It will be a bee-hive of activities as KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa hosts the only annual celebration of the African Renaissance ideals on the mother continent, the 12th African Renaissance Festival (May 24-27, 2010).
Bringing together delegates from around the globe,leaders in government and business, representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), civic structures, emerging entrepreneurs and local communities, the festival will seek to celebrate, debate and examine issues related to re-defining and rebuilding Africa through accessing and developing its own rich socio-economic, religious and political resources; building partnerships; developing skills and networking. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is expected to participate in the festival that is usually held during the last week of May to coincide with Africa Day and is the only annual celebration of the African Renaissance ideals on the continent.
One of the highlights of the festival will be the Africa Day concert at the ICC which will feature a sterling line up of South African talent, including recent South Africa Music Awards (SAMA winners), Lira, Big NUZ and Ntando, who will be joined by gospel group, Avante, on May 27.
The festival held on the theme, “Take Charge Africa; the Future of Africa is in your Hands”,comprises a two-day conference at the ICC on May 25 and 26, a Youth Pioneers Conference featuring delegates representing various youth organisations on May 24; and a seminar entitled ‘Unity of Faith’ to be held on May 27 in Empangeni that will look at the role of the church in the African Renaissance.
Also under the spotlight will be the examination of creative ways of addressing the global issue of moral regeneration – a challenge to faith-based leaders, secular and civic society and youth leadership.
“The conference”, says a Press release from Sharlene Versfeld of Versfeld and Associates, “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.”
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.
Meanwhile in East Africa, the third Turkana Cultural Festival will take place at Loyangalani on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya (June 19-20, 2010).It is organises by the German Embassy in Kenya with additional financial support from the US-Embassy, the EU-Delegation and the German travel agency, Phoenix Safaris.
“Participation in the Turkana Cultural Festival 2010 offers a one-time opportunity to experience this distant and hard to access part of the country. A varied and interesting programme will allow visitors an authentic insight into the lifestyles and cultures of the different communities of this region,” says a Press Release from the German Embassy in Nairobi.
The highlight of the Turkana Festival is the “Festival of Elmorasetu” that comprises dance-performances, demonstrations of ceremonies and rites, a display of costumes and a camel show. Traditional huts representing a broad variety of building styles are expected to be displayed on the show ground together with an exhibition of craftsmanship. A dinner feast with the villagers will conclude the first day of the Festival later in the evening.
On the second day, the organisers say, an excursion to the nearby Rock Art fields and a visit to the Rendille and El Molo Village will be organised. The Festival will conclude at the Desert Museum with a function of the National Museum of Kenya on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.