AWIEF2022 Programme

The AWIEF2022 Conference is a two-day hybrid event taking place on-site at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo and online via our virtual online platform. The event features leading high-profile keynotes, industry stakeholder panels, fireside chats, exhibition and, of course, loads of networking opportunities.

Book your AWIEF2022 ticket now


Registration and Refreshments

10:00– 10:45

Opening session


MC welcome

Jasmine Taha Zaki, Media Personality and Actress, Egypt

Opening remarks


Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder and CEO

Ali Eissa, Chairman, Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA)

Sherif El Gabaly, Member of Egyptian Parliament

Elena Atanasova Panova, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt

H. E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt

10:45 – 11:00

Opening keynote


H. E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC) 


11:00 – 11:15

Coffee Break


11:15– 12:15

High-level Panel Session: Gender Equality as a Means to Accelerate Progress towards the UN SDGs & Africa Agenda 2063


H. E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt

H. E. Dr. Nivine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, Egypt

Dr. Maya Morsy, Member, United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, President, National Council for Women, Egypt

Esther Kunda, Director General, Innovation & Emerging Technologies – Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda

Christine Arab, Country Representative, UN Women, Egypt

Mariam Masha, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Humanitarian Interventions, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative, Egypt

Almas Jiwani, President Emeritus, United Nations Women Canada NC

Nevine Ahmed AbdelKhalek, Dean, School of Continuing Education, Nile University, Board Member & Chairman of Sustainable Development Committee of Egyptian Businessmen’s Association (EBA)


12:15 – 13:15

Women Leading Climate Change and Sustainability

  • Special Address from Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General & CEO for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy

  • Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President, Government Affairs, Communications & Sustainability for Africa, The Coca Cola Company

  • Josse Dorra Fiani, Founder and President, Knowledge Economy Foundation/Bashaier

  • Ahmed Rezk, Deputy UNIDO Representative, Regional Hub in Egypt

  • Anisa Bek Derna, Climate Activist and Founder, Project Mulan, Libya


Azza El-Shinnawy, Country Manager, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Egypt

13:15 – 14:15



Networking Sessions 


14:00 – 14:15

Fireside Chat with Dr Malvika Iyer

A one-on-one conversation with Dr Malvika Iyer, a bilateral amputee, a bomb blast survivor, a social worker, and recipient of the highest civilian honor for outstanding contribution to women’s empowerment from the President of India. She delivered a motivational speech to a standing ovation at CSW 61 at UN HQ.


14:15 – 15:30

Advancing Women’s Leadership to Build Resilient Healthcare Systems (hosted in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

  • Ayoade Alakija, WHO Special Envoy for the ACT-Accelerator, Co-Chair of the African Union’s African Vaccine Alliance

  • Jackie Jones, Director & Chief of Staff, Gender Equality Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • H. E. Mr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population, Egypt 

  • Marina Wes, Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, The World Bank 

  • Glenda Gray, President & CEO, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) 

Nabhit Kapur, Founder President, Peaceful Mind Foundation, India

15:30 – 15:45

Coffee Break

15:45 – 16:45

Finance and Investment: The ROI of Removing Barriers to Access


  • Heba Abdel Latif, Head of FI and Correspondent Banking, Commercial International Bank, Egypt

  • Chinyere Almona, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry

  • Marieme Esther Dassanou, Manager, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

  • Dalia Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, Nahdet Misr Publishing House and Founder of EdVentures

Nirmala Reddy, Senior Manager, Enterprise Development, Nedbank

15:45 – 16:45

Transforming African Agriculture to Mitigate the Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Food Insecurity


  • Dina Saleh, Regional Director, Near East, North Africa, Europe & Central Asia, International Fund for Agricultural  Development (IFAD)

  • Hossam Elgamal, Ambassador to Africa, International Chamber of Commerce Digital Economy Commission

  • Josse Dorra Fiani, Founder and President, Knowledge Economy Foundation/Bashaier

  • Maïmouna Coulibaly, Founder, Faso Kaba Seed Company, Mali

  • Catherine Nakalembe, NASA Harvest Africa Program Lead, University of Maryland, USA

  • Hasan Fayed, Founder & CEO, Aydi, Egypt

Mostafa Samir El Naggari, Chairman, Fresh Fruit Group, Chairman, Agriculture and Irrigation Committee, Egyptian Businessmen’s Association



09:30 – 09:35

Opening remarks


09:35 – 09:55


Ayodele Odusola, UNDP Representative for South Africa


10:00 – 10:20

Presentation: Coming in from the Cold: Re-engineering Brand Africa as we Establish a Continental Free Trade Area

Saul Molobi, CEO, Brandhill Africa

10:25 – 11:20

Policy panel: A ‘Decade of Action’ for achieving the SDGs: 2020-2030

Only ten years left! In view of the important milestones for Africa of not only the UN SDGs but also the African Union Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), how do African governments and the public sector step up to address the challenges and reposition the continent for a resilient and innovative future?

