Focus on entrepreneural development Building African entrepreneurs

2015-05-14 06:00

FOR the first time since its inception, the annual African Renaissance Festival will this year focus­ on entrepreneurial development, particularly among the youth.

The festival, starting from 23 and running until 26 May at the Inkosi Albert­ Luthuli Conference Centre (ICC) will start with an Africa Day concert, after which there will be a two-day conference.

Founded by former KZN Premier Sibusiso Ndebele in 1999, the festival has over the years seen the participation of democratic presidents, deputy presidents, government delegates, business and civil society from the African­ continent.

Speaking at a media launch at the Premier’s office last week, African Renaissance Trust vice-president Professor Sihawukele Ngubane said this year’s theme is “Entrepreneurs of Africa­”, as there is poor economic participation of African people, but mostly the youth.

“We have young people who have qualifications, but who are unemployed. We want to develop our youth to become entrepreneurs.,” he said.

KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu said while much has changed in the new democratic dispensation, Africa still lags behind in terms of advanced democracy and stability.

“We want to develop an agenda that seeks to promote African countries. We want to create a platform where people from all over can share ideas that will contribute towards economic advancement. We want an era where our focus is on social economic changes in the lives of our people,” he said.

Following recent xenophobic and Afro-phobic attacks in KZN, Mchunu said the festival will also seek to promote unity between African countries.

eThekwini Municipality deputy mayor Logie Naidoo said the festival does not only provide a platform where Africans can unite, but also on how the continent can move forward.

“We have the potential to grow the continent’s economy into one of the greatest in the world. We need to rid the continent of poverty and underdevelopment.”

The Africa Day concert, which will feature Sfiso Ncwane, DJ Sgqemeza, Toya Delazy and Donald in collaboration with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, will start at 6pm. Tickets at R115 from Computicket

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