Durban - Education is a key driver of a "skills revolution" on the African continent, said outgoing African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at an African Union (AU) state of the continent address at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Monday.
"Africa is rich but Africans are still poor, that is the paradox of our continent. Some of the poorest countries in the world are on our continent," she said.
"The commitment to create a prosperous Africa is at the centre of our agenda," Dlamini-Zuma added.
She said the chief resource on the continent was the people.
"We have to use the resources we have to create prosperity. The most abundant and precious is our people. The continent has a young population and we have started what we call a skills revolution. African children should go to school and be educated, but they should also be skilled," she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said as part of the drive towards upskilling the youth of the continent, the African Union had pushed for the establishment of a continental university with campuses dotted across Africa.
"The AU itself has also looked at how we can harmonise education across the continent with 200 participating universities," she said.
"The AU has decided to start a continental university with five campuses based in Algeria, South Africa, Kenya and Cameroon," she said.
"No child should be denied education anywhere because of property. If they are poor they must be assisted," Dlamini-Zuma added.
Her address was preceded by several anomalies in the programme, with listed panellists including Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane not present.