Student leaders from SU to represent South Africa at G20 Youth Summit in Russia

An Economics lecturer and two third-year students from Stellenbosch University (SU) are among the young leaders who have been selected to represent South Africa at the G20 Youth Summit next month in Russia.

Flying the flag: Stellenbosch University is sending three representatives to the G20 Youth Summit in Russia. Looking forward to the trip are (f.l.t.r.) Economics lecturer Kholekile Malindi, Sandy Majola and Emma Johannes, both third-year students, with the Rector, Prof Russel Botman.

Flying the flag: Stellenbosch University is sending three representatives to the G20 Youth Summit in Russia. Looking forward to the trip are Economics lecturer Kholekile Malindi, Sandy Majola and Emma Johannes (far right), both third-year students, with the Rector, Prof Russel Botman (photo: Anton Jordaan)

Kholekile Malindi, Emma Johannes and Sandy Majola will be joining 150 to 200 of the best students and young experts in the field of international relations, economics, finance and law when they gather in St Petersburg to attend the summit.

The G20 Youth Summit is a global forum that emulates the mainstream Group of Twenty summits. It brings young leaders from G20 member nations together to discuss innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, which are then shared with G20 policy makers. South Africa is the only African member of the G20.

“An amazing opportunity!” is how lecturer Kholekile describes the prospect. “The intercultural aspect of the event – to sit down with people from so many different countries and cultures –  is extremely exciting.”

The Maties will be sponsored by SU and will be accompanied by representatives from the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand.

Kholekile, who joined the Department of Economics at SU last year, has recently completed his Master’s degree at the same Department. Having matriculated at Edgemead High School in the Cape Peninsula, he made his first acquaintance with Economics while studying BCom Law at the University of the Western Cape. “The subject and the way in which economists view the world captured me. I still find it thrilling.”

Emma Johannes and Sandy Majola are studying for a BA Humanities and a BA International Studies degree respectively. They are looking forward to interact with participants from across the globe. “I am hoping to learn different ways of looking at issues,” Sandy added.

In his congratulatory message, SU Rector Prof Russel Botman said that he is very proud of the three. “Representing South Africa is indeed a huge honour – not only for them but for our institution and the calibre of our lecturers and mentors. We wish them well in Russia and are confident that they will fly the flag high for South Africa.”

The Summit will be held from 17 to 21 April 2013. In 2006, the very first Youth Summit was also held in Saint Petersburg.

In a nutshell

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies worldwide. Collectively, the G20 economies account for more than 80 % of the gross world product (GWP), 80 % of world trade, and two-thirds of the world population.
  • It was established as a forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system.
  • The heads of the G20 nations meet annually at G20 summits. Russia currently holds the chair of the G20, and will host the eighth G20 summit in September 2013.
  • The G20 Youth Summit is a global forum that emulates the mainstream Group of Twenty summits.
  • The Youth Summit 2013 is one of four main events which will run in tandem with each other at the G20 Youth Forum from 17 to 21 April 2013 in St Petersburg, Russia. The Forum will be the largest international event organised for young leaders in 2013, and over 1 500 young leaders, students and academics, representatives of the business world and governments will be participating in it.