Whatever economic challenges that are currently facing South Africa at the moment, they will not have any bearing on the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) taking place in Durban, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Wednesday.
“Our economy still strives, there might be problems here and there but let us not be prophets of doom. There is so much more that we can do as a people connecting with the rest of Africa,” the Minister said in an interview with SAnews on Wednesday. She’s attending the WEF Africa meeting at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre.
South Africa was open for business and the government is doing everything it can to allow for a conducive environment for investment and include reducing red tape and offering incentives for locally produced goods, she said.
“We have always said that South Africa is open for business. In the past weeks, there have been business delegations visiting South Africa wanting to invest in our economy.”
Commenting on inclusive growth – a term that is coming up often during the summit – Minister Dlodlo said in the South African context, “inclusive growth means opening up the markets to ensure that all citizens of South Africa have an equal chance to access opportunities….the means of production and working on ensuring that the private sector and government work together to bring together as many people as possible into the economy and also creates an enabling environment for people to participate in the economic growth of our country,” said Minister Dlodlo.
Earlier, the Minister, speaking at a youth dialogue hosted by Brand SA, noted that currently, the youth, and particularly African youth, are largely unemployed and not part of the mainstream economy.
“As Government, we realise this as a huge crisis and there is a need to focus on young people. Certainly in the ICT sector, we recognise youth as critical stakeholders in the uptake, increase and usage of ICTs.
“We recognise and hail you as champions and ambassadors of the digital revolution, because under your stewardship there will be a mass appeal and increased usage levels. Innovation across the world has been driven by youth- from the introductions of cellular phones in South Africa,” she said. The WEF Africa meeting ends Friday.