It was a celebration of Africa’s finest women achievers, as the continent’s women of power and influence converged at the Coastlands Musgrave Hotel, Durban, South Africa on the evening of the 04th May 2017 for the annual African Women Leadership Summit 2017.
Organized by the Centre for Economic & Leadership Development (CELD), in collaboration with the African Leadership Magazine Group, with support from the South-African based firm, Training Excellence led by the CEO Hawa Charfaray; the summit recognized some of the continent’s finest women who have over the years blazed the trail in accomplishments, through hard-work and resilience.
Mrs. Furo Giami, the Executive Director of CELD, in her opening remarks acknowledged the contribution of African women to the continent’s growth and development. She maintained that Africa women have continued to push the bounds of performance and accomplishments in their chosen fields of endeavour, while pledging the centre’s continued support for women in developing economies.
The Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, a metropolitan municipality that includes the city of Durban, South Africa, the host city, Cllr Fawzia Peer graced the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour, among other dignitaries at the event. In her Special Address to the audience, Deputy Mayor Cllr Peer stressed the importance and benefits of including more Women Leaders in both the Government and Corporate sectors.
Among the honourees was Dr Judy Dlamini, a South African doctor-turned-entrepreneur, who founded and runs one of South Africa’s largest conglomerates, Mbekani Group. The elegant and fashionable woman who delivered the keynote address during the summit was accompanied by her husband, FirstRand CEO Sizwe Nxasana.
Ms. Margareth Hirsh, the COO of Hirsch Group, a woman renowned for her philanthropy and commitment to empowering the girl-child was one of the honourees, but represented by a successful South African PR & Media Consultant, Ms. Glenda Thompson.
Some of the other honourees at the event were Ms. Felleng Yende, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, FP&M SETA, South Africa; Ms. Bongiwe Pityi, General Manager, Airports Company South Africa; Ms. Babalwa Ngonyama, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Sinayo Securities Limited, South Africa; Ms. Dionne Kerr, Founder and Director, Siyakha Consulting – South Africa; and Ms. Mamokete Ramathe, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Mamor Capital (Pty) Ltd – South Africa.
Ms. Lindy Wafula, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer/Lead Consultant, Village Ventures International- Kenya; Ms. Vino Govender, Managing Director, La Consulting Engineers, South Africa; Ms. Lindi Gillespie, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Atlas Africa- South Africa; Ms. Mary Chege, Founding Partner, EMSI & Associates- Kenya; Ms. Mary Njoki, Managing Director, Glass House PR – Kenya; Ms. Rufaro Mudimu, Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Enke – South Africa; and Silindile Mncube, President, Junior Chamber International Cape Town (JCI), South Africa, were also honoured at the occasion.
With the theme of this year’s event, being, “Improving Young African Women’s Access to Mentorship and Incubators”, It was also an inspiring evening for the guests, particularly, the Young African Women, as these successful women shared their individual successes and accomplishments and breakthroughs, as well as their various efforts to address some of the challenges of young women.
Included in the Program was a lively and inspirational discussion on: “Turning Your Passion to Successful Business Ventures”. The Panel was moderated by Ms. Hawa Charfaray, CEO Training Excellence; while distinguished women such as Ms Lesa Bradshaw, Tedex Speaker & Partner at Bradshaw Le Roux Consulting and Dr Shakira Cassim, a Paediatrician and Author on issues concerning Women, and Ms Refilwe Matenchi, CEO & Founder of the African Women Movement, were some of the esteemed panellists.
Ms Silindile Mncube, President at Junior Chamber International was also a panelist at the occasion.