Africa: For youth, for science, for innovation

By Hon. M. Hlengwa MP
IFP Member of Parliament

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament by Hon. M. Hlengwa on Celebrating Africa Day.

Honourable Speaker,
Honourable Members,
My fellow Africans,

Firstly, allow me to congratulate the IFP in winning the by-election in Ward 4 in Mtubatuba. This comes despite the embattled KZN-ANC trying to postpone this by-election. The people have spoken, the IFP is growing and will continue to grow and make inroads across our country.

Today, marks an auspicious occasion in which I would like to celebrate more than just our beautiful continent – our melting pot of culture and diversity but more importantly – our youth, our science and our ability to be leaders in innovation.

The total land area of our continent spans across over 29.6 million square kilometres in which over 1.2 billion of us reside, making up 16.9 % of the global population and more importantly, the median age of our people is 19 years old.

Africa is indeed the future.

We are at the forefront of shaping our realities and crafting our own narrative as we contend to become market leaders in science and innovation.

With a population that is young, dynamic, entrepreneurial and contributing in almost every sector to address socio-economic challenges on our continent.

African innovation may long have been understated, but we certainly are game changers.

Young people shall rise, they have risen and they will remain “woke” to the challenges we face.

We will rise through adversity and we will remain resolute.

We will no longer accept mediocrity and we will no longer tolerate a wholesale grab of our brand as a continent by others who try and make us feel inferior.

According to the latest African Economic Outlook, more people start a new business in Africa than in Latin American Countries or in Asia.

20% of new African entrepreneurs are introducing a new product or service.

At 22%, Africa’s rate of working-age population starting new businesses is the highest in the world.

Africa is for youth, is for science and is for innovation.

Honourable Speaker, may we continue to celebrate who we are, where we come from and where we are heading.

Let the beautiful sounds of the Kora, Kalimba, Balafon, Shekere, Djembe, Udu, Marimba, Mbira and Algaita – echo across our continent and the world over as we celebrate the birth of our Union as African people.

I thank you.

Media Enquires:
Mkhululeko Hlengwa MP
IFP Member of Parliament
071 111 0539