Youth Entrepreneurship Dominates the 17th African Renaissance Conference 2015

US Consul General Frances Chisholm addresses delegates at the 17th African Renaissance Festival and Conference
US Consul General Frances Chisholm addresses delegates at the 17th African Renaissance Festival and Conference

The US Government seeks to partner with South Africa in expanding the quality and accessibility of higher education for all in South Africa.

This was U.S. Consul General Frances Chisholm’s message to more than 300 delegates at the 17th African Renaissance Festival and Conference at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on May 26.  In a session on international exchange programs, Consul General Chisholm encouraged young entrepreneurs to learn more about US Education Exchange Programs, distance learning opportunities, and Massive Open On-Line Courses (MOOCs) on-line and at information sessions held regularly by the Consulate’s EducationUSA Adviser.

“Thousands of South Africans and tens of thousands of African have benefited from these exchanges. In the 2012/2-13 academic year 1, 800 South Africans, were studying in the US, with over half of them doing Bachelor degree programs, and 30% studying towards Masters and PHD degrees.” she said

Consul General Chisholm was joined by EU Ambassador to South Africa Roeland van de Geer and Consul General of India Rajagopalan Ragunathan in describing overseas education and exchange opportunities.  In the same session, KZN MEC for Education Peggy Nkonyeni mentioned a number of U.S. education exchange programs that benefited South African students, and announced the establishment of an office within her department to ensure that KZN youth take better advantage of opportunities for overseas study.

The 17th African Renaissance Conference was opened by eThekwini (Durban) Mayor James Nxumalo, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu, Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, Minister in the Presidency Jeffrey Radebe and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Michael Mabuykhulu.  Young entrepreneurs from South Africa and Tanzania took the podium to tell compelling stories about how they developed their businesses to a high level of success, while Vice Chancellors from all of KZN’s universities brought their academic perspective to the subject of entrepreneurship in a session moderated by the Durban Chamber of Commerce.