Ramaphosa: We need leaders who put the interests of citizens first

Liesl Peyper

Durban – African leaders should demonstrate in a year to come what they’ve done to reduce wastage and mismanagement of public funds and show that they act not in self-interest, but in the interest of the people they serve.

These were the closing remarks of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the conclusion of the 27th World Economic Forum (WEF) 2017 on Africa that took place in Durban over the last three days.

Ramaphosa spoke at length about the need of African leaders and the private sector to come together and ensure they leave a legacy for the generations that will inherit the future.

"When we come together in a year’s time (at the next African leg of the WEF) somewhere on this continent we need to demonstrate that we’ve made changes," Ramaphosa said.

"We need action on deliverables, such as how the economic status of women has improved, how we’ve expanded youth employment and skills development and how our governments are managing public finances, as well as the measures we’ve implemented to reduce corruption and mismanagement of scarce resources."

Ramaphosa said to this end "bold and responsible leadership" is required. "We need the kind of leaders who put the interests of citizens first."

The Deputy President quoted WEF chairperson who had said earlier in his introductory remarks that leaders should lead with respect and dignity and consider themselves as trustees of the people who act in the interest of the communities they serve rather than serving themselves.

"We know what needs to be done," Ramaphosa said. "We are all aware of the solutions to make the continent a winning one. It should be beyond theory  - we need more action. If we can put the interests of our people and future generations first, Africa will be a winning continent," he concluded.

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