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Africa must be self-sufficient - Zuma

President Jacob Zuma called on African countries to work towards improving the state of the continent.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said it was imperative Africa became self-sufficient, despite various challenges on the continent.

The president spoke at the official opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

He also detailed the importance of the country's role in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) group of developing countries.

Zuma told hundreds of delegates that South Africa's inclusion in the BRICS group would be beneficial to the entire continent.

He reiterated the importance of driving growth and alleviating poverty.

"One of the major problems would be how do you finance infrastructure so that we are able to move forward."

Conflict and infrastructure problems were identified as stumbling blocks for growth.

However, Zuma said he was convinced Africa would be thriving over the next 50 years, especially if investor confidence was boosted.

He also called on African heads of states to work together in developing the continent.

Zuma said funding for massive infrastructure development projects could only be attained through partnerships.

The 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa kicked off on Wednesday.

It will wrap up on Friday.

The gathering is expected to boost business in Cape Town.

The conference will focus on accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking Africa's talent.