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South African Youth at International Festival

PRESS RELEASE, NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, 11 NOVEMBER 2010

South Africa to host the largest international youth festival in Pretoria from 13 – 21 December 2010

Preparations are well underway for South Africa to host the largest international youth festival in Pretoria next month. Building on the success of South Africa’s hosting of the Fifa 2010 World Cup 2010, the country will again be playing host to the largest and most significant youth event on the international calendar. South Africa has been chosen to host the 17th World Festival of Youth & Students from 13 – 21 December 2010 following a bidding process which was led by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

“This is the first time in the 65 year history of this very significant international youth conference that it will be held in Southern Africa, and that the conference will have a specific focus on issues relevant to youth from the African continent,” says NYDA Executive Chairperson Andile Lungisa. 

The conference held under the theme, Let’s defeat imperialism, for a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation is aimed at uniting the youth of the world for peace, solidarity and social transformation to create a world free of human rights abuses and creation of sustainable environments. It will raise critical current issues in order to impact the shaping of policies of governments and the world. The conference will also serve as a platform for youth to share ideas and exchange information.

The World Festival of Youth and Students is organised every four years by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) in one of its 153 member countries. Its status as the most significant and important international youth events is attributed to the large numbers of youth and students delegates it attracts to conferences all over the world. It is important because of the issues it raises and the impact they have in shaping policies of governments of the world.

WFDY President Tiago Vieira explains that the objective of WFDY is to unite the youth of the world and mobilise them around the banner of promoting universal principles of peace, freedom and social transformation to create a world free of human rights abuses and creation of sustainable environments.

Viera says, “We believe that the youth of South Africa have a major contribution to make towards shaping government policies locally and internationally in the interest of advancing solidarity, peace and democracy, which form the foundation for social and economic development for young people.”

Approximately 30,000 delegates from South Africa and the world are expected to attend the nine day event which will be held in Gauteng. The conference will take place in institutions of higher learning within the province. The programme includes daily conference sessions which will focus on social, political and economic issues facing today’s youth. A cultural  programme will also take place including concerts featuring local and international performing artists from all the regions represented by WFDY, an international poetry and song contest, a young filmmaker’s meeting, the “scoring for friendship, solidarity and social transformation” soccer tournament and the “running for friendship, solidarity and social transformation” marathon. Delegates will also participate in a march to Constitution Hill and explore themes of justice with a week long operation of a “mock court”.

Various programmes will take place in the run up to the 17th World Festival for Youth & Students, such as the “Battle of Ideas” public talks, which will take place in all regions of the country to allow all our youth to participate in contributing towards the themes and content for this important conference.

The NYDA has established a National Preparatory Committee (NPC) which is the anchor institution to facilitate the successful hosting of the event. The NPC is responsible for the planning, organisation and execution of the programmes for the event. The NPC is constituted of various youth organisations that are affiliated to the World Federation of Democratic Youth and government institutions including the Department of International Relations and Co-operations, The Presidency as well as the City of Johannesburg.

It is expected that the festival will have tremendous benefits for the youth of South Africa through this festival being hosted in the country. “We anticipate improved consolidation of our own national agenda for youth development and empowerment in South Africa and the strengthening of international partnerships and networking opportunities for South African youth with like minded youth leaders from around the world,” says Minister in The Presidency Collins Chabane.

The economic benefits from hosting the event in terms of foreign spending in the country for the duration of the event and the extensive campaigns for universal access to education and campaigns against xenophobia, racism and other related intolerances are also part of the key and envisaged outcomes of the festival.


For media enquiries contact:

Siyabonga Magadla
National Youth Development Agency

083 686 9016
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Harold Maloka
Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration

082 847 9799
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Issued by: Marketing & Communications: 17th World Festival of Youth & Students

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