6 Power Women from the AWIEF Conference You Should be Following

logo of The AWIEF Awards

Africa’s number one female entrepreneurship conference and exhibition, AWIEF, for the fourth year running hosted one of the biggest gatherings of female entrepreneurs, thought leaders, industry experts, academics, development organisations, and investors.

The goal of the conference is  to accelerate the growth of women-owned businesses across the 54 African countries.

The two-day conference which ends today gives some of the continent’s most powerful women a platform to discuss challenges and opportunities on the continent across all sectors including, financial services, agriculture, energy, health, health and entrepreneurship.

In this year’s list of speakers there are many familiar faces and some that are new. Below are the speakers and thought leaders we will be following on Linkedin as the conference draws to a close.

Mamokgethi Phakeng

Mamokgethi Phakeng is Professor of Mathematics Education and Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has published over 80 reviewed articles and five edited volumes.

Spoke on: Fostering transformation and growth: education and skills for innovation

Follow here.

Saidah Nash Carter

Saidah Nash Carter, is head of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa, whose job it is to identify and shape the trends that will disrupt its business and those of its customers. She heads up the Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab in Cape Town, South Africa. The lab, named Thomson Reuters Labs – Cape Town, enables the company engage with the region’s innovation ecosystem and startup community to fuel growth and empower success for its customers worldwide.

Spoke on: Innovation and industry disruptions: 4IR, big data, blockchain & artificial intelligence

Follow here.

Bisila “BB” Bokoko

Bisila Bokoko is a Spanish-American entrepreneur, speaker and philanthropist, and also wine entrepreneur. Her business markets and promotes brands internationally. She is the founder of BBES, a business development agency in New York.

Spoke on: Women entrepreneurship success story

Follow here.

Nirmala Reddy

Nirmala Reddy currently holds the position of Senior Manager Enterprise Development at Nedbank. She is responsible for SME support and development within the Enterprise Development and Supplier Development space, including strategy and execution. Reddy joined Nedbank’s Transactional Banking team in 2004 to focus on public sector business.

Spoke on: Entrepreneurship development and SMEs

Follow here.

Lelemba (Chitembo) Phiri

Lelemba Phiri is an award winning educator, writer, keynote speaker and gender-lens angel investor. She is the Principal at the Africa Trust Group that takes a holistic approach to investing in women by investing in both the woman entrepreneur and the enterprise; and facilitating their access to markets and critical business tools. She is also a shareholder (and the current board chair) for Zoona Zambia, an African mobile payments business that provides financial services where they are needed most.

Spoke on: Mobilising startup finance and financial inclusion

Follow here.

Taki Netshitenzhe

Taki Netshitenzhe is a executive director at Vodacom South Africa and Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs of the Vodacom Group. She spent 20 years in government mainly as a lawyer and Policy advisor in the security cluster.

Spoke on: Creating value for women in agribusiness

Follow here.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3