It gives me great pleasure to have this opportunity of speaking to you at the Portfolio Construction Forum Conference in Sydney, Australia.
I am very happy that Jonathan Pain, who I remember as a young boy in Roma, Lesotho – and later attended the same school as my daughters in Swaziland – will be delivering a speech about Africa. Jonathan has a strong attachment to Africa and will no doubt share his enthusiasm for his birthplace today.
We have seen significant change across the African continent over the past few decades and in recent times there is a newfound sense of energy and vibrancy.
Africa is a vast and diverse continent of extraordinary opportunity and almost unlimited possibilities and, we should remember, the cradle of humanity. We are all Africans – and that includes the Australian cricket team.
Over the last decade, six of the world’s ten fastest growing countries were African. Consider also that, as recently as 1989, there were only 3 democracies in sub-Saharan Africa and today there are 23.
I look forward with hope and enthusiasm to a brighter future for all our one billion people. A future where our children can escape poverty and embrace a world of equal opportunity. A life without fear and without favour and greater equality for all humanity.
There is something very special, vibrant and exciting about Africa and I urge you to open your eyes and minds to its remarkable possibilities.
Come home! Now is the time.
God bless you!