On the 5th and 6th of October this year, an exclusive group of thought leaders, women entrepreneurs, and women in business will convene in Cape Town, South Africa for the 3rd edition of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF). They will be discussing ways to advance the campaign of the pan-African women’s economic empowerment organisation and business network to accelerate the economic empowerment and advancement of women and girls on the continent. The theme of the event, which is scheduled to take place at Century City Conference Centre, is “Equity, Impact and Inclusive Growth towards Agenda 2030.”

The interactive sessions have also been designed to bring together SMEs and MSMEs, corporate companies and business service providers, investors, government officials, international organisations and NGOs.

“AWIEF is your perfect platform to launch a new service or product with government and C-suite corporate executives and decision-makers in attendance and paying attention,” said AWIEF Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Irene Ochem.

The two-day conference will incorporate knowledge and experience-sharing panel discussions, keynote speeches, workshops and breakout sessions covering a variety of topics across different themes.

The exhibition also offers an opportunity for all-sector business services, companies, corporate entities, startups and women-owned enterprises to showcase their products, technologies, innovations, solutions and contributions to the continent’s economy and society. There will also be ample opportunities for small business owners to interact with prominent business leaders, investors and corporate organisations.

This year’s AWIEF event is organised with the support and participation of African Development Bank (AfDB); South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); WESGRO; UN Women; UNDP; Mazars; Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Southern African – Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC); Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Bank of Industry, Nigeria; among other partners.

Apart from Lindiwe Zulu, South African Minister of Small Business Development, Waheed Olagunju, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Nigeria and Judy Dlamini, Founder and Executive Chairman, Mbekani Group, South Africa, other speakers at the event will include:

  • Mohau Pheko, CEO, The Mohau Group and former South African Ambassador to Japan and Canada
  • Michelle Olckers, Managing Partner, Mazars, South Africa
  • Marek Zmyslowski, Frontier and Emerging Markets Online Business Expert, HotelOlga, Nigeria
  • Farai Simoyi, President and Creative Director, Farai Inc., USA
  • Jeanne Groenewald, Founder & Managing Director, Elgin Free Range Chickens, South Africa
  • Annette Rosencreutz, CEO, Brandflight AB, Sweden; Tim Harris, CEO, WESGRO, South Africa
  • Nozipho January-Bardill, Executive Director, Bardill & Associates and former South African Ambassador to Switzerland
  • Sharron MCpherson, Founder and Executive Chair, Women’s Enterprise Development Initiative, South Africa
  • Sarah Collins, Founder of Wonderbag, South Africa
  • Swaady Martin, Founder and CEO YSWARA, South Africa
  • Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO, The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign, South Africa
  • Bulelwa Makalime-Ngewana, CEO, Cape Town Partnerships, South Africa.

AWIEF will be introducing the AWIEF Awards on October 6th to recognise, honour and celebrate Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners across sectors in Africa for their economic performance and contribution to Africa’s growth and development. AWIEF will salute these women for their passion and determination in making a difference in their countries and on the continent. The AWIEF Awards cover emerging and established entrepreneurship in the private and not-for-profit sectors.

As a build-up to this year’s event, AWIEF celebrated International Women’s Day with UN Women on 8 March 2017. AWIEF is committed to #LeaveNoWomanBehind and to a Global Agenda for AWIEF 2017. Register here to attend.


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