African Renaissance Conference  24- 26 May 2018




On behalf of the Executive Committee of eThekwini Municipality, we are proud to host the 17th edition of the prestigious African Renaissance Festival - Entrepreneurs of Africa in our cosmopolitan and multicultural city of Durban.


The Municipality is responsible for promoting, advocating, lobbying and facilitating an enabling environment that seeks to improve access to skills, employability and entrepreneurship of young people. As such we made a tremendous investment in the development and growth of our SMME sector in the past 16 years, and we will continue to do so because we understand that small businesses are the foundation of a sustainable economy.


In order to achieve our 2030 vision of creating the most caring and liveable City, we need to accelerate our interventions to achieve economic emancipation and equality for the majority of our citizens. An objective of the eThekwini Municipality is to develop an enterprise development strategy to capitalise on private sector involvement in economic growth and reduce unemployment. One of the ways of achieving this is by creating a conducive environment for small businesses to develop and grow. It is from these ranks of small and medium businesses, that the City’s future prosperity will grow.


As such, we have a number of initiatives in place to ensure that entrepreneurism and innovation thrives in our City:


The Durban Business Fair offers many benefits for participating entrepreneurs, including the exposure that allows them to learn new and innovative trends of trading in the dynamic global economy in order to achieve sustainable growth for our City and beyond.


Innovate Durban is the Innovation Programme of the eThekwini Municipality and other key partners, currently being driven by the Policy, Strategy, Information and Research department within Economic Development and Investment Promotion. The Innovation programme is driven by projects focused on creating awareness, building capacity and skills, encouraging community involvement, boosting public and private sector innovation and creating fundamental linkages between all role players. These will culminate in a number of initiatives intended to offer innovative thinkers, aspiring students and budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to share knowledge, build capacity, network and investigate technology-based economic and social development and increase awareness among the eThekwini Municipality.


I would like to take this opportunity to invite all stakeholders to work with us to pursue the goal of creating more innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs in our City in the future.

I also invite all visitors to Durban to take the time to enjoy our beautiful beaches, culture and amenities during their stay with us.