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African optimism on the rise- Zuma
May 27, 2013, 7:45 am


The president (right, centre) was delivering a message at a high-profile summit in Addis Ababa [AP]

South African President Jacob Zuma has said that African optimism is on the rise.

“As the Republic of South Africa, we are mindful of these challenges that confront our continent and the AU. The Union will have to confront these in order to realise its mandate and harness the Aro-optimism that it rising in the world,” President Zuma said.

The president was delivering a message at a high-profile summit in Addis Ababa to mark the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU).

In the opening address, AU chairman and Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the African Union is striving to create “a continent free from poverty and conflict and an Africa whose citizens enjoy a middle income status.”

Amid the global financial meltdown, Africa registered a growth rate of more than five per cent, reminded Zuma. “These benefits must be consolidated,” he urged.

Africa’s growth is also expected to create opportunities for the continent’s development partners, including BRICS.

According to Standard Bank, BRICS–Africa trade will increase threefold, from $150 billion in 2010 to $530 billion in 2015.

The scope of strengthened trade, transactions and exchange of ideas between Africa and BRICS is virtually limitless; this has been South Africa’s ambition – to become a necessary gateway between it BRICS and the continent.

Chinese vice premier Wang Yang, Indian vice president Hamid Ansari, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, French President Francois Hollande, US secretary of state John Kerry were among those present at the African Union meet.

In Addis Ababa, Brazil has announced plans to cancel $900 million worth of debt in 12 African countries.

Africa continues to be buoyed by the exploding global demand for oil, metals, minerals, food, and other natural resources.

Likewise, the African continent, which is arguably one of the world’s largest unexplored resource basins, has an abundance of riches; including 10 per cent of the world’s oil reserves, 40 per cent of its gold ore and 95 per cent of platinum.

The BRICS Post