African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



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The 19th edition of the annual African Renaissance Festival- Conference Programme

The 19th edition of the annual African Renaissance Festival will be hosted at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) from the 25 to 27 May 2017. The Festival includes a two day conference which will be held on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 May and a concert that will be held on the 27 May.

The African Renaissance Festival is held in May each year as part of the Africa Day celebrations, which are held on 25 May. Africa Day marks the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in May 1963; subsequent to that, the African Union (AU) was launched in Durban in 2002. In so doing we not only celebrate an African Renaissance but also a KwaZulu-Natal Renaissance. It is a day of reflection and reaffirmation of our commitment to fight all forms of exploitation meted on the African continent.

The conference programme for 2017 focuses on ‘Innovation and Transformation for Inspired Entrepreneurship’. This context is closely aligned with the need to promote an entrepreneurial culture in South Africa. Government, at all levels, has identified that poverty, inequality and unemployment are the main challenges that face youth in our society today. Consequently, various holistic and innovative, national, provincial and municipal strategies have been developed to counter these issues. In particular the call for radical economic transformation forms the basis for many of the programmes currently being implemented.

Speakers in the plenary session are Cllr Zandile Gumede – eThekwini Mayor, Mr Willies Mchunu – Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Ms Lindiwe Zulu – Minister of Small Business Development, and Mr Mduduzi Manana – Deputy Minister of Higher Education Training. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa – Deputy President of South Africa will be speaking on the national strategy for entrepreneurial development.

There is a need for entrepreneurs to establish more successful small and medium business as they are the largest contributors to new employment opportunities. It is also important for our talented youth to be encouraged and supported to enable them to be innovators in creating and using new technologies, products and processes for the benefit of all our communities.

Other speakers on day one include Mr Sihle Zikalala – MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Gugu Mjadu – Executive GM Marketing Business Partners, Calvin Mathibeli – Calvin & Family Group, Rapelang Rabana – Founder & CEO, Rekindle Learning, Ntuthuko Shezi – Founder & CEO: Livestock Wealth, Siboniso Mhlongo – Exec Director: Iqhina Consulting Eng & Project Managers, Hlubi Mbuya Arnold – Co-host on CliffCentral, Naipaul Khamal – Adlife Holdings, and Lunga Ntuli – Entrepreneur and sports writer

In addition, in order to facilitate entrepreneurship, not only is education to acquire skills and knowledge required but the promotion of a culture of entrepreneurship is necessary. Speakers on day two include Professor Thandwa Mthembu – Vice Chancellor: Durban University of Technology, Dr Johan van Koller – Institutional Planning & Research, Mangosuthu University of Technology Professor Urmilla Bob – University of KwaZulu-Natal

The programme will also promote and maximise the opportunities for our youth that are available through obtaining college and university bursaries to international institutions. The opportunity to study internationally is a brilliant experience that provides not only the possibility of acquiring new knowledge and skills but promotes personal growth.

As such speaking on the opportunities available will be Mr Mthandeni Dlungwane – MEC for Education, KZN, Dr Shashank Vikram – Consulate General of India, Ms Susan Knowles –Education Advisor, US Consulate General, Mr Marcus Cornaro – European Union Ambassador to South Africa and Mr Andrzej Kanthak – Polish Ambassador to South Africa.

Miss Lira – Singer and motivational speaker will also be speaking on Making Herstory.

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