Mr Hatim Eltayeb, Head of the African Leadership Academy, addressed our matric group with a focus on 'Purpose: Loose Ruminations on South Africa, Identity and the Future.'
More than half the population growth between today and 2050 will be African, with an even larger proportion after that and so the key to the future lies with us. The reason for this is a sustained increase in life expectancy, higher fertility rates in emerging economies and the 'bulge' of the African Youth. The average age on the African continent is 18, and the stark reality is that by 2035 Africa will have the largest workforce in the world. That is less than 6 000 days away. By 2100, it is predicted that there will be 11.2 billion people on earth of which 5 billion will be Africans.
Mr Eltayeb went on to say that without radical new arrangements, our 5 billion strong community of human potential becomes mankind’s ultimate liability. South Africa has a tremendous role to play with its diverse wealth and an unequivocally remarkable constitution.
He encouraged our students to keep looking for answers if they are dissatisfied with the first answer, or even second answer. "Don’t accept that you are in a situation because of an ‘accident of fate’," he said. "Be active and see this as an opportunity to shape the trajectory of the continent, and of human civilisation. Active identities should feel energising and inspiring and should give you something to get out of bed for in the morning. South Africa has the opportunity to dream a new world into being – so do you."
Mr Eltayeb ended his discussion appropriately by encouraging our young men to view St John’s College as a community invested in leveraging learning to transform the world, through lives of light and love.