17 March 2016 Volume :4 Issue :6

UKZN Launches Future Afrika Forum

UKZN Launches Future Afrika Forum
From left: Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, Mr Nhlanhla Ngubane, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Dr Nomalanga Mkhize, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Mr Meliqiniso Sibisi, Dr Bandile Hadebe, and Mr Mbonisi Sibisi.

UKZN partnered with Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation and Gagasi FM to launch Future Afrika Forum, an organisation geared towards mobilising young people - irrespective of race, political background and area of focus, - in the field of progressive engagements which seek to build a better South Africa and Africa.

The inaugural event, the first in a series of monthly panel discussions, examined dismantling the legacy of apartheid.

UKZN’s Executive Director of Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu and the CSRC President, Mr Senzo Ngidi, welcomed delegates to the University and expressed their gratitude for the Foundation’s choice of UKZN as the launch pad for the initiative.

In his welcoming address, Chalufu said opportunities for critical discourse on critical matters affecting South Africa in general and the youth, in particular, should not be taken for granted. ‘One of the goals we have set out for ourselves is to bring back the culture of vibrant and robust engagement on our campuses where issues of importance are debated and possible solutions crafted and placed on the national agenda. We therefore hope that our partnership with Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation will bolster our efforts and assist us going forward.’

Chairperson of the Ikusasa Le Afrika Foundation, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who is also the UKZN Chancellor, delivered the keynote address.

‘Today I address you in my personal capacity as the Chairperson of Ikusasa Le-Afrika Foundation, which is hosting this forum for public discourse aimed at engaging the youth on important issues in our country. We call these platforms the “Future Africa Forum” and we want to encourage critical thinking among the youth as they engage in matters affecting our country and stimulate them to imagine the future of Africa and what role they wish to play in shaping its future,’ said Mkhize.

‘We will host lectures and seminars and invite leaders, professionals and various personalities to initiate debate and get the youth to propose solutions to the challenges of our country and the African continent. Solutions for the country’s challenges require the participation of all South Africans not just government. This is an effort to create civil society mobilisation to shape the future and the development of leaders to lead us into such a future.

‘We need to connect young leaders with the reality of the life challenges that their education is meant to resolve. There is passion and anger among the youth. With so much youth energy there is guidance the youth need for their energies to be positive and productive.

‘Youth is our best asset and the best guarantee for a positive future. We therefore need to invest heavily on youth development and the creation of an environment that will build a leadership of integrity steeped in the best of human values, which is also a product of knowledge acquisition and intellectual development programmes as well as to have a full grasp of the philosophy of progressive Pan-Africanism,’ said Mkhize.

Panelists on the Forum were a History Lecturer at Rhodes University,  Dr Nomalanga Mkhize; the Progressive Youth in Business National Head Strategy and Organisational Development Officer; Dr Bandile Hadebe; the African National Congress Youth League Provincial Secretary, Mr Thanduxolo Sabelo, and CEO of MiET Africa, Mr Nhlanhla Ngubane.

The event was broadcast on Gagasi FM and enjoyed by participants.

Raylene Captain Hasthibeer and Meliqiniso Sibisi

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