Gordhan touts ‘resource-filled’ Africa at WEF

"There's a great deal of excitement around the world … about South Africa as the new place, where you going to see exciting things happening over the next 10 to 20 years," Finance Minister Gordhan told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa on Thursday.

Gordhan said his visits to Washington and London in recent weeks proved to be both insightful and positive.

The WEF offered an opportunity to convince more people about Africa's potential.

"It's about saying to people who have money and want to make a profit out of their money that you can invest in South Africa and the African continent, and you can have opportunities to work with us."

Investors needed to be reminded that 60% of the world's arable land was in Africa.

"It's a very resource-filled continent as well. More importantly, it's a continent that has a billion potential consumers," Gordhan said.

The fact that Africa's youth population would exceed that of other continents in the next two to three decades was also a motivating factor.

"It means this is the part of the world that is going to offer growth potential … that is going to offer new answers on climate change, on economic development, on reducing inequality and poverty."

Stamping out conflict to boost development
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said that African countries are trying to stamp out conflicts on the continent to boost development.

"In 50 years we would like to see an Africa that is connected totally, an Africa that is economically viable … an Africa that would be at peace with itself where there will not be single area of conflict," he said at the forum.

The African Union is celebrating 50 years of existence this year.

African development was impossible without peace, he said.

"That's why we are putting more focus on that kind of issues. That's why we have more interaction with our friends and partners, and the call for support to address those issues is an important one."

South African National Defence Force troops were helping various countries on the continent at present.

Zuma, however, came under heavy criticism for these deployments after 13 South African soldiers were killed during a coup in the Central African Republic in March.

Africa should become self-sufficient
The discussion also focused on how Africa intended to speed up development.

Zuma said the key was for Africa to become self-sufficient.

"[What we want to see] is an Africa that is able to use its own resources to develop itself and to trade with the world at an equal level."

Africa's possible gains from South Africa's inclusion in the Brics group of developing nations was discussed earlier.

The Brics countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Zuma said South Africa's membership of the group represented a turning point for Africa and its economic activities.

African countries was overlooked too many times when it came to major world events, he said.

"This time around the Brics links indicate that Africa cannot be bypassed by the events that are changing the landscape economically, socially and politically in the world."

Brics bank could help fund Africa
Zuma said South Africa would represent Africa's more than one-billion people through its membership of Brics.

"Africa's attitude to itself and how it should interact towards the world has changed," Zuma said.

One of the major problems Africa faced was funding infrastructure development. Brics partners and African leaders were discussing the matter, he said.

On funding, Zuma said the highly anticipated Brics bank could help in this regard.

He suggested the bank be based in Africa. The leaders of the Brics countries signed a deal to establish the bank at a summit in Durban in March.

"Africa feels the bank should be established here, particularly because the greater need for the bank is on the continent of Africa."

He expected decisions about the details of the Brics bank to be made at the next summit in Brazil.

Brics finance ministers were working out the finer details of the bank, including its location.

Brics bank proposed as IMF rival
"How do we capitalise the bank by the members of Brics … so it can meet the needs the developing world has?" Zuma asked.

Brics leaders were hoping the new development bank would rival the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"[We need] to look at a different approach to the well-established old banks, which at times, if you wanted to deal with matters as quickly as possible, it was a little bit slow," Zuma said. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Guest Author

Related stories

How graft arrests came together

Learning from its failure to turn the Schabir Shaik conviction into one for Jacob Zuma, the state is now building an effective system for catching thieves. Khaya Koko, Sabelo Skiti and Paddy Harper take a look behind the scenes at how law enforcement agencies have started creating consequences for the corrupt

Richard Calland: South Africa needs a Roosevelt style of leadership

President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to hold ‘fireside chats’ and have more power and institutional muscle around him, writes Richard Calland

This beef smells like manure

What’s that animal sound? Is it a Hawk swooping? A chicken roosting? No, it’s Zuma remembering a beef

Editorial: Arrests expose the rot in the ANC

The ANC has used its power to create networks of patronage. And this means going after corruption will cost the party financially

eThekwini’s everlasting security contract

An invalid contract worth R85-million a month is still being paid — three years after a court order to stop

Zuma vs Ramaphosa? Neither is the leader South Africans deserve

Neither statesman could command sufficient authority in an ANC that remains mired in corruption and infighting and at the behest of big capital

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday