Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, discusses the African Union’s theme for 2017: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth, and looks at the four key pillars that are critical to driving change and setting African countries on the path towards harnessing the demographic dividend.
Africa is on the march towards a more prosperous future in which all its citizens, young, old, male, female, rural, urban, of all creeds and backgrounds are empowered to realize their full potential, and live with satisfaction and pride about their continent. A future with healthy, well educated people living in robust and developed economies. Indeed, this is a progressive march towards the ‘Africa we want’ as envisioned in Agenda 2063.
Whilst many-sided and simultaneous steps are needed to achieve this bold vision, there are some very clear and obvious steps that must be taken without delay. This responsibility rests with all Africans, citizens and leaders alike, at the continental and regional levels and especially within countries to ensure we adequately invest in the development of our continent’s greatest asset: its young people. A peaceful and secure Africa requires an empowered generation of youth; a well-developed continent depends on the education and skills of Africans, especially the youth and none of our aspirations would be met if disease and poor health continue to affect millions of our citizens…
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission