Posted: February 22, 2019
22nd Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit
|Session on “The Wall Street Project Business Luncheon”
Reverend Jesse. L. Jackson, President & Founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
I wish to extend very warm greetings, on behalf of the people and the Government of South African, on whose behalf, I stand before you.
The Rainbow, remains one of the most natural wonders of the world.
Scientists allude, that it is formed from the process of refraction; which relies on the sun rays to shine through the moisture from the rain drops.
This then means that, a rainbow can only be formed, from the power of the sun and the storm.
President Nelson Mandela, calls Africa and her people, a rainbow nation, not only because of the priviledge in her diversity; but because she managed to shine through the storms of colonialism, subjugation and oppression.
And like the rainbow, Africa stands as a natural wonder of the world; too impossible to reach the end of her potential and growth.
With the above, allow me to uphold my gratitude to you Reverend Jackson, alongside your ambassadors; for a strategic vision, that you chose to carry.
In its bareness, you clothed it.
As the recipients of the ‘Companions of O.R Tambo Award’; the highest award recognized by the South African government for a foreign national; Reverend Jackson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters- epitomize the values of Ubuntu.
That indeed a person, is bettered by the deeds of others.
Throughout the 1980s, Congresswoman Waters, arranged marches and rallies; to protest against the regime in South Africa.
Both Reverend Jackson and Congresswoman Waters, led sit-ins at the U.S based South African Missions. Arrested for protesting against the regime, we witnessed the sacrifice of their own freedom.
Furthermore, we are honoured, that Congresswoman Waters, continues to support South Africa, in addressing socio-economic disparities, such as the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The contribution of Congress, through The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PERFAR), persists to be an initiative, of strategic value to the government of South Africa.
Hon Waters, I certainly wish you well, in your new appointment; as chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
It was also no coincidence, that the founder of the African National Congress, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, studied at the Columbia University.
As a result, strong relations were nurtured, with W.E.B. Du Bois and Alain Locke, which played a significant role, in his participation towards the Harlem Renaissance.
In advancing the movement, Chief Albert Luthuli and Dr Martin Luther King Jr. also exchanged letters from Prison and House Arrest. And both, certainly drew from the same well of wisdom. Dr King often supported that, “It is not about the colour of our skin but it is about the content of our character”. Our currency to prosperity and excellence, as people of colour, is accepting our own content; and further protecting it.
Therefore, Relations between our countries are historic; demonstrating a collective resolve to address a common developmental agenda.
The US Congress, extended market access, for duty-free products, from sub-Saharan Africa into the United States.
This transpired through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which enabled an increase in the trade of value added goods.
Furthermore, the U.S is South Africa’s second largest export destination, and third source of imports for our country.
As we contest for liberty and economic empowerment, the South African government, has channeled its mandate towards, developing black pioneers; engaged in industrial sectors.
This has ensured access to lucrative markets and providing a platform for black African innovation to thrive.
As the South African government, we are able to facilitate, inward buying and investment missions, for companies seeking to source value added manufactured goods and services.
In advancing these missions, we stand on the shoulders of Madiba, who believed that a “winner is a dreamer who never gives up”.
Therefore, I am well affirmed that the Mission to be undertaken, will equally foster strong relations and partnerships, between entrepreneurs in both countries.
To encourage inclusive growth across all spectrums, our Black Industrialists program, is deliberate in the advocacy of black participation, in the mainstream economy.
As a champion of the program, we actively engage, partnerships that empower black entities.
Furthermore, South African companies also have a footprint in the United States.
The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa; hosted the inaugural International Investment Conference in October 2018.
Investment pledges, to the value of R 300 billion ($22 billion dollars), were made by local and global companies from America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The main investment target, as set by the President, is R 1,3 trillion (US$100 billion).
This is aimed, towards sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture and agro-processing; financial and business process service, the ocean economy, tourism, and other industrial sectors.
Additionally, South Africa continues to affirm, its commitment to regional and continental trade within Africa.
Inferred from the aforementioned, South Africa provides a suite of incentives, to companies investing in priority sectors.
The Invest SA, is a One-Stop Shop service, is geared towards providing investors with services to fast-track projects, further assisting them with information, facilitation and aftercare.
Thus, through the One Stop Shop agency; government aims to reduce red tape in areas concerning:
Thus, government offers to make investments in South Africa, as seamless, as possible; eliminating any regulatory burdens involved.
Our country, remains the most industrialized and diversified economy in Africa; as per global recognition.
It is for this reason, that we are a location of choice, for multinational corporations; who also desire favourable access to global markets.
Therefore, I invite companies that are present, to heed to President Ramaphosa’s call for investment.
As a coalition, let us strive to alleviate the waves of discontent, pulsing through our continents.
Let us strive to ensure that poverty can no longer be our language of struggle.
The one where the struggle of youth, is not access to education; but selecting an institution of choice.
Let us continue to believe in this dream; that promises all men:
Having had your dreams, hopes, frustrations and aspirations which as South Africans we share.
The higher you build your barriers
May the Rainbow Push Coalition; continue to have something inside so strong.
I thank you!