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Big business and ordinary residents have all been urged to support Joburg’s bid to host the 2012 One Young World Summit.
JOBURG has proved it has what it takes to host top events. With the lion’s share of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ under its belt, as well as conferences such as Meetings Africa, the city has confirmed it can compete with other world-class venues.


JTC CEO Lindiwe KweleHelp Joburg secure bid to host One Young World summit, says JTC CEO Lindiwe KweleThis, however, does not guarantee that global events will just fall into its lap; the city has to put in strong bids and actively campaign for hosting rights. At the moment, the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) is in the middle of a busy campaign to win the bid for Joburg to host the 2012 One Young World Summit – and it is calling on the city’s residents to get behind it.

To boost this support, the JTC hosted a breakfast at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandhurst on 30 June.

“We used this breakfast as an opportunity to bring all the important stakeholders together that make Joburg and Gauteng great,” said the chief executive officer of the JTC, Lindiwe Kwele. “We can change the face of Africa by using these events as catalysts and to dispel myths about Africa.

“We also want to create awareness to help Joburg secure the bid for the 2012 One Young World Summit,” she said.

One Young World is a forum for young people of leadership calibre, whose purpose is to connect the brightest youth and ensure that their concerns and solutions are taken seriously by people in power. Debate focuses on business, media, environment, interfaith dialogue, health and political leadership development.

World leaders and icons such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former UN leader Kofi Annan and musician Bob Geldof support the initiative and act as counsellors to the young delegates.

The inaugural summit was held in London in 2010, with 823 delegates coming from 114 countries. It is expected that this year’s conference, being held in Zurich in September, will attract up to 1 600 delegates from 194 countries.

At the first conference, six resolutions were tabled as the most pressing contemporary issues: political leaders need to make clear their stances on humanitarian issues; global business to define and act on their role in the fight against poverty; leaders and followers of all faiths to commit to delivering peace among all nations, races and creeds; media to use its influence to help protect truth and personal freedom; governments to take more legislative action to guarantee that carbon emissions reduction targets are agreed on and met by 2020; and businesses, governments and civil society to work together to prioritise health care and nutrition.

These resolutions will remain on top of the agenda at future summits.

Kwadwo Ofori Owusu, the convening ambassador for One Young World South Africa, spoke of the usefulness of a conference that focused on the youth. “Young people are taking it upon themselves to bring about change, and showing the commitment to turning their world into a better place.”
Hosting the conference in Johannesburg would be an important step in the South African and African context. “As Africans, we need to take a meaningful role in the global agenda, and this conference will help support African leaders,” Kwele said.

And this is why securing the bid to host the event is so important to the JTC. To be considered, the Johannesburg Convention and Events Bureau, which is in charge of the bid, was told that more commitment from the city was needed. This commitment takes the form of sponsoring delegates to attend this year’s gathering.

Companies were being targeted as potential sponsors; AngloGold Ashanti, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, the International Marketing Council, Barclays and Zurich, among others, had already pledged their support.

“I am hoping people will pledge support, and am asking everyone to dig deep,” Kwele said. “The future is looking bright but we need to take it a step further and work together to advance our agenda.”

Big corporations are not the people needed to support the bid, though. All Joburgers can get involved and back their city; all you need to do is visit the One Young World Joburg Facebook fan page.

Owusu encouraged people to be supportive: “2012 is the year One Young World should see the Jozi skyline.”

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