For the first time in Africa, over 100 influential thought leaders from the continent and beyond will gather in Cape Town for the first Sustain our Africa Summit, Expo and Festival in October this year to debate and present solutions to the biggest question of all: Can Africa deliver enough for all, forever?
Sustain our Africa will unify powerful voices by a shared vision to affect positive environmental, social and economic change in Africa. This annual event ultimately aims to make sustainable development a reality throughout Africa and will be held at the V&A Waterfront from 22nd to 28th October 2012.
Endorsed by the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Provincial Government, this gathering of dynamic leaders will inspire and guide African sustainability in a way that will kick-start new global thinking that leads to change through action.
africa’s green economic hub
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will open the Summit on Wednesday 24 October. The Western Cape Government has recognized the initiative as “making an important contribution to positioning the Western Cape as Africa’s Green Economic Hub, as well as to Cape Town in particular as the communications platform for sustainability on the continent.” The Premier will also host a high profile networking dinner as part of the Summit programme.
The City of Cape Town’s Alderman Belinda Walker has also lent her support to the event, and will be sharing some of the City’s commitments and deliverables towards sustainability during the opening. Alderman Walker has emphasised the building of city resilience and inclusivity; “We are looking to Sustain our Africa to produce innovative solutions to address the increasingly daunting challenges facing sustainable development in Cape Town and beyond.”
The Sustain Our Africa Summit, Expo and Festival is an invitation to open your mind and heart in a week that will create an inspirational and extraordinary platform for thought leaders and critical realists who are going to shake up the current reality in a remarkable way.
Inspirational African sustainability stories, challenges and successes will be presented to the world at the Sustain our Africa Summit. The line-up includes a formidable array of thinkers, doers and innovators in the global sustainability arena that will specifically address awareness, inspiration and tools for change. The first two days of the Summit programme will include discussions and debates encouraging awareness and inspiration for change. The third day consists of a series of breakaway Changerooms – workshops aimed at providing participants with tools for change through practical think-tank sessions covering sustainability across finance, food security, communications and entrepreneurship.
outrageous, exquisite experiences
The dialogue will be led by change agents who have the expertise to guide Africa towards a sustainable future. In their experience lie the solutions – some outrageous and some exquisite in their simplicity but all revolutionary in their power to affect positive change – to the continent’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges.
“Our intention is to re-invent sustainability gatherings in a way that creates new solutions, builds new markets, drives practical action and provides the tools to address the interconnected threats of climate change, resource depletion, food shortages, flood and drought and inequality that could further deepen grinding poverty in parts of Africa. Even more importantly, we want to reinforce the reality that environmental and social threats resulting from our poor management of the planet are issues that need to be tackled,” says Deon Robbertze, co-founder of Sustain our Africa.
The communications portal CHANGE AGENT is the official mouthpiece of the annual Sustain Our Africa event, exploring sustainable options in Africa in an original and provocative way, designed to activate change. This visually dynamic collective will be packed with some of the best and most intriguing stories of resilience and evidence of change being shared at the Sustain our Africa Summit and beyond.
Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative says, “I’ve worked with the team behind Sustain our Africa since 2008 when we prepared Cape Town Green Week together. They bring remarkable energy, vision and passion that simply lift the impact of their activities way above what we normally see. Sustain our Africa is a must-attend if you are serious about African sustainability.”
“Whether your interest stems from a business, political or civil society perspective your invitation is to participate by attending the Summit, Expo and Festival and become an agent of change. Everyone who attends will be empowered with new ideas, innovative solutions and practical tools to address the interconnected threats of climate change, resource depletion, food shortages and economic inequality,” concludes Robbertze.
developing the right, local solutions
The weeklong event’s headline partner is Siemens, the world’s largest provider of environmental technologies. “We need to talk about the environmental and social issues that Africa faces and take action to overcome the challenges presented by climate change. We need a platform like the Sustain Our Africa Summit, where we can all come together to discuss the issues that we face and develop the right, local solutions”, says Alex Mathole, the Executive Director of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs of Siemens Africa. The Siemens Profile Awards – the annual pan-African competition which honours journalists who excel in the fields of science and technology reporting – will take place at the Sustain Our Africa Summit on 26 October.
Local restaurant moyo has embraced the event which is in line with their ethos of local, sustainably sourced food and the new moyo African Street Food Souk will be the venue for all of the Summit’s lunches & evening networking events, combining the moyo experience with a dynamic fast paced food market. The new moyo will showcase the restaurant’s sustainable approach to suppliers and will introduce its self-sustainable aquaponic farming system. The venue will also host to the public expo on its second floor space.
Sustain our Africa is supported by sponsors such as Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Blended Capital Group, Globescan, Ogilvyearth, Green Building Council, Green Talent, with logistics partners Dimension Data, Puma, Bos Ice Tea, Green Renaissance, Greenpop, Steadfast Greening, Internet Solutions, Graduate School of Business and AVIS.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead