Mo Ibrahim in dialogue with SA youth

Johannesburg, 18 August 2013 –

Active citizenship and building social cohesion was the topic of discussion at a youth dialogue with Dr Mo Ibrahim, at Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct on Sunday, 18 August. Brand South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, as part of the Nelson Mandela Lecture Dialogue Series, hosted a youth discussion around active citizenship. Dr Ibrahim together with youth leaders Luvuyo Mandela, Zengeziwe Msimang, Neliswa Fente and Thulani Madondo made up the panel.

Speaking at Maboneng Precinct, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “Our role is to build South Africa’s reputation and to contribute to its competitiveness. However, we understand that to do so, we need all South Africans to play their part. The youth’s involvement in this dialogue is integral to ‘playing your part’. We hope that as the youth of our country, as people who will be leading the National Development Plan, that that you will be able to come up with actionable insights. We need to help push that vision forward because as we always say, what is required is not more policies, but rather action and implementation.”

The discussion explored how young people can actively contribute towards the future of South Africa, through the implementation of the National Development Plan. The panel and audience members shared ideas as to how, by playing their part, they could contribute towards making South African a country of vision into reality.

The following major points were raised during the discussion:
• Shared values upon which societies are built on. The point was made that there needs to be a restoration of a common set of values and principles for shared existence and coexistence as Africans.
• Active citizenship. It is the responsibility of each citizen to be a custodian and vanguard of our shared values and above all, respect each other’s roles.
• Government accountability. Leaders must be accountable to citizens and there must be transparency in government.
• Respect for human rights and dignity. Dignity is essential for the growth and development of Africans. Xenophobia should not be tolerated on any grounds throughout the African continent.
• Basic access to education and economic resources. Without a basic education, young people cannot build their futures. It was stated that a lack of education creates a divide in society and a divide among all people.

Dr Ibrahim said, “We can only have social cohesion when all sectors of society feel that they have justice, feel that they have a stake in their society, they have a role to play, they are respected and they have dignity.”

About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

Nadia Samie-Jacobs
Public Relations Domestic
Tel: +27 11 712 5007 Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399