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Leader’s view

Leader’s view LEADER’S VIEW Towards inclusive growth The G20 should ensure that no one is left behind, writes Jacob Zuma 18 G20 Germany: The Hamburg Summit • July 2017

10 th Leader’s view The theme of the Germany’s G20 presidency – ‘Towards an Interconnected World’ – recognises that our shared prosperity depends on our collective ability to ensure more inclusive development. Given the centrality and urgency to address the challenges of exclusivity and globalisation, the World Economic Forum Africa met in Durban with the theme of ‘Achieving Inclusive Growth’ on 3–5 May 2017. The importance of inclusive development is also contained in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is therefore an important reference for the G20’s development work. This transformative agenda provides a roadmap to guide the G20’s efforts to deliver the means for implementing the SDGs. The global development agenda is also mirrored in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Agenda 2063, together with the 2030 Agenda, is therefore the entry point for the G20’s engagement with Africa: a people-centred, broad approach to economic growth to build more inclusive, resilient economies. Agenda 2063 presents a collective vision for the continent to become “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena” in 50 years. It seeks to provide a framework for Africa to address the urgent challenges it faces: unemployment, particularly youth unemployment; inequalities within economies; jobless economic growth; slow regional integration; and conflict and insecurity. Ensuring the delivery of the means for implementation The UN’s review of the implementation of the commitments on Africa’s development suggests that: • more needs to be done to meet the continent’s $100 billion infrastructure financing need; • the productive capacities and structural transformation of Africa’s least-developed countries through industrialisation remain a challenge; • funding challenges persist for peace operations and there is inadequate capacity to deal with illicit financial flows; and • non-tariff barriers are increasing despite decreasing tariff rates. The report points to the need to unleash Africa’s potential. Building on the achievements of last year’s Hangzhou Summit, the Hamburg update will provide a meaningful platform for ensuring that the international community’s SDG commitments are delivered. The G20, bringing together the globe’s leading economies, is well The G20 must partner with Africa to take advantage of the immense opportunities that the continent possesses Summit 2007 Elected Jacob Zuma President, South Africa placed to make sure the means of implementation are delivered in a timely and comprehensive manner. Harnessing Africa’s youth dividend Given the important role of youth in Africa’s development, AU leaders decided at their 2016 summit to devote their 2017 sessions to ‘Harnessing the demographic dividend through the youth’. Between 2015 and 2050 Africa’s youth will almost double to 452 million. By 2050, half of Africa’s population will be younger than 25. If properly harnessed, youth will determine the continent’s development trajectory for the next 50 years and drive Agenda 2063. Harnessing that demographic dividend can be achieved through economic reforms that create jobs, investments in human capital and efficient governance. To derive maximum benefits at the national level, a coordinated approach and response are needed at the continental level. Africa’s rural and urban poor are particularly vulnerable to reduced agricultural production, worsening food security, increased incidence of flooding and drought because of climate change, spreading disease, and heightening risks of conflict over scarce land and water resources. This is particularly relevant given that the continent is most severely affected by the ravages of global environmental change, yet the least responsible for it. Correcting and preventing trade distortions in agricultural markets and strengthening capacity for adapting to climate change remain crucial enablers for Africa to make the most of its agricultural capacity. Bridging the digital divide For Africa to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, our youth must have the skills to benefit from digitalisation. Failure to do so will increase unemployment and the dislocation of our youth. South Africa therefore welcomes the eSkills4Girls Initiative to bridge the gender gap and ensure that youth, girls in particular, are equipped to take advantage of the digital economy. More, however, must be done so that Africa is not left behind or further marginalised, by ensuring it develops the requisite infrastructure for information and communications technologies. Transfers of technology and skills are therefore critical enablers. A rising Africa The G20 must partner with Africa to take advantage of the immense opportunities the continent possesses. With more than a billion people and vast natural and human resources, Africa presents an important source of growth and development. But inclusive growth will remain elusive if Africa is not prioritised. Every effort must be made to fast-track regional integration of the continent and support its industrialisation to spur intraregional trade. The G20 can play an immense role in ensuring we deliver the SDGs’ vision of “transforming our world” by providing the means of implementation to Africa and the developing world. And then we would all be able to deliver our collective commitment “to leave no one behind”. G20 July 2017G20 Germany: The Hamburg Summit 19

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