  • Honourable Vera Kamtukule, Deputy Minister, Labour, Skills and Innovation, Republic of Malawi

  • Véronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius and Namibia

  • Lerato Mataboge, Deputy Director General, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Republic of South Africa

  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, IFAD

  • Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, The World Bank Country Director for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini

Rose Sibisi, Chief Executive Officer, CBC Television, Zambia

11:20 – 11:30


Networking Sessions 

11:30 – 12:25

Building back better in African agriculture and food sector: The role of women in a digital and green revolution agenda

The pandemic has exacerbated Africa’s food insecurity, disrupting entire supply chains, and widening gender and social inequality gaps. Agriculture remains the continent’s largest industry employer, offering huge potentials for value chain enhancement and scale across borders. Digital technology offers opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs, and investors to leverage innovative agritech solutions and improve the efficiency of food production and consumption in Africa emerging from the pandemic. African agriculture is seeing inspiring innovations and technological advancing. However, this trend is deeply gendered in research, access, use and extension services. What are the roles of women and technology in agriculture? What opportunities does technology offer for boosting gender equality and women in agribusiness growth? How do we address gender technological gaps and develop gender-responsive policies?

5 minutes presentation: VALUE4HERConnect – Africa’s first women in agribusiness digital market place

  • Nidhi Tandon, Socio-economic Advisor, East and Southern Africa, UN Women

  • Moulay Lahcen Ennahli, SVP West Africa, OCP Africa
  • Caroline Pomeyie, Founder and CEO, Oceansmall Company Limited, Ghana
  • John-Paul Iwuoha, Founder and CEO, SmallStarter Africa, Nigeria
  • Léa Rouanet, Economist, Gender Innovation Lab, The World Bank

Sabdiyo Dido, Head of Gender and Inclusiveness, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

12:30 – 13:30

Powering Africa’s Rebuilding Efforts: Key Trends and their Impact

Africa still suffers from widespread and large-scale energy poverty. As business, education, and health shifted to technology platforms during COVID-19 pandemic, the critical role of energy and power could not be overemphasized.  The energy landscape and the energy mix are rapidly changing, driven by technology and environmental concerns. How do you address the energy challenge for rebuilding back better in Africa? What does the AfCFTA mean for the energy sector and what will be the major new opportunities in energy infrastructure? How do you accelerate female participation and increase the proportion of women leaders in the African energy sector?

  • Onyeche Tifase, Head Strategy, Technology & Innovation, Siemens Energy Industrial Applications Division

  • Salma Okonkwo, Founder and CEO of Blue Power Energy, Ghana

  • Ken Etete, Group CEO, Century Group, Nigeria

  • Amith Singh, Head of Energy Finance, Nedbank

  • Hicham El Habti, President, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco

Bertha Dlamini, President, African Women in Electricity and Power

13:30 – 14:15


Networking Sessions 

14:15 – 14:30

Presentation: How Afreximbank is driving Africa’s transformation through the use of innovation and digitisation: Now and into the future

Robert Ochola, Director and Global Head for Strategy and Innovation, Afreximbank

14:30 – 14:45

Presentation: Quality, Standards and Technology in the context of post-Covid recovery of African economies

Juan Pablo Davila, Industrial Development Expert, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

14:45 – 15:30

Passion and Purpose: Young Entrepreneurs Stories

Past AWIEF alumni and Award winners; and youth entrepreneurship enthusiasts, share stories and entrepreneurial journeys with no holds barred. In candid accounts of their successes and setbacks—from launching start-ups to helping their communities—they are poised to share how their passion and purpose are helping them advance their business goals and redefining leadership across Africa. How have the youth been affected by COVID-19 and what matters to them most at present and moving forward? The panel provides profound inspiration and ideas for every young man and woman who hopes to lead change in Africa.

