President Jacob Zuma used his opening speech of the second summit of the forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) to call for the protection of the youth against being “brainwashed” into joining extremist groups that perpetuate violence and destruction.
“We are witnessing increasing incidents of terrorism in parts of our continent, France and elsewhere,” said Zuma in Sandton,
“The tragedies remind us, as leaders that we must work harder to build peace and also to promote inclusive growth and development.
“There can be no lasting military solution to this problem.
“We must give our people hope that indeed the guns will be silenced and that peace can be achieved in every part of the continent,” he said.
President Jacob Zuma said this year has brought about the painful humanitarian disaster occasioned by unparalleled global migration.
“This desperation is caused by the urgent need to flee from wars and conflict and from poverty and hopelessness.”
President Jacob Zuma said China has become Africa’s largest trade partner and Africa is now one of China’s major import sources and the fourth largest investment destination.
“This partnership can only yield further positive results for Africa’s development,” he said.
“However, we meet during a difficult global economic crisis. This period calls for innovation and resilience to make our economies survive the global meltdown.”
However, Zuma said, there was still hope for Africa, despite the global economic downturn.
“Importantly, China and African countries share the advantage of having largely youthful populations.”
South Africa and China signed agreements worth R94 billion. The move is likely to boost the country’s faltering economy.