Ethical leadership and economic empowerment are some of the key elements for a better future. President Cyril Ramaphosa made this statement while delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Youth dialogue at Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.
The dialogue aims to tackle social ills that young people are facing and strengthen continent-wide plans and agreements, it is made up of young people from more than 20 countries across the globe.
Ramaphosa says the time has come for African countries to work together to improve the continent strengthening the African Union Agenda 2063, the African Youth Charter, and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Ramaphosa encouraged the youth to emulate ethical leadership for a better and developed world.
“It is the time when ethical leadership should come to the fore to lead this continent forward. It should be about raising our consciousness to the endless possibility that your idea and experience of being African carry. It should be about us, taking advantage of the vast golden opportunities available in the program of rebuilding our country. And more humane, and just world cannot blossom without an African renaissance.”
Meanwhile, Karabo Mokgonyana from Gauteng says the plans and policies are in place but there is no implementation.
“I believe us being here is an accountability. Promises have been made. Policies are in place, but I think accountability is missing from us as young people. This dialogue is important because we are bringing realities on the ground to say you promised all these things, but we are not seeing it especially young based in rural areas.”
Unathi Nyoni from Zimbabwe says the dialogue will help them learn about strategies that are applied in tackling these issues in other continents.
“We are usually dealing with issues of having the youth empowered and having them participating. And from the dialogue we are expecting to hear different perspectives from all other nations that will be here from other delegates to hear how they are working towards their visions so that we can adapt certain measures.”
President Ramaphosa says the government is now focusing on rural development as they have been marginalised.