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South Africa expects BRICS summit contribute to youth employment: Zuma

Source: English.news.cn


PRETORIA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- South Africa expects the upcoming BRICS summit to "contribute immensely to satisfying the employment and development needs of our young population," President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

South Africa's youth employment and empowerment drive will be "central to our engagements and discussions with the grouping," Zuma said at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Conference on Education and Training of Youth Workers in Pretoria.

"Our BRIC partners do appreciate our youth employment and empowerment drive," Zuma said.

"I am raising this matter as we see strong synergies between this meeting of Commonwealth youth workers and the BRICS gathering. Both should assist us to further empower the youth in the developing world."

The financial crisis which began in 2008 brought on a global dilemma of rising joblessness, higher poverty and worsening income inequality, especially among the youth.

Research undertaken by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the African Development Bank highlights the fact that youth have been disproportionately affected by low growth.

In South Africa, more than 40 percent of those who are economically active and under the age of 30 are unemployed, according to Zuma.

While this is worrying, there is also a positive angle. The OECD report highlights that countries which have higher numbers of youth in their population have better growth prospects than those with aging populations.

"With a global GDP of 25 percent, a global land area of 30 percent, 43 percent of the global population and 4.4 trillion U.S. dollar foreign reserves base, we are certain that BRICS will contribute immensely to satisfying the employment and development needs of our young population," Zuma noted.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are converging in Durban on March 26-27 for the 5th BRICS summit, the first one in Africa.

Zuma said South Africa's membership of BRICS enhances the country's participation in other important groupings such as the Commonwealth.

"We expect Durban to be a hive of activity and that many opportunities will be taken up by the business community of our country in particular, to promote investments into our beautiful country," Zuma said.

South Africa, he said, offers opportunities in infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism, the green economy, mining, agro-processing and other job drivers, energy and information and communication technologies.


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