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One of the objectives of the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Envision 2030 strategy is to establish mutually beneficial partnerships to contribute towards the ‘improving lives and livelihoods’ of the DUT community and society.  

Working towards this vision is the Department of Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR) at DUT which recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACC). AAR has also received support from Prof Deborah Lutge from the Faculty of Arts and Design considering that the focus of one of the key projects to be undertaken collaboratively will focus on promoting the Arts in Africa.  

The signing of the MoU comes after a series of meetings and engagements since the beginning of the year, 2020. It was signed by DUT’s Deputy-Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovations and Engagement, Professor Sibusiso Moyo and Mr Johnny Muteba, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pan African Chamber of Commerce.  

DUT and PACC have pledged to work together to strengthen, promote and develop African arts and design as well as achieving effective and sustainable development outcomes in Africa.  

This three-year partnership aims to maximise the economic, cultural and development opportunities for the African arts and artists. Both DUT and PACC aim to connect African artists internationally by supporting opportunities that promote and enhance the international reputation and reach of the African arts industry.  

DUT’s Fundraising and Alumni Relations Manager, Mrs Nishie Govender said: “The Advancement and Alumni Relations Department is delighted that the collaboration between DUT and the PACC is gaining traction. This partnership not only provides an opportunity for our Arts and Design students to shine but it also opens up avenues for students within other disciplines to gain exposure within their respective fields. The relationship provides an opportunity for our students to engage with one another thus ensuring a programme of capacity building. It is an honour for DUT to be considered the regional headquarters of the PACC and in contributing to the dialogue on African Arts and Culture. 

Muteba said PACC will assist with leveraging partnerships and networks to promote business development opportunities for African arts internationally.  

He said where possible, PACC will provide access for DUT to the Foundations, Councils and Institutes to explore partnerships opportunities and grants funding.  

The PACC and DUT, as well as other partners have begun talks of collaborating on hosting a Pan African Week which will be a showcase of the various genre of African arts in May of 2021. 

Furthermore, Muteba raised concerns that artists in Africa have limited opportunities to participate in “artist in residency” programme as compared to artists from Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America. He expressed that the contemporary art circles around the world lack knowledge and recognition of African artists. Lack of funding to support the African artists travel costs to attend the residency programme is seen as one factor that is denying these artists the opportunity for growth.  

About the Pan African Chamber of Commerce  

The Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACC) is a confederation of African chambers of commerce and industry, business networks and professional associations. The chamber fosters a vibrant and interconnected business community where collaborations increase capacity, education and enhance the ability and advocacy capacity to influence authorities.

As a continental organisational development company, they specialise in leadership, business and community development. PACC is dedicated to improving the economic environment of the African continent through enhancing the opportunities of businesses, fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship while advocating for business-friendly policy making.  

Pictured from left to right: Paular Dlamini (Founder and CEO Thendric), Johnny Muteba (Founder and CEO of Pan African Chamber of Commerce), Thandeka Zulu (CEO of Niya Consulting), Nishie Govender (Manager: Fundraising and Alumni Relations for the department), Pretty Zulu (Fundraising and Stewardship Officer) and Carissa Agyei (Global Shapers) during one of the meetings that ultimately lead to the signing if the MoU (Picture was taken pre-covid).  

Simangele Zuma  

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