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African Renaissance Conference 2017

                                                  

A better world

The first day of the Conference fell on the 25 May, Africa Day, which is celebrated by millions  of people on the African continent and beyond.  Fifty two years ago, leaders of the independent states of Africa met on this day, in Addis Ababa, and signed the founding charter of the Organisation of African Unity. The theme of  the African Renaissance Festival 2015 – Entrepreneurs of Africa  is an exciting and worthwhile opportunity to celebrate Africa’s progress and the ongoing  renewal of our continent. 

The morning’s programme commenced with presentations by senior  South African government ministers, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development and Mr Jeffrey Radebe, Minister in the Presidency  and  KwaZulu-Natal Premier   Mr Senzo Mchunu  and Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, KwaZulu-Natal.

All speakers focused strongly on the various strategies and initiatives for entrepreneurial development underway   to develop entrepreneurs in South Africa.  There is an emphasis on youth development through various interventions, with an emphasis on improving access to information,  education and training programmes from school to tertiary levels.

MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu said that through the promotion of an entrepreneurial spirit we can “ bring about a better world”.    The  youth  of KwaZulu-Natal need to become more economically empowered in addition young graduates need to be encouraged to be” job creators rather than job seekers”.  

Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development stressed that in order to create “a better Africa” and for economic transformation to occur levels of entrepreneurship need to increase. She stressed that we need to teach students to acquire more practical business skills in order to run businesses more effectively.

KZN Premier, Mr Senzo Mchunu emphasized the need to “move with speed” to achieve development and counter poverty in the Province. He said, “There is a need for entrepreneurs to establish more successful small and medium business as they are the largest contributors to new employment opportunities” .  He added that entrepreneurs are essential to build our continent.   In addition there needs to be strong focus on scarce skills to build our continent. Mchunu said, “We want to unlock such potential, particularly in the areas of agriculture and agro-processing, maritime industry, renewable energy and biotechnology.”

Mr Jeffrey Radebe, Minister in the Presidency said, “Entrepreneurship was the cornerstone of  building Africa”.   He added, “The story of Africa is unfolding beautifully amidst many challenges.  Africa is one of the fastest growing regions with many opportunities.”  He also stressed that all of our people are agents of change but that education is essential for growth to occur.