by Illa Thompson

Africa calling

Durban hosts African Renaissance Indaba

Keynote speaker: Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel
Trevor Manuel 016.jpg

Now in its 15th year, the annual African Renaissance Festival, which was initiated as part of an endeavour to regenerate and rekindle Africa’s faith in itself and inspire the continent’s citizens to look inwards at developing its own resources, takes place in Durban on May 21, 23, 24 and 25, 2013.

The Festival, themed Connecting Africa, will celebrate, debate and examine broader issues relating to re-defining and re-building the African continent through accessing and developing its own rich social, economic and political resources.  There are four components to the Festival: a Youth Conference on May 21 at the Elangeni Hotel, the African Renaissance Conference which takes place on May 23 and 24 as well as a Gala Banquet on May 23 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre, and the Africa Day Concert at the ICC Arena on May 25, 2013.

The Conference, which brings together experts and senior representatives of government and business, NGO’s; civic structures; entrepreneurs and local communities to focus primarily on connectivity of the African continent and the relevance of South Africa’s programmes to the continental agenda.

Topics will include the implementation of the National Development Plan and its impact on public/private partnerships; drivers of growth for African cities and lessons learnt; ITC development on the African continent; Promotion of Tourism into Africa and SA government’s strategy on economic growth through infrastructure development.

The programme features prominent speakers, including Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel; Minister of Correctional Services (and Chair of African Renaissance) Sibusiso Ndebele; Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti; Group CEO Transnet SOC Ltd,  Brian Molefe; Senior Economist of KPMG Ms Lullu Krugel; CEO of Nashua Communications Andy Openshaw; CEO Chamber of Mines of SA, Bhekokuhle Sibiya; Senior Policy Analyst, Presidency NPC, Khulekani Mathe; Chair of Bell Equipment, Michael Mun-Gavin; Associate Director of Ernst & Young, Carol Coetzee; Chief Director: Africa Bilateral Relations, DTI, Lerato Mataboge; Member of BRICS Business Council, Stavros Nicolaou; Chief Executive of Transnet Freight Rail, Siyabonga Gama; MEC for Economic Development and Tourism in KZN, Michael Mabuyakhulu; National Deputy Minister of Tourism, Thokozile Xasa; and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Zweli Mkhize, among others.

The Youth Conference, is programmed by IgniteSA.com, the just established organisation of young business-people and entrepreneurs led by Lyle Krause current CEO of IgniteSA.com and Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility firm, Dalo Group, and Lynette Ntuli, founding director and CEO of Innate Investment Solutions (Pty) Ltd, and founding director and Chairperson of IgniteSA.com.  Following a highly successful 2012 event that attracted about 250 delegates, the Youth Conference will again grapple with challenges and opportunities young people face on the continent.

The Gala Banquet on May 23, 2013 is an opportunity for delegates and members of the public to listen to a keynote address by Group CEO of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd, Stephen Saad, followed by a performance by the amazing South African guitarist and singer, Zahara.

Finally on Saturday, May 25 at 18h30 the Africa Day Concert at the Durban ICC Arena, features some of the biggest names in South African music circles under one roof:  award-winning, vintage-inspired Afro-Pop outfit, Mafikizolo, the soul sensation, Zonke and kwaito star, Professor.

Tickets for the Africa Day Concert can be purchased at Computicket.

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