“We have a young democracy. The last one to be released. One of the most important things we are concerned about doing is learning from those who came before us, “says Mcebisi Skwatsha, South Africa‘s Deputy Minister of Agriculture. In an interview with ATLANTICO, he spoke about the challenges that his country is facing and what was learned from the Brazilian model. He also highlighted the importance of cooperation between African countries. The interview was given during the Brazil Africa Forum 2019, which took place in São Paulo in November.
“We have the national development plan in Africa and it has key aspects that we need to tackle. You have to fight unemployment, you have to fight for equality and you have to fight poverty too”, said Skwatsha. He pointed out that Brazil has faced the same problems in the past, with high unemployment and population poverty. With this in mind, South Africa has been inspired by the politics measures taken by the Brazilian government to address these same challenges.
The African Deputy Minister also highlighted the support received from other African countries and stated that “there is a lot that we need to learn as Africa” when talking about cooperation to achieve food security. “If you want to go fast, go it alone if you want to go far, go together, we can do that, ” he added, citing an African proverb, by emphasizing the importance of events such as the Brazil Africa Forum in promoting discussions among African countries.
During the Brazil Africa 2019 Forum, Mcebisi Skwatsha participated in the session “Embedding innovative agro-energy models on food-producing and processing”, which discussed effective business practices and government regulations needed to enable innovations in food production and processing for the agriculture.