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Skills revolution, oceanic spaces feature high on Africa Day

- By Wits University

 The skills revolution and the importance of education formed the core of a speech delivered by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at Wits on Monday.

Dlamini-Zuma was on campus as part of the Africa Day celebrations observed annually on 25 May, as a guest of the Wits branch of the ANC Youth League. A part of her speech was devoted to teaching the youth about the vision of African liberation leaders such as Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and South Africa’s Pixley ka Isaka Seme. She called on students to familiarise themselves with documents authored by the founding fathers of a united Africa. One such valuable work is the 1906 speech titled The Regeneration of Africa delivered by Pixle ka Isaka Seme at Columbia University where he studied.

“It’s very clear that even though they wished they could liberate the continent… they achieved part of their mission. It’s on us to take the baton to achieve economic development,” she said.

To achieve these aspirations, she said that the youth had an important role to play in driving Pan-Africanism and drew the students’ attention to the priorities of the African Union captured in the document Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. This document and her email titled an Email from the Future addressed to Nkrumah will form part of her discussion with the students when she next visits Wits University.

“You must shape what you will inherit. If you participate in shaping it now, you stand a better chance of having a continent that you want. You don’t all have to be in parliament… you don’t have to be in government but you have to participate in the political life of the country. You must vote – voting is both a right and a responsibility,” she urged.

Read the media coverage. Listen to her speech.

Dlamini-Zuma’s address covered a wide range of issues including oceanic spaces and the upcoming World Ocean Summit 2015, as well as the standardisation of qualifications – which she said was essential if Africa is to prosper. “East Africa has made progress in this regard and other regions should follow suit,” she said.

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