African Renaissance Conference  24- 26 May 2018


Mr James Nxumalo
The Mayor Of Ethekwini Municipality 

On behalf of the Executive Committee of eThekwini, greetings to all and welcome to the warm City of Durban for the African Renaissance Festival 2014. We are proud hosts of the 16th edition of this prestigious event.

The city’s vision is that “By 2020, eThekwini Municipality will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city.” Continued economic growth and the steady improvement of living standards, access to reliable transport and better working conditions in the city will ensure that Durban’s economy grows. It is imperative to create a city which is more accessible and where people can happily live, work and play. Over the years we have seen a number of major projects that have changed the face of the City. These include the opening of the new King Shaka International Airport, the development of the Dube TradePort and the Aerotropolis, port upgrades as well as the investment in the beachfront upgrade.As such the city of eThekwini has positioned itself as the home of the annual African Renaissance festivities because the annual symposium harbours an economic and social developmental agenda for the continent. 

Cities are the lifeblood of nations. Urbanisation is happening faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, and cities are driving the continent’s economic growth. Therefore the prosperity and future growth of nations is inextricably linked with the growth and development prospects of their cities. As a City we have an international relations programme, which has seen about 16 cooperation agreements signed with different cities across the globe. We also have a focus on Africa and NEPAD. We have accords with Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, Port Harcourt in Nigeria, Maputo in Mozambique, Libreville in Gabon and Mombasa in Kenya. We are also a designated NEPAD City and we keep in close contact with the NEPAD programme under the Department of International Relations. The Sister City relations have seen programmes in the following areas:  

  • Capacity building 
  • Urban renewal programmes 
  • Urban transport planning 
  •  Housing and infrastructure 
  • Economic Development 
  • Trade and Investments 
  • Tourism 
  • Arts and Culture 

Through the sister city’s programme the unit will ensure that the municipality develops a global partnership for development and environmental sustainability. We are still to intensify our efforts in this area to yield even more returns for our developmental objectives as a City. 
Collaboration amongst leaders across Africa through the sharing of ideas and solutions is vital to solve region-wide challenges. Keeping “Africa in Motion” will certainly depend on our ability to tackle our shared challenges and find sustainable solutions together.Durban is a prime tourist destination with a wide range of things to do and we encourage our visitors to take time to enjoy our 
beautiful beaches, culture and amenities during their stay.