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“Successful South Africa-India Youth Forum 2023 Connects Global Youth”

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

The International Youth Edu-Skills Foundation (IYESF) and the South African BRICS Youth Association (SABYA) joined forces to host the South Africa-India Youth Forum 2023, a remarkable virtual event that took place on November 4, 2023, over Zoom. This forum brought together 50 passionate and talented young participants, 25 from each country, selected from each country through a competitive selection process, who engaged in meaningful discussions on key global issues.

Distinguished speakers and experts graced the forum, each sharing their insights and experiences in three core thematic areas:

Entrepreneurship and Business Development:

- Dumile Le Roux, CEO of EmpowaYouth

- Peridhi Bhandari, Founder of Molyar Partner LLP

Climate Change:

- Pheladi Chiloane, CEO of SolaGeyza

Innovation and Skills Development: Call for Educational Exchange Programmes:

- Prof. Siphamandla Zondi, Professor at UJ: Department of Politics and International Relations

- Dr. Shalini Bahuguna Bachheti, Associate Professor & Dean, School of Law at Himgiri Zee University

The program commenced with Lebohang Nkambule as the Programme Director and warm welcome speeches from Mr. Raymond Matlala, Founder and Executive Chairman of SABYA, and Mr. Akil Mohammad, Founder and Chairperson of IYESF, who also delivered an inspiring presentation of the eagerly awaited "World Youth Festival 2024."

Attendees were treated to a video presentation showcasing the cultural and traditional highlights of South Africa and India, setting the stage for a day of insightful discussions. The Speed Networking Session provided participants with valuable opportunities to make meaningful connections.

The heart of the event was a Panel Discussion featuring esteemed experts and speakers. Topics included Entrepreneurship and Business Development, Climate Change, and Innovation and Skills Development, emphasizing the need for educational exchange programs.

Subsequently, participants engaged in fruitful group discussions in breakout sessions with facilitators, moderators, and experts, aligning with the forum's objectives:

  • Creating a space for co-learning about South Africa and India relations.

  • Promoting intercultural understanding.

  • Establishing a platform for the youth of both nations to engage in meaningful discussions on BRICS issues at a bilateral level.

  • Providing global engagement opportunities for youth.

  • Encouraging young people to play a pivotal role in climate activism.

  • Developing a sustainable program consisting of working commissions.

The forum achieved several significant outcomes:

  1. The establishment of a working group for the development and implementation of new projects between India and South Africa, with the forum participants actively involved.

  2. The creation of a platform for regular interaction and information exchange to sustain the initiated dialogue.

  3. Plans to organize Hackathons between South African and Indian youth to foster innovation and collaboration.

The event concluded with a feedback and Q&A session involving organizers and participants. Mr. Rahul Sharma, Director of International and Regional Projects at IYESF, and Ms. Lethiwe Maritz delivered closing remarks, acknowledging the Forum's achievements.

About the "South Africa-India Youth Forum 2023":

This event served as a platform for the youth of South Africa and India to exchange ideas and experiences, focusing on crucial issues. The forum revolved around three core thematic areas: Entrepreneurship and Business Development, Climate Change, and Innovation and Skills Development. Its objectives included promoting intercultural understanding, encouraging global engagement, and empowering young people to lead in climate activism.

Key objectives included creating a space for cross-cultural learning about South Africa and India relations, promoting intercultural understanding, and establishing a platform for meaningful discussions on BRICS issues at a bilateral level. The Forum also aimed to provide global engagement opportunities for youth, encourage their active role in climate activism, and develop sustainable programs.

The South Africa-India Youth Forum 2023 was a resounding success, uniting youth, fostering global connections, and empowering young minds to create a better future for all.

About the World Youth Festival 2024:

The event also featured a sneak peek into the monumental "World Youth Festival 2024", set to unite more than 180 countries from across the globe. This festival promises a unique opportunity for youth to connect with like-minded peers, make new friends worldwide, and engage in a diverse range of activities.

About the Organizations:

- The International Youth Edu-Skills Foundation (IYES Foundation): A not-for-profit, non-commercial and non-government youth organization registered under the charitable Indian Trusts Act, 1882, Government of India. IYES Foundation aims to empower and motivate youth through education, skills, employment, and entrepreneurship and involve young people to solve the world’s toughest problems with their full potential and work towards building a brighter future and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. IYES Foundation has organized various programs and realized projects in the interest of youth. The Foundation also became one of the winners of the international award “We are Together” in 2021 for organizing a humanitarian project "COVID Help Store".

- The South African BRICS Youth Association (hereafter, SABYA) is a non-profit organization registered with the Department of Social Development in South Africa (205-671 NPO). SABYA is a youth-led organization that focuses on promoting youth development, international relations and cooperation, entrepreneurship, and innovation in South Africa and in other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). SABYA aims to create opportunities for young people to engage with each other, share best practices, and collaborate on projects that address key challenges facing their communities and respective countries. The organization also seeks to enhance cultural exchange and promote mutual understanding among youth from different BRICS nations.

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