African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



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African Renaissance Festival 2017

The 19th annual African Renaissance Festival reminds us of the long struggle for freedom, justice, power, peace and sustained socioeconomic progress in our lives and in the world.

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.

Since the beginning of the Festival, various themes have been adopted for the 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 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, the overall chosen theme has been 'Entrepreneurs of Africa'. 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 a representative of the Department of Higher Education and 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. This is in line with one of the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

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 Prof. Thandwa Mthembu - Vice Chancellor: Durban University
of Technology, Dr Johan van Koller - Institutional Planning & Research, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Prof. Irrshad Kaseeram, Deputy Dean, University of Zululand, Urmilla Bob - University of

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. Another SDG target is that: By 2020 to substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering
and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries.

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.

Presentations will be available on the website

 Delegates at the African Renaissance.JPG

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