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ONE WORLD FESTIVAL FOR DURBAN (article first published : 2008-07-2)

The fourth annual One World Festival returns to Durban at the end of July with three distinct areas of focus aimed at building bridges between New Orleans and sister city Durban: a business forum, a medical expo and what promises to be an awesome music concert.

These three events cumulatively will forge relationships between New Orleans and Durban – the concert will showcase the best gospel and Afro-rock and jazz music from the two continents; The One World Festival Business Breakfast Forum will provide an excellent networking opportunity for business representatives from both cities, and the One World Festival Medical Expo will facilitate the sharing of knowledge between US and SA medical practitioners.

The anchor event is a music concert featuring gospel star Kirk Franklin, Musiq Soulchild, Busi Mhlongo, Rahsaan Patterson, HHP, Judith Sephume & Selealo Seloto, New Orleans brass band Soul Rebels, Siphokazi, Lira, KB, DJ Tira, DJ Celo and many others.

“The One World Festival is a unique international cultural experience that incorporates music, food, visual arts and crafts of the world that will provide a true one world experience of inclusion for all in attendance” affirms Karlton Kirksey – Partner SAIG Entertainment in New Orleans – one of the organizers of the event.

A contingent of stakeholders from New Orleans recently came to Durban to celebrate the festival and to meet with city representatives and civic leaders. Earlier this month, the Mayor of New Orleans, Mayor C Ray Nagin, and a delegation of business, culture, city and faith leaders from New Orleans came to Durban on the invitation of Mayor Mlaba, to pave the way for the annual festival in July. Mayor Nagin met with Mayor Mlaba to share ideas and experiences as sister cities – with special reference to business opportunities and health issues which are two of the areas of focus of the cultural exchange. They also formally re-signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the two cities.

The 2008 One World Festival intends to build bridges and create relationships between New Orleans and Durban. The festival serves to create awareness about an ambitious and far-reaching initiate which aims to generate tourism jobs in the long-term, create cultural connections and be the impetus for economic engines between the two dynamic cities.

The One World Festival will host a business breakfast forum on July 25, 2008, to discuss potential for business links and investment opportunities between American business people and South Africans. New Orleans is considered a special events mecca – a mantle which Durban, with its increased branding as an events city, would be keen to wear. Experts will be on hand to share knowledge on aspects of successful eventing. This promises to be useful in the lead up to 2010. Representatives from industry, commerce and eventing service providers will be present to engage with Durban delegates.

There will be a one-day medical expo in the form of an info-sharing forum and free clinic hosted by a committee of medical professionals headed by KZN Health Department working together with Dr Corey Hebert – a New Orleans-based pediatrician, which will take place on July 26. The medical workshop will focus on four specific medical issues: HIV/AIDS; obesity; hypertension and diabetes. The latest in literature and technology will be available. The public is warmly invited to attend the expo to engage with the medical professionals.

Booking for the concert is through Computicket nationwide. For more information, visit www.dowfestival.com and www.southfricaninvestmentgroup.com




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