  • Shannon Smuts, Founder and CEO, Pure Good Food, South Africa

  • Hyasintha Ntuyeko , Founder and CEO, Kasole Secrets, Tanzania

  • Nokuthula Nyamweda, Youth Entrepreneurship and SME Development Officer, UNDP South Africa
  • Nomso Kana, Founder and Managing Director, Sun n Shield 84 Tech

Edith Njage, Co-founder and CEO, ARIELLE for Africa, Kenya

16:00 – 17:30

AWIEF Awards 2020

AWIEF Awards
– celebrating excellence in African women entrepreneurship

APO Group African Women in Media Award
– recognizing the support of female journalists for women entrepreneurship in Africa

17:30 – 18:00

Networking Sessions

08:30 – 09:00



09:00 – 10:00


European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Session

10:00 – 10:30


Opening keynote


Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

10:30 – 11:30

High-level Panel Session: Making the AfCFTA Work for All

  • Sherif El Gabaly, Member of Egyptian Parliament, Chairman of Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolutions, African Parliament, Chairman of the African Affairs Committee in the Egyptian Parliament

  • Dalia Tadros, Assistant Minister of Public Entreprise, Egypt

  • Amany Asfour, President, Africa Business Council 

  • Cynthia Griffin, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration

  • Monica Oraro, Manager,  Business and Product Development , Pan-African Payments Settlement System, Afrixembank

Oluranti Doherty, Director and Global Head, Export Development, Afreximbank 

11:30 – 12:30

Egypt’s role in Africa’s Sustainable Development: Sharing Potentials for a Shared Profit 

  • Heba Handoussa, Managing Director, Egypt Network for Integrated Development (ENID), Member of the Board of Trustees, The Egypt Foundation for Integrated Development (El Nidaa)

  • Dalia Tadros, Assistant Minister of Public Entreprise, Egypt

  • Mohamed Youssef, Board Member of The Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman &Co) 

  • Ghada Hammouda, Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer, Qalaa Holdings

Moustafa Ibrahim – Chairman , Egypt Australia Business Council, Egyptian Businessmen’s Association

12:30 – 13:00

Destination #AWIEF2023


13:00– 14:00



Networking Sessions 


14:00 – 15:00

Venture Capital and Support for Africa’s Bright Ideas

  • Itumeleng Monale, COO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa

  • Nora Toma, Deputy CEO, Education For Employment, Egypt

  • Roberta Annan, Founder & Managing Partner, Impact Fund For African Creatives (IFFAC)

  • Aly El Shalakany, Chairman, Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund

  • Bongani Sithole, Managing Director, Founders Factory Africa, South Africa

Andrew Gwadiva, Vice President, GreenTec Capital Partners

14:00 – 15:00

Training and Support for African Start-Ups: What Works

  • Irene Ochem, Founder & CEO, AWIEF

  • Irene Danquah,  Programme Manager, Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility

  • Sabrina Salama, Head of Middle East and North Africa Partnerships, Seedstars

  • Noha Abdel Hamid, Vice President, Women Entrepreneurs Network, Egypt

Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa

15:00 – 16:00

Technology & Innovation: Digital Tools to Unlock SMEs Growth – FinTech, Cloud Technology, AI, Big Data and Payment Systems

  • Yazeed Sheqem, Digital Skills Program Manager, Amazon Web Services (AWS), MENA

  • Nshuti Mbabazi, Head of Africa Advocacy & Partnerships, Better Than Cash Alliance, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

  • Uzoma Dozie, Founder & CEO, Sparkle Digital Bank, Nigeria 

  • Georges Vivien Houngbonon, Digital, TMT Economist – World Bank Group-IFC

Chizor Malize, MD/CEO, Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), Nigeria

15:00 – 16:00

Building Africa – Energy, Infrastructure and Industrialization

  • Brenda Mbathi, CEO, GE East Africa

  • Grace Orife, Founder & CEO, Adelaar Energy Limited

  • Ndiarka Mboji, Founder & CEO, Kowry Energy 

  • Nishdeep Sethi, Group Director, Structured Finance, African Guarantee Fund (AGF)

  • Dolapo Kukoyi, Managing Partner, Detail Commercial Solicitors 

Rania El Rafie, Group Account Director, APO Group


The 2022 AWIEF Awards and Gala Dinner


Keynote speakers


H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt

Izabela Milewska, Digital Skills Global Leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Guest speaker


Kelly Ngaruko, Miss Burundi 2022

This is a provisional programme and may be subject to change.