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SA Jewry urged to join efforts to rebuild Africa

JOBURG - South African Jews have been called upon to help in the rebuilding of the African continent.

African Union chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has called on the Jewish community in South Africa to use their academic expertise, knowledge and financial muscle to rebuild the African continent.

She was addressing the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ 110-year celebration at the Sandton Sun, which was attended by various business and political figures, such as the Deputy Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela, Speaker of the City of Johannesburg Connie Bapela, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and other senior ANC politicians, including Joel Netshitedze.

“I am going to come knocking on your doors soon, asking you to use your academic expertise and financial acumen to rebuild the African continent. It is not a healthy situation that South Africa has become an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty. This is why you will get many of these immigrants coming here.

“The sooner all these African countries’ economies are up and running, the less the people will want to come to South Africa, except for business and tourism purposes. We cannot have our own economy so well-knit while the rest of the continent is in tatters. So, please work with us to ensure the rest of Africa also prospers,” she said.

Dlamini-Zuma, a former minister of home affairs, said the African Union had tabled a renewal plan for the continent, known as Africa 2063, which requires comment by various stakeholders, role players and countries by November this year. The questionnaire explores what Africans would like to see of the continent in 2063 and the role they will play in getting it there, she said.

Once comment on the questionnaire was completed, Dlamini-Zuma said it would be compiled into a document format and presented to heads of state in January, and should be adopted by June 2014 as a framework for the development of the continent.

“I am calling on the Jewish community to invest in Africa and create wealth and opportunities for the continent’s rejuvenation. This will ensure that South Africa plays its role as a locomotive that drives the renewal of the continent,” Dlamini-Zuma said, describing Africa as a “continent on the rise”.

 

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