We’ve picked out some notable quotes that all have one thing in common — equality or lack of it in Africa’s economies. These quotes and the accompanying photos were identified by World Economic Forum blogger José Santiago. The WEF blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas, according to WEF.
Check out these nine inspiring quotes about equality in African economies from World Economic Forum Africa 2015.
This article was first published June 9, 2015 on AFKInsider.
Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa
Recent events that tested Zuma’s response to equality and inequality include South Africa’s xenophobic attacks against foreign business owners, and perceived over-the-top upgrades to his home at Nkandla. In response to criticism from Mozambican writer Mia Couto, Zuma said the actions of a minority should not be used to stereotype 50 million people.
Graça Machel, founder, Foundation for Community Development
South Africa didn’t always love native Mozambican Graça Machel. She married Nelson Mandela when she was 52 and he was 80, and South Africans did not warm up to a foreign first lady at first, CNN reported. But she was so OK staying in the background, she won them over with her laid-back demeanor and loyalty. She’s been a first lady twice — in Mozambique too — the only woman in history to do. She married the late President Samora Machel and was nicknamed Jackie Kennedy.
She has had a long career in politics and political activism including becoming a Mozambican cabinet member at age 28.
He’s the head of Kenya’s mobile network operator Safaricom and the thing that keeps Bob Collymore awake at night is network outages. “I am acutely aware of how destabilizing this is to our customers for whom our products have become an integral part of their lives,” he said in an interview with HowWeMadeitInAfrica.
He credits the ability to move on from mistakes as an important reason why he’s been successful in business — that and an awareness that learning never stops.
Perhaps most importantly, he considers his mother and grandmother as the top influencers in his business career.
Winnie Byanyima, executive director, Oxfam International
When Winnie Byanyima arrived in U.K., a frightened 17 year-old fleeing Idi Amin’s regime, she was immediately arrested. The $300 her mother had given her in Kenya after they crossed the Ugandan border together was fake.
“The policeman looked at me crying and saw I was an innocent young girl,” she told the U.K.’s Indpendent. “He tore up the money and advised me never to get any except from a proper bank…I have loved the British bobby ever since.”
Forty years later, Byanyima fights global inequality as the executive director of Oxfam International.
Klaus Findt, head of infrastructure in Africa, KPMG
This is a busy man. Right now he’s leading infrastructure assignments in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and Mozambique, according to the audit, tax and advisory service KPMG website. His job description: give strategic, financial and commercial advice to public and private-sector clients on infrastructure transactions across the globe.
Njideka Harry, president and CEO, Youth for technology Foundation
This woman is like the energizer bunny. Harry earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She completed her post-graduate studies at Stanford University where she was a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow. She is an Ashoka Fellow and in 2013 was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum.
Her Youth For Technology Foundation identified 3D printing technology as a highly impactful area that will influence lives all over the world. The foundation piloted its 3D Africa program, a prototyping engineering space for 3D printing, as part of the GE Garages Lagos program in 2014. Foundation instructors trained 30 young entrepreneurs in 3D printing technology, design thinking, empathy and prototyping.
Patrice Motsepe, founder, African rainbow Minerals, South Africa
This South African mining magnate has interests in gold, platinum, ferrous and base metals. He also sits on several company boards including Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world. In 2012, Motsepe was named South Africa’s richest man, topping the Sunday Times’ annual Rich List with an estimated fortune of $2.4 billion.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, U.N. undersecretary general and executive director of U.N. Women
There are calls for the next U.N. secretary general to be a woman, and South African-born Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is considered one of the most suitable for the high-profile job, according to a report in TheAfricanMag. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s term expires in 2016.
She was South Africa’s first-ever female deputy president from 2005 to 2008, and she’s had a long career fighting for human rights and social justice.