EThekwini Municipality is gearing up to host the esteemed Innovation Durban Festival from 4 to 6 October 2017 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Festival will provide a platform to discuss factors that will help sustain the competitiveness of the City.

The three-day conference is also aimed at empowering the youth and will bring together creative minds from different sectors to deliberate on a number of innovative and people-centered development based topics.

Themed: “Creating a future Durban”, the Festival will display a collaboration of local innovation and development in urban renewal, information and communications technology as well as infrastructure sectors with a touch of electric art and design.

Technology experts from global and local partners will share their skills on the role youth can play to enhance the social and economic profile of the City. The work of talented youth who were winners of the Innovation Challenge held earlier this year will also be profiled.

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said innovation has been identified as one of the key drivers of local economic development and job creation. And as such the Municipality has initiated the Innovate Durban Programme to enhance economic growth and job creation, she said.

“This is one of the key programmes we use to enhance the culture of innovation in business, urging aspiring entrepreneurs to drive the radical economic transformation agenda in eThekwini.  With the Innovation Festival we want to ensure that our residents are exposed to important knowledge and skills to improve their quality of life,” said Mayor Gumede.

The Festival will feature a number of esteemed business specialists including Jonathan Ayache, General Manager of Uber and Dr Craig McLeod co-founder of Build, a website company working closely with Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Running simultaneously with the Festival will be youth seminars aimed to help the youth address socio-economic challenges using modern devices. Topics include ‘Internet for all digital divide’ by Durban Global Shapers as well ‘Revolutionary Technology’ by The MakerSpace.

Mayor Gumede said she is confident that the line-up of experts will prove invaluable to the youth and other participants. “They will lead the way on how we can work together towards creating a sustainable and competitive City while building a nurturing environment for generations to come,” she added.