'Root out dependence'
Africa, particularly, the Southern African Development Community, will only develop if its transport infrastructure improves.
This was said in Durban during the 14th annual African Renaissance conference attended by government ministers from several African countries, including Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mozambique and Swaziland.
"The development of transport infrastructure is equivalent to economic and social development, including the free movement of people and goods. Critical to Africa's development is promoting connectivity," said Transport Minister and African Renaissance chairman S'bu Ndebele.
He said the time for individual African countries to act in silos was over.
"Cooperation and partnerships are what we would like to market as founding principles for our transport infrastructure programmes going forward.
"In line with this thought, the people of the continent have embarked on major regional road infrastructure corridors, which are currently under way throughout the continent," he said.
The region boasts nearly 20 regional road corridors.
"The existence of the transport corridors, which are at various stages of the planning, development and management processes, is a clear indication that Africa is now a united entity, poised to improve its global status through cooperation and partnerships," said Ndebele.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said the time had arrived for Africans to create a better future for future generations.
"With good governance, the African continent could become a land of prosperity. What has crippled the continent historically - apart from colonialism - has been the culture of dependence."
"For too long we, as a continent, the cradle of humankind, have been entrapped in a mindset of dependence, allowing others to dictate terms and to shape our destination. The culture of dependence should be replaced by that of independence," he said.
"We have minerals and natural resources in abundance and what we need is to harness the right kinds of skills to process the resources in a uniquely African way," Mkhize said.
"Experience has shown that world markets are ready to accept our distinctive artistry. Only when we embrace one another as brothers and sisters, working together and combining our technical skills, will we add value to the primary products."
He said Africa should focus on improving the provision of water, sanitation, roads, electrification and other infrastructure to be part of growing the economy to enable the creation of jobs and eradicate poverty.
"Africa needs to focus on investment in gross fixed formation that creates concrete jobs as opposed to the bonds and financial market where the wealth leaves the country with the purchaser having never set foot on the soil where the transaction occurs.
"Revival and strengthening of agriculture must be intensified to ensure that starvation no longer claims so many lives," he said.