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Joburg emerges as favourite to host One Young World 2012

Joburg emerges as favourite to host One Young World 2012

Joburg has emerged as one of the frontrunners to host the One Young World Summit in 2012, a dynamic global platform for young leaders making a difference in their communities.

The purpose of the event is to connect and bring together the youngest, brightest and best minds the world over, to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard. The first OYW Summit was held in London in 2010, and this year Zurich will be welcoming 1,600 delegates from 194 countries to the 2011 gathering, which takes place over four days in September.

(Young tour guides from Alexandra Township show Miss Germany, Miss Holland, Miss Spain and Miss Uruguay around Alex San Kopano community centre)

“While the jury’s still out on which city will host the global One Young World Summit in 2012, Johannesburg is a frontrunner in the race, confident that it will be bringing this exciting event to Joburg next year,” says Lindiwe Kwele, CEO of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC).

Clinching the bid for 2012 would deliver a multitude of benefits to Johannesburg.

Kwele added: “Africa is the continent which has the largest proportion (20 percent) of youth – as a demographic component of population – and it would be significant to host this event on a continent which so many young people call home and which offers so many opportunities and challenges.  As the African continent’s most accessible hub and vibrant business locations, Joburg makes sense as an appropriate destination to inspire youthful leadership, networking and brainstorming solutions to issues across the spectrum – from healthcare, development, finance and business – to social issues and politics.”

(Brazil on the attack at the Football for Hope tournament in Alex)

“What differentiates One Young World from other youth summits is that young leaders are making real-time, tangible change the world over, and being recognised for their efforts,” says Catherine Peter, Africa Director for OYW. 

She adds, “What One Young World really is, is a brilliant network of extraordinary shared accountability, a rare and unique platform to engage the world’s youth on what matters now, and what will matter the most, tomorrow.”

As a city, Joburg is a youthful one - with 42 percent of the population under 24 and 49 percent under the age of 34 – making for a vibrant, energetic and enterprising community.  In keeping with this demographic, South Africa’s commitment to youth development is significant, demonstrated by a host of youth development initiatives supported by both the public and the private sector. From a national perspective, South Africa boasts youth participation and representation in Parliament, while at a city level, Johannesburg has community-based youth advisory centres, managed from the Mayor’s Office.

(Before the kick-off, Football for Hope)

“The opportunity to host One Young World in Johannesburg will provide us with the platform to share ideas on the importance of developing youth into future leaders, learning from both developing and developed countries,” continues Kwele.

“Johannesburg Convention and Events Bureau, a division of Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC), is facilitating the bidding process, working alongside relevant partners and stakeholders to ensure a successful One Young World Summit in 2012.”

(Young tour guides gained qualifications as part of their training to host tourists during the 2010 Fifa World Cup)

One Young World projects have been presented at the United Nations dealing with these six prominent issues and many world leaders including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, as well as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have engaged with One Young World Ambassadors and their projects offering instrumental insight and wisdom to them.

One outstanding project by South African Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh engages student leaders from universities across Africa in championing the African Renaissance, building on the historic influence of students who have been responsible for some of the world’s great paradigm shifts.

Another saw Nigerian, South African and Russian One Young World ambassadors present with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at UN Headquarters on conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue in achieving some of the world’s greatest development targets including the Millennium Development Goals. Others are engaging their corporate leaders in changing the way business is done, to better reflect the authenticity demands of our generation and urgent need to address climate change.

To support Joburg’s bid to host the One Young World Summit in 2012, click on