Dream big, Ndungane tells young leaders

09 September 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Archbishop Njongonkulu NdunganeThe future is in your hands: Speaking at the African Student Leaders Summit, UCT Council chair, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, advised delegates to aim high.

Njongonkulu means "aim big", and UCT Council chair, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, has urged student leaders from around Africa to not only talk his name, but to walk it too.

"I challenge you to be Njongonkulus - to dream big and implement those dreams," he quipped in his address, Africa's Economic Development: How the development of the youth can contribute towards poverty alleviation, at the African Student Leaders Summit currently underway.

He meant business, though, and told delegates that Africa is central to the world's future because of her vast, untapped possibilities, from mineral resources, to rich land and populations - all with scope for growth.

First and foremost, for development to happen, it must involve those for whom it is intended, and locals should benefit. A bad example of that is Ethiopia, where there are 4.6 million malnourished citizens, while thousands of tons of the country's wheat and rice are exported, he said.

Areas that need attention, Ndungane suggested, are the agricultural sector (its contribution to gross domestic product in certain countries is as high as 40%), intra-Africa trade, and information and communication technology.

But to be able to succeed, young people need to be equipped with a decent education and opportunities to learn new skills.

"'The challenge is to use creative and innovative minds, and the enthusiasm and energy of young people to ensure a sustainable future for our continent," he said.

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