President Jacob Zuma during his address on Africa Day at the presidential guest house called for the reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to include Africa.
“As Africa changes, so too must the instruments of global governance. That is why we continue to call for the reform of the UN Security Council to include Africa,” said Zuma.
“The membership of the UN Security Council must reflect the fact that Africa is now made up of independent countries and not colonies.”
“The whole system of international governance should thus be much more democratic and rules-based,” he said.
Speaking about the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Zuma said the promotion of democracy in the continent has taken root.
“The zero tolerance for coup d’état and the action that is taken against leaders who refuse to accept the outcomes of democratic elections by the AU leaders, has set a new tone in the continent with regards to promoting constitutional changes to governments.”
“The loss of life and displacement of thousands of people who remain refugees in a decolonised Africa, remains of serious concern and requires more effort from AU member states.”
“As the AU we have thus committed ourselves to ending conflicts and silencing the guns in the continent by the year 2020, so that our people can live in peace,” said Zuma.
He said South Africa deploys troops for peacemaking and peacekeeping missions on the continent.
“We are proud of our soldiers who are always ready to be deployed for peace.”
Zuma spoke about negotiations of Continental Free Trade Areas being underway, which would bring together a market of millions of people and help boost intra-Africa trade.
“Within our region SADC, we are actively promoting industrialisation, agriculture, tourism and other key sectors to boost economic growth.”
Zuma also spoke about softer borders, with the AU advocating better movement of people and goods within the African continent.
“The promotion of legal migration within the continent is thus important, including easier movement to enable tourism, skills exchanges and business cooperation.”
Zuma later in his speech asked employers not to employ illegal immigrants as it causes tension presumably among South Africans and foreigners.
“We also urge employers to stop causing tensions among our people, through employing illegal immigrants. The South African Government continues to work tirelessly to remove all these sources of tension, working with our people.”
Billions of dollars taken from Africa
Zuma said for Africa to develop, it needed resources and that it was a serious concern that billions of dollars are taken away from the continent illegally by multinational corporations.
“These illicit financial flows deprive Africa of the much-needed economic resources to uplift her economies in order to provide basic services, build infrastructure, provide basic health care, access to affordable and quality education and other social services.”
“The celebration of Africa Day is an affirmation of our love for our continent and our commitment to ensure that Africa succeeds in all her endeavours,” said Zuma.