Who We Are

AWIEF is a pan-African women economic empowerment organisation which nurtures and actively promotes women innovation and entrepreneurship through its development programmes, accelerators, and networking events, including the annual AWIEF conference, exhibition and awards.

AWIEF’s mission is to foster the economic inclusion, advancement and empowerment of women in Africa through entrepreneurship support and development.

Join us for the annual AWIEF conference, exhibition and awards, a unique platform where our community of women entrepreneurs and innovators from across the African continent and its diaspora, global partners, thought leaders,  industry experts, policy makers, investors, academics, development organisations, and the media, gather together over two days for invaluable dialogue and learning, impactful networking and relationship-building opportunities.

The conference theme this year is “Enhancing impact: Digitalisation, investment and intra-African trade”.

The AWIEF Awards on 30 October 2019 is Africa’s most prestigious awards event, designed to showcase excellence and celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and business leaders who contribute to the transformation and development of Africa’s economy, creating jobs and opportunities across the continent.

Bringing you a stellar lineup of experts, thought leaders, policymakers, researchers, investors and women entrepreneurs from across Africa and beyond.

  • Wendy Luhabe

    Economic Activist and Social Entrepreneur
    Founder Women’s Private Equity Fund & Co-Founder WINDE
    South Africa

  • Nathalie Rabe

    Director of Communications
    Confederation of African Football (CAF) & former Minister of Communications of Madagascar

  • Vanessa Adams

    Vice President
    Country Support, Delivery and Partnerships
    Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

  • Vera Songwe

    Executive Secretary
    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

  • Aida Diarra

    Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager
    Visa Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Birgitta Cederstrom

    VP Commercial Brand Demand MEA & Head Best Practices Licensing MEA
    Frost & Sullivan
    South Africa

  • Geraldine J Fraser-Molegeti

    Chancellor Nelson Mandela University, former Special Envoy on Gender of the African Development Bank & former Minister for Public Service and Administration of South Africa

AWIEF Growth Accelerator        

AWIEF Growth Accelerator is a three/four-month business skills development programme, including pitch training and mentorship, designed to support early-stage women entrepreneurs with business modelling and growth strategy required to scale their enterprises, become investment ready and develop entrepreneurial leadership. The programme serves to enhance business linkages and access to finance.


FemBioBiz enables female entrepreneurs and leaders in bioscience-based businesses to grow their business through an accelerator programme, gain regional exposure and access to international markets. The programme is implemented in partnership with Hivos and NEPAD SANBio.


Funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA ACP-EU), #VALUE4HER is a programme that seeks to strengthen women-led agribusiness enterprises in Africa.