South African Cultural Observatory National Conference

Dr. Narissa Ramdhani

Dr. Narissa Ramdhani is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Ifa Lethu Foundation of South Africa, a national organisation devoted to the entrepreneurial development of creative practitioners in South Africa, especially youth. Her previous positions have included directorships of special projects for former late President Nelson Mandela, Research centres at the Universities of Durban-Westville and KwaZulu-Natal, with fellowships at Yale University, Michigan State University and University of Connecticut.

Given her vast experience, she has been invited to share her expertise on youth and creativity with the United Nations and with countries such as Poland, Spain, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile and the USA. She has also served on many South African and Global Boards as Chairperson and Deputy-Chairperson. While starting out with deep involvement in academia at institutions such as the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal(SA), Yale and Connecticut(USA), especially in the areas of politics and international relations, Dr. Ramdhani moved into the areas of Business, Financial Investment, Cultural Heritage and Entrepreneurial Development upon her appointment to the Ifa Lethu Foundation. Her association with the late former President Nelson Mandela’s special projects and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, have resulted in her providing her related expertise to bodies such as the United Nations, and countries such as Poland, Spain, Chile, the USA, Germany and India. As a result she has received numerous fellowships and has served on many national and global Boards.

Her passionate involvement in economic empowerment of rural women and youth through her implementation of the entrepreneurship programmes in fashion, craft , fossilised heritage and the visual arts over the last eight years, has resulted in many success stories for South Africa such as the creation of business opportunities for such rural women and youth on the continent and beyond. Her work in rural industrialisation through the creative sectors and her contribution to rural development and employment creation has resulted in her receipt of global accolades such as the Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of Connecticut. Her recent involvement with the FTSE 100 companies in the UK/Ifa Lethu Investment in South Africa Projects has seen investment being encouraged for creative youth in South Africa. She is currently involved in the finalisation of digital creative partnerships between the BBC at Media City, and the University of Salford in Manchester and South Africa.

This has been enhanced by her recent appointment as the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Chile in South Africa. This latter appointment has resulted in her taking on a more aggressive role in encouraging trade and investment between Chile and South Africa as well as bi-national projects on youth development.

Narissa Ramdhani

Narissa Ramdhani

Cultural Observatory issues call for National Conference papers

January 31, 2017: THE SOUTH African Cultural Observatory (SACO) today announced the theme for its national conference of the arts, heritage and culture sectors.

2016 National Conference Highlights

Watch the SACO 'National Conference 2016 - Counting Culture' highlights video featuring interviews with some of the speakers and participants; and conference insights and lessons.

About the South African Cultural Observatory

Led by the Department of Arts and Culture, and hosted by NMMU, the SACO is a statistical research institute which charts the impact of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa.

Address: 21-23 Donkin Street, Donkin Creative Precinct, Central, Port Elizabeth
Tel: +27 (0)41 504 4930