African Renaissance Festival 25 May 2019


Prof Sihawukele Ngubane
Chair of the African Renaissance Organising Committee


On behalf of the organising committee, we would like to convey our pleasure and pride in hosting the African Renaissance Festival for the twentieth consecutive year in 2018.

A World Bank report (2018) said that inequality in South Africa has deepened since the dawn of democracy, with the country being an unequal society. While the report stressed that education and skills were the main avenues to address the inequalities – as many poor South Africans were unemployable and unskilled – it stressed that wealth inequality was much higher than income inequality.

Consequently, our theme for this year, Inclusive Social Economic Transformation, has much relevance and application to both our country and our Province of KwaZulu-Natal. 

The plenary session on day one, will include an address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on current national strategy pertaining to economic growth.

KZN Premier, Mr Willies Mchunu; KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala; eThekwini Mayor, Cllr Zanele Gumede; and Dr Martyn Davies, Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa at Deloitte Africa, will also address delegates in this session.

Speakers in session two will unpack inclusive economic growth in relation to agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and include opportunities arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Speaking on these topics are: Ms Judy Stuart, Founder: Future Farmer’s Foundation; Mr Neville Matjie, Acting CEO Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal; Mr Phillip Sithole, Deputy City Manager eThekwini Municipality and Mr Martin Sanne, Executive Director: CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing.

Session three will have a focus on human and community development. Speakers are Mr Basil Sikhakhane, Enhance Strategies International; Dr Augusta Dorning, Lenmed Health; Ms Beryl Mphakathi, Deputy City Manager: Human Settlements, eThekwini; and Mr Vasu Gounden, Executive Director, The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).

Day two of the conference will focus on human resource development with an emphasis on education, skills development and life-long learning.

Speakers in the first session are Ms Lindiwe Khuzwayo, HR Manager SAPREF; Ms Shamla Pather, Director Garlicke & Bousfield Inc.; Mr Mukovhe Morris Masutha, CEO Thusanani Foundation; and Mr Sibusiso J. Mngadi, Reg. MD, Africa and ME, Bellwether Ltd, Kenya.

Speakers in the second session will promote the opportunities that are available through obtaining bursaries and scholarships to study at international institutions. Many scholars and students are not aware of the wide variety of bursary funding options that are available to them and often the available bursaries are not utilised each year.

Speakers will be Mr Raul de Luzenberger, Deputy Head of Mission, European Union Delegation to RSA; HE Mr Andrzej Kanthak, Polish Ambassador to South Africa; Ms Sherry Sykes, Consul General, USA Embassy in Durban; and Mr Alain Gringoire, Hon. Consul General of Belgium.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors and event partners who have supported us in making this event such a great success. These are the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier, eThekwini Municipality, East Coast Radio, uKhozi FM, Aspen Pharmacare, Isolezwe, MTN, and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Furthermore, I would again like to thank the African Renaissance team members who have worked long hours in making sure that this 2018 Festival exceeds your expectations.

Lastly, as we are celebrating out 20th year, we thank all those of you who started this journey of pilgrimage with us in 1999 for your continued support. Thank you to the speakers and delegates for being loyal towards celebrating Africa and its people. This event is only truly a success because of those who participate.

We look forward to an engaging programme in 2018 and I am sure that all present will benefit from the networking, insights and opportunities shared.

Viva Africa Viva.