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African Renaissance Conference 2017

                                                  

Prof Sihawukele Ngubane
Chair of the African Renaissance Organising Committee

A very warm Durban welcome to all delegates who are attending the African
Renaissance Festival 2017. As in the last two years, the theme ‘Entrepreneurs
of Africa’ shapes the content of 19th edition of the African Renaissance Festival.

South Africa needs to build a dynamic culture of entrepreneurship and innovation; currently our country is lagging behind other developing countries in this area. Entrepreneurs are key to addressing many of the social and economic challenges that confront our peoples’ daily lives.

In addition, through their role as job providers, entrepreneurs are widely seen as solutions to our unemployment challenges. Fulfilling this role will result in the wider participation of the youth in the economy leading towards a more sustainable future in South Africa.

While many people are able to act and think independently, others need assistance in developing a mindset that embraces change and new possibilities. In order to order to facilitate growth in the number of entrepreneurs, there needs to be a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship in all our education institutions. We hope that through the African Renaissance Conference programme, we are able to provoke an entrepreneurial mindset that reaches beyond our delegates.

In the spirit of promoting lifelong learning, the conference will also provide information for scholars and students to study abroad through the variety of international exchange opportunities offered by a range of foreign governments and universities. 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. This aspect will build on the momentum already gained by the KZN Youth International Scholarship and Exchange Programme, which was launched in October 2016.
The website www.kznyis.gov.za and Facebook page provide information on available international study opportunities.

These bursaries offer incredible opportunities for students from undergraduate to postgraduate study levels in a wide range of disciplines. Access to international education is an essential element in the acquisition of new knowledge and ideas as well as successful participation in the global world. Start planning very early in your school and student years to take up these bursaries and don’t limit your dreams. I would like to wish all speakers and delegates the best throughout the proceedings and thank you for sharing your knowledge and time on the African Renaissance Conference 2017 platform.
We need to pay tribute to the continued support of our funders and partners. especially 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 once more like to thank the African Renaissance team who has worked tirelessly in making sure that this 2017 Festival continues to meet your expectations. We remain committed to celebrating our opportunities in a
fast-changing continent.