Remarks by Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi on occasion of Special Johannesburg Stock Exchange Market Opening Ceremony to launch #Africanot4sale: Campaign, Sandton

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10 Apr 2015

Dr. Nkosana Moyo, Executive Chairman of Mandela Institute for Development Studies;

AfricaNot4Sale Ambassador, Ms Simphiwe Dana;

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International;

Tamsin Freemantle, Capital Markets, JSE;

Donna Oosthuyse, Director, Capital Markets, JSE;

Edward Ndopu, Africa Youth Coordinator, Amnesty International;

Martin Koch, Trading and Market Services, JSE;

Our youth;

Members of the media;

Ladies and Gentlemen

A visionary leader and Africa’s own son, Oliver Reginald Tambo once said, “A nation that does not invest in its youth is not worth its future”.

These words aptly resonate with this auspicious occasion of the special Johannesburg Stock Exchange Market Opening Ceremony to launch #AfricaNot4Sale: a continental youth-led campaign for corporate accountability in the social and economic lives of Africa’s youth.

I am told that this launch also coincides with Amnesty International’s two-day Roundtable Dialogue on the State of Africa’s Youth in the Age of Africa Rising.

This month our young democracy marks the beginning of its adulthood as it will be turning 21. Our government declared the month of April as Freedom Month.

During the month of May, the Department of Arts & Culture will host Africa Month in partnership with other government departments; public entities; private and civic sectors.

Africa Month will be celebrated under the theme: “We are Africa”, - ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo’.

This theme is stimulated by the Freedom Charter which states that “The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened! The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life. All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands. The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace”.

This Africa month-long programme will be characterised by various arts and culture activities including music concert, literature, film, fashion, cuisines and panel discussions.

South Africa, like many African countries, emerged from an oppressive, divisive and colonial system which created a fragmented society. The country was divided by race, class, gender and other forms of segregation such as urban and rural settings. The rural areas were characterised by conditions of severe poverty, poor living conditions, landlessness, lack of opportunities to improve the lives of the majority people.

The system fragmented the country into enclaves designed to foster ethnicity, linguistic divisions and tribalism. The majority of the population were denied the right to representation in national government.

The Preamble of the Constitution of our democratic South Africa enjoins us to:

Heal the divisions of the past and lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law, improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.

Youth are the heirs and should be the vanguards of the Africa we want. It is of vital importance that we involve them at all levels when we discuss issues that affect them and their future.

It is time that African youth should assume their rightful place in the global arena. African youth should proudly say enough is enough. There is nothing about us without us. African youth should resist handouts from any deceitful approaches that seek to exploit them in the name of economic growth – Indeed Africa is not for Sale.

I would like to end with a very meaningful quote from a prolific Nigerian woman author, Buchi Emecheta, who said, “I usually make sure that my stories are from Africa or my own background so as to highlight the cultural background at the same time as telling the story.”

I wish you all the best in your deliberations during the Amnesty International in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa’s two-day Roundtable Dialogue on the State of Africa’s Youth in the Age of Africa Rising.

I thank You!!!  Merci!!!  Obrigado!!!