African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



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African Renaissance Festival 2017

The 19th annual African Renaissance Festival will take place from 25 to 27 May 2017 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

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 African Union (AU) in 1963, and offers an opportunity for everyone to commit themselves to develop a better Africa and a better world. In so doing we not only celebrate an African Renaissance but also a KwaZulu-Natal Renaissance.

Over the years, the African Renaissance Festival has been privileged to have enjoyed the participation of our democratic presidents, deputy presidents as well as leading representatives of government, business and civil society.

Since the beginning of the event, various themes have been adopted for the festival programme. These themes have moved from a focus on African identity, culture and heritage, to a focus on connecting with the African Diaspora and supporting the efforts to promote peace, democracy, intellectuality, growth, development and prosperity throughout the continent. Then, more recently the proceedings have examined connectivity and communication in Africa through air, land, sea and rail routes as well as information technology.

The festival themes over the years were as follows:
1999 Beyond Conflict
2000 Beyond Conflict in the new millennium
2001 Be the best we can be
2002 iBuya : Our Time has Come (turning to each other and not on each other)
2003 NEPAD: Quest for an African Renaissance
2004 Peace and Democracy
2005 iBuyile iAfrika: Reflecting on human rights triumphs
2006 African Renaissance and African intellectuality
2007 Unpacking the African Century
2008 Uniting the African Diaspora
2009 Uniting the African World
2010 Take charge Africa – the future is in your hands
2011 to 2013 Connecting Africa
2014 Africa in Motion

For the three year period from 2015 to 2017, ‘Entrepreneurs of Africa’ has been the chosen theme. The theme has remained the same in order to provide continuity to the Festival programme as well as to enable a greater impact on festival attendees to be realised.

The Festival programme is closely aligned with the need to promote an entrepreneurial culture in KwaZulu-Natal. Government has identified that poverty, inequality and unemployment are the main challenges that face youth in our society today. In order for radical economic transformation to occur it is necessary to provide holistic and innovative interventions to counter these socio-economic problems.

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.

In addition, in order to facilitate entrepreneurship, ease of access to education to acquire skills and knowledge must be provided. The Festival 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.

Prof Sihawukele Ngubane, Chairperson of the African Renaissance Festival said, “Development of the youth as entrepreneurs plays an important part in Africa’s future. The conference aims to give the delegates examples of business success to aspire to, as well as the resources to achieve similar success. Representatives of educational institutions, parents and youth are encouraged to participate in this unique event in order to access the information presented by the conference speakers.”

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