Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni recently gave a speech at the 11th International Meeting of High-Ranking Officials Responsible for Security Matters. In her address, she discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the current international landscape, stressed the importance of international cooperation, and emphasized the need for investment in Africa’s economic development.
Opportunities and Threats in a Rapidly Changing World
The world is undergoing rapid change, with climate change, migration, and ICT adoption presenting both opportunities and threats to humanity and nation-states. Developing countries, particularly those in Africa, are experiencing worsened development trajectories due to these global shifts. The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted the need for greater global commitment to eradicating diseases on the African continent, as well as support for its economic recovery and reconstruction programs.
South Africa’s Challenges and Commitment to Non-alignment
South Africa has faced a series of challenges in recent years including youth unemployment, severe floods, and an economy harmed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite ongoing conflicts such as the one between Russia and Ukraine, South Africa maintains its commitment to non-alignment and a multilateral system. Minister Ntshavheni stressed that no country should dictate South Africa’s choice of allies or force it to choose sides. South Africa remains committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes and conflicts.
Technology Neutrality and Pressure from Other Countries
South Africa has chosen to adopt a “technology neutrality” approach, which means it embraces the best and most affordable technologies for its digital transformation. This position has led to pressure from other countries to reject technology products from China and other nations deemed “inappropriate” by a unilateral system.
Global Security Threats and the Importance of Cooperation
Amid rising anti-government sentiment, Minister Ntshavheni reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to the principles of sovereignty and the equal treatment of all nations within the multilateral system. Global security threats require cooperation among nation-states to address multifaceted and dynamic challenges.
Investment in Africa’s Economic Development
In the coming years, humanity will face global challenges that will test the resilience and adaptability of communities, states, and the international system. These challenges, ranging from disease to climate change to financial crises, will necessitate collaboration and a strong commitment to addressing the issues at hand. A prosperous Africa will be a critical component of a stable global landscape, as it can provide a reliable partner against global hegemony and prevent itself from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism and illegal immigration.
Minister Ntshavheni called on nations worldwide to contribute to conflict resolution and economic development in Africa, noting that a prosperous South Africa and Africa would benefit the world. South Africa supports efforts to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict through peaceful negotiations and engagement and stands ready to facilitate negotiations based on its own experience transitioning to a free and democratic nation.
In conclusion, Minister Ntshavheni’s address highlights the importance of international cooperation, a commitment to the principles of sovereignty and non-alignment, and investment in Africa’s economic development as key factors in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by today’s rapidly changing world.