Zuma: African states need to unite for development

African leaders need to agree collectively on the way forward regarding development and higher economic growth rates for the continent, President Jacob Zuma told the African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.

Zuma said investors were taking interest in Africa, a continent whose economic growth rate was forecast between 5.5% and 5.8% for 2012.

“Economically, we must note that Africa is the third fastest growing region in the world,” Zuma told the summit.

He said through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), Africa should strengthen its ties and collaboration with “friends of Africa” and existing multilateral partnerships. Nepad marked its 10th anniversary on Wednesday.

“If we are indeed devoted to ensuring Nepad continues to be a success, we must, as Africans, ensure that we commit financial resources to this programme, individually, as states and collectively,” Zuma said. He added the involvement of the private sector remained critical to advancing the ideals of infrastructure initiatives on the continent.

“We must, however be mindful of the role that private equity funds and infrastructure development funds can play in raising additional funding from domestic resources,” he said.
“The global economic crisis has increased the number of priorities competing for public funds.”

Zuma urged leaders to ensure that Nepad continued to embody the vision of Africa that they sought to achieve.—I-Net Bridge

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