Mozambique: ex presidents, Africa needs inclusive economic growth

(AGI) - Maputo, 2 dec. - Former presidents of Mozambique andSouth Africa, Joaquim Chissano and Thabo Mbeki, respectively,said today that African countries need an inclusive economicgrowth, an inclusion that requires the participation ofcitizens. Chissano and Mbeki spoke today at the social andeconomic forum which began this morning in the capital of thisformer Portuguese colony in Southern Africa of 23 millioninhabitants, Maputo. The forum, whose motto is "A Challenge tothe Future" has over 1000 participants, including politicians,academics, businessmen and representatives of civil societyorganisations from different countries, with emphasis on thecandidate

(AGI) - Maputo, 2 dec. - Former presidents of Mozambique andSouth Africa, Joaquim Chissano and Thabo Mbeki, respectively,said today that African countries need an inclusive economicgrowth, an inclusion that requires the participation ofcitizens. Chissano and Mbeki spoke today at the social andeconomic forum which began this morning in the capital of thisformer Portuguese colony in Southern Africa of 23 millioninhabitants, Maputo. The forum, whose motto is "A Challenge tothe Future" has over 1000 participants, including politicians,academics, businessmen and representatives of civil societyorganisations from different countries, with emphasis on thecandidate for President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. "How can we make the distribution of wealth inclusive? Theinclusion requires participation and for that, there has to betrust ... this means even knowing that we are here withdifferent ideas, but we want to achieve the same objectives",Chissano said. In turn, Thabo Mbeki, who was the seconddemocratically elected president after the end of apartheid inSouth Africa, drew attention to what he called the illusorynature of statistics when it comes to development. "I haveheard that Mozambique has been growing on average 7% per yearin recent years but then what? Where is the impact of this onpeople's lives? Of course we need economic growth but it has tobe a sustainable economic growth and that has an impact onpeople's lives, "Mbeki said. The academic and candidate in the portuguese presidentialelections in 2016, Rebelo de Sousa, emphasized the importantrole of leadership and the need to realize that we are facing a"holding pattern" of economic growth at the global level andtherefore, it is important to create "realistic models ofdevelopment, which do not create illusions incompatible withthe critical state of the world economy at the moment."The Economic and Social Forum, the first of its kind since thecountry gained independence in 1975, ends Friday. (AGI).