Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged SA youths to dig deep into all economies of the world and colonise it.
The Presidential hopeful who steered away from any politics in his speech at the African Renaissance Conference in Durban on Thursday said SA youths must not hide their talents.
“Go out into the continent and the world and colonise it. Colonise the world with your African talent,” Ramaphosa said to a cheering audience.
The deputy who highlighted the need for youths across the African continent to unite to integrate its economies and trade within the continent said Africa will remain vulnerable to international elites unless it acts against poverty.
“Africa awaits to embrace and support your endeavours, young people. It will be a strong, warm embrace.” He said, adding that Africans had been the first to colonise the world, as the continent was the cradle of humankind.
“This means that the earliest Africans left the continent and explored the world. They did not limit themselves. The young must think the same.
“Look deep into your DNA and find… [that] innovative talent that went out to colonise the rest of the world from this continent.”
Imperialism, according to Ramaphosa, flourished in Africa because the colonialists made us believe some of the worst lies.
Africans were stripped of their humanity and dignity through brute force, through the plunder of our resources, the enslavement of minds and bodies.
“This conference should be about affirming our collective self-worth as a people and our initiative to develop on our continent. It should be about giving space and opportunity for growth.
“We are the authors of Africa’s inevitable future. We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, but because Africa is born in us.” He said, pointing out that Africans were reduced to “unimaginative primitive savages, content with subsistence living”.
This call for SA youths to outshine their peers across the world comes at the time the country battles with unemployment which now has reason to its peak this year.
South Africa’s unemployment rate as at 2016 stands at 26.6%, according to fact-sheet and the latest figures show that about 48% of South Africans between 15 and 34 were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016.
The situation worsened over the past eight years despite a great deal of policy attention and the implementation of a range of public and private interventions.
Apart from the very high jobless rate, the other particularly disturbing trend is that more and more young people have given up looking for work. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of youth who have become discouraged has increased by 8%.
However, the SA government reiterates its plan to reduce the rate of unemployment to its barest minimum. Through President Jacob Zuma’s radical economic transformation government says it would ensure that wealth is spread evenly to all citizens.