African Union (AU) Chairperson and Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, says the migration of tens of thousands of African youth to Europe has dented the continent’s image.
Mugabe delivered the opening address of the 34th New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa.
The summit gets underway officially on Saturday.
Mugabe says African leaders must invest in the youth to stop the flight of desperate young people fleeing to greener pastures in Europe.
He says the African continent must industrialise to create job opportunities.
He challenged the continent’s flagship programme NEPAD to step in and assist member countries to skill the youth.
“We can’t continue to allow a situation where able bodied men and women embark on a journey across the oceans in search of a better world. Africa needs to benefit from its critical human resource. The young people must be nurtured to enable their meaningful participation to national development efforts.”
Agriculture and infrastructure are critical areas to help Africa achieve its ambitious goal for a prosperous continent by 2063.
AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says more resources need to be invested towards irrigation and climate smart technology.
Addressing the Presidential Infrastructure initiative earlier, President Jacob Zuma said despite the gloomy economic climate, the AU should push ahead with its massive infrastructure development plans.
He says the roll out of reliable roads, rail and airports will help boost economic growth on the continent.-SABC