South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the 2017 World Economic Forum Africa regional meeting in Durban, South Africa, on May 4, 2017. South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday called for the fast tracking of skills provision and improvement to address the restless African youth facing poverty and unemployment. (Xinhua/GCIS/Elmond Jiyane)
DURBAN, May 4 (Xinhua) -- South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday called for the fast tracking of skills provision and improvement to address the restless African youth facing poverty and unemployment.
At the 2017 World Economic Forum Africa regional meeting in Durban, Zuma said the youth have been calling for leaders to address exclusion, inequality, poverty and unemployment. He emphasized that nobody should be left behind in the economic growth.
Zuma said the theme of the conference is relevant as it emphasizes inclusive growth.
"They (youth) are an important stakeholder for us because Africa is a youthful continent, which means we are a continent that has a very bright future if we invest correctly in our young people. For us to move forward we need that energy, we need that imagination," he said.
The South African President noted many African youths lack rare skills which makes them unemployable.
"Other critical challenges facing the world include weak economic growth, the management of migration, global security and terrorism as well as related international crimes," said Zuma.
He said the world has not adequately addressed the gap between the rich and poor and the developed and developing worlds. He lamented that the gap between the North and South and rich and poor in many countries also remains wide.
Infrastructure development remains top of the agenda to ease the movement of goods, people and services across Africa, President Zuma said.
"Also critical is the work that is being done to promote regional integration and intra-Africa trade. For Africa to succeed in taking these programs forward, we need to mobilize appropriate financing. Accordingly, we must invest in developing local capital markets and mobilize domestic resources through taxation and other means," he added.
He also called for the sourcing of finance to fight the illicit financial flows out of the continent. He said the billions illegally taken out of Africa could be used to fund development. Zuma also called for tackling of money laundering and terrorist financing risk. Profit shifting, tax crimes and other related economic crimes require more attention, he said.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum said there is a deficiency of leadership across the world. He said Africa's old generation should be role models for the younger generation.
Schwab called for the people to follow Nelson Mandela's key values of respecting human dignity and diversity, serve the community people belong to and not one's self-interest and to act as a trustee for future generations.