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U.S. Mission to South Africa Hosts South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Wildlife Youth Forum 2017

The U.S. Mission to South Africa is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the 2017 SAIIA Wildlife Youth Forum, a regional Youth Summit at the University of the Witwatersrand focusing on wildlife conservation and combatting wildlife trafficking December 6 - 10, 2017.  This program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, is being implemented though a partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).

Bringing together 75 participants from South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the summit will utilize Model United Nations debating principles and structures. SAIIA is replicating a professional diplomatic setting where delegates will negotiate a cohesive youth-led position on wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking. The summit provides a platform for youth to engage on the cross-cutting issues facing the region, developing skills that allow them to express their views and complex ideas in an international setting. 

“We are delighted to partner with SAIIA, and impressed by the strong interest this opportunity garnered among South Africans and young people from across the region. Participants will strengthen their debate and negotiation skills while considering solutions for how best to conserve our incredibly diverse wildlife species, promote economic development, and combat the multi-billion dollar illicit wildlife trade within our borders, across our borders, and globally,” said Jessye Lapenn, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to South Africa. 

Youth@SAIIA is excited to partnering with the US Mission to South Africa to host this dynamic group of young Africans for our first Wildlife Youth Forum.  The conference will provide a platform for youth-led negotiations related to wildlife conservation, trade and trafficking, and intersecting development issues.  The week ahead for our delegates will be both challenging and exciting, and we look forward to the work produced by these outstanding young minds” said Thuli Montana, SAIIA Youth Programmes Officer.

Media are invited to cover the opening ceremony on December 7 from 09:00-10:30 and the forum negotiations on December 8 from 09:00-13:00 at SAIIA, Jan Smuts House, Wits East Campus.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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