Johannesburg hosting African Presidential Roundtable


From May 23 to 25, Johannesburg will be playing host to the African Presidential Roundtable 2012, at the University of Witwatersrand.

“As a city destination, we’re delighted to be partnering with Boston University’s African Presidential Center, previously known as APARC – the African Presidential Archives and Research Center – to host such a relevant, high-profile conference,” said Phelisa Mangcu, Acting CEO of Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC). “Moreover, it’s appropriate that as one of our illustrious universities, Wits will be hosting such an important conference in its 90th anniversary year!”

“Joburg prides itself as being a gateway and a hub on the African continent, but even more important – and in line with the City’s GDS 2040 – is the issue of facilitating and driving economic growth and development. We’re proud to be associated with an event of this caliber, which has the potential to positively impact not only our city, but the entire continent,” said Mangcu, “While we look forward to the serious business of successfully hosting this event, we also relish the opportunity to showcase Joburg as a wonderfully diverse city, which has plenty on offer to interest travelers on many different levels.”

As part of the support rendered to the conference, JTC will be providing city tours to the students attending the conference. “Although it’s important for us to market our destination to many different target audiences, this is a prime opportunity to expose these visiting students to what Joburg has to offer in terms of lifestyle and educational opportunities. Our academic institutions play an integral part in adding to the value of Joburg’s urban tourism proposition. Not only do they attract students to our city, but they also assist in creating awareness of Joburg’s credentials to host important international academic conferences and meetings,” explained Mangcu.

The focus for the African Presidential Roundtable 2012 is “21st Century Energy Agenda for Africa,” as a follow-up to last year’s energy discussion in Mauritius. The issue of energy is one of Africa’s most pressing challenges, which if left unresolved, has the potential to bring development to a standstill in otherwise successful countries. If solved, it has the potential to drive development on the continent to unprecedented levels. This year’s African Presidential Roundtable will focus on how governments, institutions, and individuals can aid in bringing Africa closer to achieving a resolution to this pressing dilemma.

This multi-continental conversation involves former African heads of state, diplomats, industry leaders, international dignitaries, as well students and faculty members from the United States, Europe, and Africa. Of the former African leaders that have retired through a democratic process, the African Presidential Center expects that fourteen of them will be in attendance at the Roundtable 2012.

Johannesburg, represented by the Johannesburg Tourism Company, is a member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), a new grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. ( ).