Gearhouse Group has announced the renaming of their Training facility to the Kentse Mpahlwa Gearhouse Training Academy with the aim of furthering the legacy left by late Gearhouse director and colleague, Kentse Mpahlwa.
Sandton Convention Centre hosts the Global African Diaspora Summit
The Sandton Convention Centre’s expertise in hosting global summits was again showcased when the venue was selected to host the ground breaking Global African Diaspora Summit in May 2012. The summit was a highlight for the African continent and a triumph for South Africa, having been given the mandate by the African Union to organise and manage the event that holds such powerful significance for people of African descent the world over.
The summit, which was held on 25 May to coincide with Africa Day, attracted more than 500 delegates, who included Heads of State from 14 countries and ministers and other dignitaries from 69 countries, of which 50 were African countries. Included in the African Diaspora are 16 Caribbean countries, South American nations, Europe and America. The African Union has defined the African Diaspora as "consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.”
The aim of the large-scale event was to bring Africans in the Diaspora together to develop policy frameworks that will enable people of African descent to participate in the development of Africa and to share experiences in uniting African people together, in a bid to contribute to the sustainable development of the African continent.
The Sandton Convention Centre was selected as a venue that was equipped with skills, facilities and experience to handle an event of this magnitude. Mati Nyazema, Sandton Convention Centre’s Executive Director stated, “It was a great privilege for the Sandton Convention Centre to be involved in this summit that represented history in the making; we were extremely proud to be able to provide the necessary service for this summit that has the upliftment of this continent at the heart of its goals.”
“With the robust experience we have built up over the years, the Sandton Convention Centre team pride ourselves on our ability to host any type of event. We have also developed strong relationships with stakeholders, and we fully understand what it takes to run an event of this size,” says Nyazema.
Sandton Convention Centre has hosted many multi-national events, the most recent of which are the second African Tripartite Summit in June last year, which attracted 26 Heads of State; Southern African Development Community (SADC) conferences in both 2008 and 2009; high level FIFA World Cup meetings and functions in 2010; and many more.
“Apart from the professional expertise and myriad of services we were able to offer at the Global African Diaspora Summit, we also have the strong benefit that we are located in the heart of the Sandton business district. For instance, the location of the rapid-rail Gautrain service enabled the movement of delegates between Pretoria, OR Tambo airport and Sandton, ensuring easy and quick access to the events at the SCC,” explains Nyazema.
On the eve of the summit on 24 May, an SABC Morning Live breakfast was hosted in the Sandton Convention Centre ballroom by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. The television panel included Dr Erica Bennett from Ghana, Brian Dames, CEO of Eskom Holdings, and Advocate Alfred Sears from the Bahamas. Later that same evening, the Diaspora summit banquet was held in the Ballroom and was hosted by President Zuma for 700 people, including all the attending heads of state and dignitaries.
In the closing address to the Summit on 25 May, President Jacob Zuma commended the African Union for putting together an event which is close to the hearts of all Africans who really care for the development of this continent, and stated, “Once again, as Africans, we have asserted our shared descendancy; our shared vision; our shared history; our shared experience, and our shared commitment to overcome the challenges faced by our people on the African continent.”