The annual African Renaissance Festival takes place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) on August 2, 4 and 5.
The festival began 13 years ago in an endeavour to reignite Africa’s own belief in itself and in its potential to develop its own resources The festival, the only annual celebration of the African Renaissance principles on the continent, examines the theme ‘Connecting Africa’ from an infrastructural and economic perspective but will also debate issues around the connectivity challenges in tourism. Delegates representing government and business, NGO’s; civic structures; entrepreneurs and local communities will converge on Durban to unpack and debate as well as pay tribute to the issues relating to how Africa navigates these relatively unchartered waters of accessing, developing and harnessing its own resources. The festival comprises a Youth Conference on August 2, a two day conference on August 4 and 5 and a fundraising banquet on August 5, 2011. The Youth Conference is being programmed by ‘Ignite’ – a newly-formed group of young business-people and entrepreneurs led by Durban Invest’s Lynette Ntuli and businessman Marc Rosenberg. The Youth Conference will grapple with challenges and opportunities that young people on this continent face with reference to Africa being the last truly emerging market. This conference is expected to attract 250 delegates from a variety of youth organisations. During the two-day African Renaissance Conference experts and senior representatives from appropriate Southern African agencies and planning departments will present papers on the spatial planning around and development of economic corridors including various modes of transport, conversion from road to rail, development of coastal maritime connectivity, growth of the aviation industry and promotion of tourism in Africa on a country-to-country basis. The conference will begin with a plenary session with Minister of Transport, Sbu Ndebele and Minister of Public Enterprise, Malusi Gigaba amongst other top speakers. Following this, sector-sessions for business and tourism will be held in the context of “Connecting Africa”. Sessions are being coordinated by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Transport and Tourism KZN respectively. These sessions will culminate in a resolution session and final report to a plenary. National Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene will address more than 500 guests at the fundraising banquet on August 5 and the utterly gorgeous, South African mistress of music and the six-times SAMA-award-winner, Simphiwe Dana, promises to thrill with uber-cool singing style. For more information and the full African Renaissance programme, contact or telephone 031 266 9792.