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Jay Naidoo, Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Set To Recieve an honourary Doctorate from DUT

Jay Naidoo, Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Set To Recieve an honourary Doctorate from DUT


Media Statement by Alan Khan, Senior Director: Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology

The Durban University of Technology will confer an honorary Doctor of Technology Degree in Engineering and the Built Environment to Jay Naidoo, Chairperson of the global foundation Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in recognition of his contribution to the area of the built environment and his untiring commitment to community welfare issues.

The honourary doctorate is also being conferred to Naidoo in recognition of his invaluable contributions while serving in the South African government; particularly in the area of reconstruction and development, his continuing outstanding contribution to community service and development (locally and internationally) as well as his role as Chairman of GAIN and his service on the Advisory Committee to the Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

“The Durban University of Technology is extremely honoured that Jay Naidoo has accepted our invitation to receive an honorary Doctorate. Jay has made a significant contribution to our nation and his work continues to make a positive impact around the world. We look forward to welcoming him into the DUT family,” said Alan Khan, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at DUT.

Headquartered in Geneva, GAIN is a public-private partnership that brings together United Nations (UN) agencies, private businesses, philanthropic organisations, governments and civil societies around practical programmes in 30 countries worldwide. The organisation is committed to addressing malnutrition which currently affects two billion people in the world.

Born in Durban in December 20, 1954, Naidoo enrolled in the then University of Durban-Westville (now UKZN) in 1975 to study a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. His studies were however interrupted by political unrest at the time. He became active in the now defunct SASO (South African Students Organisation) which was banned in 1977 just after its leader Steve Biko was murdered in police custody. He then became a community-based organiser, working with grassroot civic structures.

In 1979, Naidoo joined the Federation of South African Trade Unions as a volunteer. He was later appointed Secretary General of the Sweet, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (SFAWU). He was at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, which led to the establishment of COSATU, the largest trade union federation in South Africa. He was the founding General Secretary of the trade union in which he served three terms (1985 to 1993).

He then served as Minister, responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme in former President Nelson Mandela’s office from 1994 to1996, and as Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Broadcasting from 1996 to 1999.

He is the co-founder of the J&J Group, a South African investment and management company which was founded in February 2000. The Group also actively supports various social development initiatives through the J&J Group Development Trust which Naidoo set up in 2007.

From 2001-2010, Naidoo was Chairperson of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the premier development finance institution driving infrastructure in the SADC region. From 2003 to 2010, he served as deputy chair and trustee of Lovelife, a non-governmental organisation that is focused on HIV prevention among the youth.

He currently dedicates his time to voluntary work and social activism on a global scale and serves in an advisory capacity in several international organisations including the ITU, UNESCO and the Lead Committee of the UNSG on Nutrition. He also serves on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which focuses on governance in Africa.

Naidoo is currently the Patron of the Scatterlings of Africa, a science education initiative that celebrates Africa’s status as humankind’s ancestral home. He has received many awards, including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour), one of France’s highest decorations. He publishes a blog at His autobiography, Fighting for Justice, is available in leading SA bookstores.

A high resolution picture of Jay Naidoo is available on request from Sinegugu Ndlovu.

For interviews or comment, kindly contact Jay Naidoo through his Executive Assistant, Sharmini Naiker, on 083 777 8059.

The honourary Doctorate will be conferred on Jay Naidoo as follows:

Date: Tuesday, September, 03, 2013.
Time: 13h00
Venue: Fred Crookes Sport Centre, DUT Steve Biko Campus, Steve Biko Road, enter via Gate 5.

Issued by:

Sinegugu Ndlovu
Manager: Communications
Botanic Mansion
Division of Corporate Affairs
Steve Biko Campus
Gate 1

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