A festival seeking to develop Africa through her social, economic and political resources is set to run at various venues in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Richards areas of South Africa. The annual event, the 11th African Renaissance Festival (May 25-30, 2009), is expected to celebrate, debate and examine issues related to the social, economic and political resources and how these could be harnessed in helping develop the mother continent.
Held during the last week of May to coincide with Africa Day on May 25, the 11th African Renaissance Festival is a gathering of like-minded citizens of Africa sharing ideas with key decision-makers from around South Africa and the world, including heads of state, leaders in government and business, representatives from the civil society and emerging entrepreneurs and local communities. This is the only annual celebration of the African Renaissance ideals on the continent.
The theme of the festival this year is ‘Uniting the African World’, and will focus on the global economic crisis and its impact on Africa’s business, tourism and arts and culture sectors. The line-up of speakers for the conference includes distinguished and well known personalities as well as local and international specialists from both the private and public sectors.
Also under the spotlight throughout the festival is examining creative ways of addressing the global issue of moral regeneration, a challenge to faith-based leaders, secular and civic society and youth leadership.
The festival comprises a major two-day conference at the ICC on May 27 and 28, 2009, a Youth Pioneers Conference featuring 250 delegates representing various significant youth organisations on May 26; a seminar entitled Unity of Faith to be held on May 30 in Richards Bay looking at the role of the church in the African Renaissance and a celebratory, fund raising banquet to be held at the ICC Durban, with the legendary Hugh Masekela providing entertainment on May 29.
The conference this year will unpack the business, arts and culture and tourism sectors in the context of the global economic downturn with a view to providing tangible outcomes. Relevant role-players in various sectors being represented have been tasked to co-ordinate these sessions ; they include the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Trade and Investment KZN, Tourism KZN, and the Department of Arts and Culture. The format of the conference will include a plenary, sector sessions and a resolution and way forward session with a final report to a plenary.
The ever-popular African Renaissance Africa Day Concert will be held at the ICC Arena on Monday , May 25, 2009 at 6pm and is open to the public. This year’s dazzling line-up includes Thandiswa Mazwai, former member of Bongo Maffin and hailed as this generation’s Mama Africa (Miriam Makeba); Oliver Mtukudzi (better known as ‘Tuku’), singer, songwriter and best-selling artist in his home country, Zimbabwe, as well as the legendary Ray Phiri and Stimela.
Tickets are available to the public and prices have been kept low to ensure as many fans as possible can enjoy the musical feast. Tickets are ZAR50 throughout (no concessions) and available through Computicket.