these into practice. 

“And it often falls short because of personal ambitions of power cliques or a failure to translate our vision into a reality on the ground and because of political failure.”

A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development was easy to say but difficult to achieve, Zille said.

There could be no economic growth when policies were failing, dictatorships were developing, there was no rule of law, no accountability, and no capable state. 

If these things could be fixed, other things would follow, like an educated population, she added.

Read more on:    da  |  helen zille  |  cape town

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