Africa Day public symposium 2021

12 May 2021 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town, in collaboration with the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism and the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, will host a youth-centered public symposium on 24 May 2021.

Under the theme, “Youth development and participation on the African continent amidst the COVID-19 pandemic”, this symposium will mark the annual Africa Day celebrated on 25 May. The symposium takes place against the backdrop of the African Union theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”, the 15th anniversary of the African Youth Charter, and UCT’s Vision 2030 of “Unleashing human potential for a fair and just society”.

As Africans we have made progress across the continent in the areas of socio-economic development, democracy and good governance but our youth continues to face challenges of meaningful participation and representation in political processes, misalignment of the education curriculum with national and international market demands, high unemployment and conflict forced migration, poor contribution to Africa’s peacebuilding and continental development. The global pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

By working together, we can see positive change in these areas and build a stronger Africa. The symposium will thus focus on three topics: youth participation in Africa’s peace and security amidst COVID-19, youth participation and contributions towards building a strong African Continental Free Trade Agreement and decolonisation of African education curricula.

The keynote speaker is Bogolo J Kenewendo, an African economist and managing director of Kenewendo Advisory. She is the former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana and a member of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres’ High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, advising him on a rising global trend and how the UN can push for more cooperation in that space. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council for Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As minister, Kenewendo championed and introduced policy changes and business reforms, including reducing the cost and time to start a business in Botswana from 49 to seven days through various innovations and increased foreign direct investments in one year against the target of the last five years. In line with her passions as an advocate, Kenewendo moved two motions towards the protection of children’s rights in Botswana and in parliament her voice is associated with inclusivity in development and ensuring services reach the people in a timely manner.

Please join us as we discuss how to continue to build a better Africa by prioritising the youth, our future leaders who will continue to take us towards unity and greatness.

When: Monday, 24 May 2021
Time: 10:00-13:00 SAST
Platform: Zoom


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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