Former African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is calling on the continent to start making good use of Africa’s oceans to grow its economies.
“Somebody said in jest Africans are afraid of the sea, and he said maybe when they were running away from being taken away as slaves they used to look towards the sea,” she joked.
See Also: Moussa Faki Begins Duties As AU Chief
Her statement was made while at the offices of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
She also spoke about youth unemployment and women in leadership, adding that countries milking the economic benefits of their oceans had more equal societies. She cited Norway as an example;
“If you take Norway; its entire economy is based on the sea and [as in] many prosperous countries it’s where there is almost equality. You don’t see the gaps between the poor and the rich, women and men,” she explained.
She pointed out that most ocean-related jobs are not carried out by African countries despite how much we use them.
“If you look at a satellite picture of our ocean, there is a lot of activity but it’s not us,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
“We as Africans export a lot, import a lot; but who is carrying those imports and exports? It’s other people. Why?” she asked.
According to her, Africans taking control of their oceans and using it to meet economic needs will narrow down unemployment.
“You see, I am from the coast. People arrive in big ships, come out and take photos of us and they go back into those big ships and then they leave.”
Dlamini-Zuma recently concluded her 4-year term as the African Union Commission chairperson. She has been hinted to be the ANC’s next leader as her ex-husband’s tenure, Jacob Zuma comes to an end.
She arrived South Africa on Wednesday to a warm welcome by supporters from her political party at the OR Tambo International Airport. Both the ANC Women’s League who have endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as the next leader and the ANC Youth League who haven’t were there to welcome the former AU chief.
Featured Image: Fr Maxim Massalitin CC-BY-SA 2.0