Speech Delivered by Nasser Youth Movement Member at the Africa-Brics Youth Forum 2023
SPEECH DELIVERED BY H. E. VARNEY ALIEU JARSEY, PRESIDENT OF THE ALL-AFRICA STUDENS' UNION, AT THE 2023 AFRICA-BRICS YOUTH FORUM HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
Comrades and friends:
Allow me to extend my gratitude to the South African Brics Youth Association for organizing this history-making assembly and for inviting me to share my perspectives on the student and youth question, which is encapsulated by education and skills, a recurring theme on the agenda of this great movement.
Let me also extend the revolutionary greetings of the executive committee of the All-Africa Students' Union to the organizers and seize the opportunity to recognize the presence of every youth and student leader, education stakeholders, government officials, progressive students, new-generation cadres of the pan Africanist frontier, reincarnated militants in the tradition of Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Miriam Makeba, Nelson Mandela, and the courageous buffalo intellectual-general and militant of Uhmkonto we Sizwe, Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.
As a student leader with strong views against colonial domination and the wretchedness of the erstwhile Apartheid, it's necessary that I pay homage to the legacies of the martyred South African heroes, while in the country of their natality; and I hope my brief recollection of these great patriots will evoke the struggle spirit of the African youth and students of this current generation.
May the blood of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu nourish the revolution and may it inspire the activities of the South African Brics Youth Association.
Comrades and friends:
The formation of BRICS is no occurrence of historical accident and certainly not the result of an erratic or impulsive personality; BRICS is absolutely the natural expression of the thinking people of the world to resist the backwardness of unipolarity. Said another way, the unity of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is the revolutionary reaction to the imperial and hegemonic monstrosity of the United States and her NATO allies. Our convergence here today in this forum is a clear indication that while our leaders are meeting to find a way to carve a new global financial architecture we are meeting at our lever to discuss and also find solution as well.
As an example, Russia and China have never participated in the butchering of the African continent; these powers never divided Africa between themselves, nor did they impose their policies, culture and language on the people of Africa. Never did they deflate the potential of the African continent; never did they participate in the assassination of African leaders and the overthrow of governments determined to assert the African personality, defend the material interest of the African people, and raise Africa to the level where it becomes a dignified continent with an untamed sovereignty for greater prospects and prosperity.
Instead, Russia and China supported the continent in its fight to break free from colonial subjugation and the imperial arrogance of the Western world. With Russia and China, Africa had two great partners whose struggle and sufferings resonated with, whose travails and tribulations met the revolutionary solidarity of the supra countries.
Our true friends are not those thievish rascals who plunder our countries, stifle our progress, rake the abundance of our natural resources, destabilize our nations through coups and insurrectionist antagonisms; our true friends are not those who dilute our culture; our true friends are not those who give us a false democracy; our true friends are not those who keep us obsequious and subservient.
Comrade and friends:
Our true friends are not those who make decisions for a whole continent in the capitals of the West; our true friends are not those who assassinate nationalists and patriots and impose their puppets on the masses through a quasi democratic process, thus subverting the popular will of the African people.
Comrades and friends:
Our true friends are those who stand by us in our trials; our true friends are those who defend our freedom and liberation; our true friends are those who protect our dignity; our true friends are those who realize our potential and promote that potential; our true friends are those who never feel intimidated by our overwhelming quest for political freedom and economic development; our true friends are those who see themselves in us, who empathize with our struggle and who are intentional about working with us as equals in the new era of peace, equality and prosperity for all the world's people.
Our true friends are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa!
In this friendship, BRICS should prioritize the young people and the students, because they constitute more than half of the African population. The future of Africa is contingent on the preparedness of our young people, and this achievement is only possible through quality education that places emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
We must transform education through new perspectives; in our reimagination of education, we need to assess what works and what doesn't. We must democratize education, making it accessible to every child even in the remotest parts of Africa.
There should be no disparity in the learning conditions of a child in the city and a child in the village; all children must have equal access to education regardless of where they live.
Fellow members of this forum, you will certainly agree with me that it makes absolutely no sense for students from Africa to leave and go to London or Washington to get education in African studies. Recently in the people’s republic of china Shandong province I spoke at the China Africa youth festival where I call for the people to people relationship to be harness and strengthen. In that way understanding will be trigger down to the ordinary people and this youth component of BRIC summit is a classic example.
Priority must also be given to girls' education. The idea that women are less intelligent than men and should be placed in the kitchen as housewives and in the bedroom as birth machines is an old and outdated tradition that must be erased. In this new friendship, as Africa focuses on education, student leaders and education stakeholders must treat boys and girls equally, encouraging the latter and educating them so that they realize that fullest potential. It's by harnessing a two-gender narrative that we can transform education.
Moreover, BRICS has the responsibility of demanding that African governments invest in education, empower student leaders and strengthen education through a robust process that prioritizes a system of inclusivity. In taking many people out of poverty in Africa, there is a lot we can learn from china. African governments must prioritize vocational and technical education and the young people must make use of those opportunities.
Once these measures are implemented, in the next few years, our partnership will yield results and Africa will have a youthful and educated population that competes equally in a multipolar world. Institutions such as the South African Brics Youth Association will play an integral role by continuously organizing occasions like these to share perspectives and influence policy-driven actions that prepare our young people and sustain the greatness of Africa, the optimism which was shared by Nkrumah, Sankara and Madela for an educated, conscious and patriotic youthful continent whose work will transform Africa into the power it must be: a rich continent asserting its sovereignty and living in harmony with its allies in a world extricated from the selfish burdens of Western imperialism.
Comrades and friends:
Thank you for the opportunity to share my views on this very important subject.