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AWIEF2020 Conference announces speaker lineup

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has announced plans to hold its sixth Annual Conference and Awards from 2-3 December 2020. Since its inception, the AWIEF has remained Africa's prestigious women entrepreneurship platform where participants can network, connect and build new business relationships.
Vera Songwe, UN Undersecretary General and Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), giving a keynote at AWIEF2019
Vera Songwe, UN Undersecretary General and Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), giving a keynote at AWIEF2019

This year’s Conference themed “Reimagining business and rebuilding better” is hoping to bring together more than 1,300 pan-African and global stakeholders to engage inspiring industry experts and thought leaders through keynote presentations, panel discussions, and testimonials.


Keynotes will be delivered by H. E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); Landry Signé, a senior director and full professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development Program and a distinguished fellow at the Standford University’s Center for African Studies and Ayodele Odusola, UNDP Representative for South Africa.

Government and diplomatic sector representatives include Honourable Vera Kamtukule, Malawian Deputy Minister for Labour, Skills and Innovation and Véronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius and Namibia.

A special panel “Conversation with African business leaders” will include an elite group deeply versed in African business and economy: Aida Diarra, senior vice president and head of VISA Sub-Saharan Africa; Kunle Elebute, senior partner, KPMG Nigeria and chair of KPMG Africa; James Mwangi, executive director, Dalberg Group; and Robyn de Villiers, chairman and CEO Africa, Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). Pratibha (Pat) Thaker, Editorial Director, Middle East and Africa, The Economist Intelligence Unit, will moderate this session.

Top level executives which include Cathy Smith, managing director of SAP Africa; Vanessa Adams, vice president of strategic partnerships and Chief of Party, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Katya Blouin, chief business officer at APO Group; and Jonathan Smit, founder and managing director of PayFast will handle the panel discussion on “Rebuilding in Africa: The bridging role of technology”.

Other high-profile global speakers include Dorothy Nyambi, president and CEO, MEDA, Canada; Monica Delores Hooks, executive director, Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), USA; Onyeche Tifase, managing director and CEO, Siemens Nigeria; Toyin Sanni, Group CEO, Emerging Africa Capital Group and the chairperson of Women in Finance Nigeria; Salma Okonkwo, founder and CEO of Blue Power Energy, Ghana; Saul Molobi, CEO, Brandhill Africa; Ken Etete, Group CEO, Century Group, Nigeria; and Amith Singh, Head of Energy Finance at Nedbank, South Africa.

Going virtual

According to Irene Ochem, AWIEF founder and CEO, “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s AWIEF Conference and the AWIEF Awards ceremony will take a vastly different form.” She says that, “AWIEF2020 and AWIEF Awards will be held fully online. While we concede that the human touch that accompanies physical and face-to-face interactions at all of AWIEF events will be greatly missed, it is believed that going virtual presents a unique opportunity for us to partner with even more high-level speakers and sponsors with a much larger online audience across the globe. Registered delegates are able to access the networking and session recordings at a more convenient time.”

Register for AWIEF2020

For more about the conference programme, go to www.AWIEForum.org.


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