AWIEF 2021 Programme

AWIEF2021 is a two-day virtual event featuring leading high-profile keynotes, a ministerial panel, industry stakeholder panels, fireside chats, masterclasses, exhibition, AWIEF Pitch n Grow/Demo, the AWIEF Awards, and of course, networking opportunities.

09:15 – 09:30

Opening ceremony

MC – Peter Ndoro, Anchor/Broadcast Journalist, SABC

Opening remarks

Irene Ochem, AWIEF Founder & CEO

09:30 – 09:40

Host City Keynote Welcome

Cllr Mpho Phalatse – Executive Mayor, City of Johannesburg

09:40 – 09:45

Opening keynote

H. E. Chris Cooter – High Commissioner of Canada to South Africa

09:45 – 10:45

In conversation with African business leaders

Conversation with African business leaders: Leading for growth and sustainability in a post-pandemic African economy


  • Olugbenga Agboola, Co-founder & CEO, Flutterwave
  • Barbara Makhubedu, Chief Financial Officer, Shell Downstream South Africa
  • Shirley Machaba, CEO, PwC Southern Africa

Moderator: Peter Ndoro, Anchor, SABC


10:45 – 10:55

      Plenary presentation

         Nirmala Reddy, Strategy Specialist, Enterprise Development, Business Banking, Nedbank

11:00 – 12:00

Digitisation in Africa

Solving the digital workforce challenge: Skilling and re-skilling for success post-COVID-19


  • Tiara Pathon, Digital Skills Lead – Africa, Amazon Web Services
  • Daisy Mmabatho Molefhi, Founder & Vice Chancellor, ABM University College, Botswana
  • Virginia Rose Losada, Global Coordinator & Senior Technical Officer, Women’s Entrepreneurship Development, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • Sharmla Chetty, CEO, Duke Corporate Education
  • Lesa Bradshaw, Managing Member, Bradshaw LeRoux Disability Inclusion Specialists

Moderator: Asanda Beda, Broadcast Journalist, SABC

12:00 – 13:00

Health & Wellbeing

Health is wealth: Delivering on equitable and inclusive healthcare systems

(Panel session sponsored by Roche Diagnostics)

Keynote remarks (7 – 10 mins): John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)


  • Sandra Orta, General Manager, Roche Diagnostics, South Africa & sub-Saharan Africa
  • Omar Shoukry Sakr, Founder & CEO, Nawah Scientific
  • Mansi Dholakia, Founder & CEO, Global Mental Health Association
  • Nonkqubela Mayatula, Founder, Miarestate Wildlife Estate


Moderator: Precious Nkabinde, Communications Lead, Roche Diagnostics, South Africa

Side Event (hosted by Shell) 12:00 – 13:00

Masterclass: Shell Retailer Recruitment Process


Thobile Dube, Retailer Recruitment Manager

Precious Mtimkulu, Retailer Development Manager

Michelle Koza, Operations Support Manager

13:00 – 13:45


13:45 – 14:10

Fireside chat

Fireside chat with:

Waris Dirie, Activist, Supermodel, UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation

Interviewer: Peter Ndoro, Anchor/Broadcast Journalist, SABC

14:10 – 14:25


Keynote futurist presentation: Brett King, Founder & Executive Chairman, Moven

14:30 – 15:30

Agriculture and Agribusiness

Catalyzing inclusive growth and resilience for women’s agri-enterprises

(High-level panel sponsored by Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa – AGRA)


  • Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Virpi Stucki, Chief, Rural Entrepreneurship, Job Creation & Human Security Division, UNIDO
  • Ada Osakwe, Managing Partner, Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria
  • Betty Kiplagat, Government Affairs Leader for Africa and the Middle East, Corteva

Moderator: Sabdiyo Dido, Head of Gender and Inclusiveness, AGRA

15:30 – 15:35


15:35 – 16:40

Investing in women entrepreneurs

Maximizing gender inclusion and investment returns, the one does not exclude the other


  • Carl Manlan, Vice President Social Impact, Europe, Middle East & Africa (CEMEA), Visa
  • Zineb Sqalli, Partner, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Morocco
  • Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director, West & Central Africa, UN Women
  • Vanessa Adams, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Chief of Party, AGRA
  • MEDA Representative

Moderator: Rose Sibisi, CEO, Style with Roses, Zambia



09:00 – 09:10

Opening remarks by MC

Peter Ndoro, Anchor/Broadcast Journalist, SABC

09:10 – 09:25


H. E. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO, African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD)

09:30 – 10:30

Creative industry

Dialogue: Women making impact in the creative industry

  • Bethlehem Tilahun-Alemu, Founder & CEO, SoleRebels, Ethiopia
  • Adele Dejak, Founder & Creative Director, Adele Dejak, Kenya
  • Nuru Nyerere-Inyangete, Executive Director, Epitome Architects, Tanzania
  • Jenna Clifford, Founder, Jenna Clifford, South Africa


Moderator: Michael Sudarkasa, CEO, Africa Business Group (TBC)

10:30 – 10:45


10:45 – 11:45

Ministerial panel

High-Level Ministerial dialogue – How can African governments bolster their economies beyond COVID-19 pandemic?


  • H. E. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister, International Cooperation, Egypt
  • H. E. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister, Communications and Digitalisation, Ghana
  • H. E. Paula Ingabire – Minister, ICT & Innovation, Rwanda
  • Amel Hamza – Acting Director, Gender and Civil Society Engagement Department, African Development Bank 

Moderator: Eleni Giokos, Anchor & Correspondent, CNN

11:45 – 12:45


The AfCFTA: Shaping Africa’s economic destiny – Opportunities for women empowerment

(Panel session sponsored by FedEx Express)


  • Natasha Parmanand, Managing Director, Operations, FedEx Express, Southern Africa
  • Tabitha Karanja, Founder & CEO, Keroche Breweries
  • Sthembiso Dlamini, CEO, Gauteng Tourism Authority
  • Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President, Government Affairs, Communications & Sustainability for Africa, Coca Cola Company
  • Michael Sudarkasa, CEO, Africa Business Group

Moderator:  Yavi Madurai, Founder & Executive Director, The Pan African Business Women’s Association (PABWA)

12:45 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:30


E-commerce for Africa: Promoting digital entrepreneurship

(Panel session sponsored by PayFast)


  • Marek Zmyslowski, Co-founder, SunRoof & Regional Manager Africa, RTB House
  • Colleen Harrison, Head of Marketing, Payfast
  • Mark Matovu, Founder & CEO, Nampya Farmers Market, Uganda
  • Farouk Khailann, CEO, Premium Africa Holdings

 Moderator: Rose-Marie Bouboutou, Broadcast Journalist, BBC

14:30 – 14:45

Fireside chat

Fireside Chat with:

Manal Rostom, Athlete & Nike Ambassador


Interviewer: Mimi Fawaz, Broadcast Journalist, BBC

14:45 – 15:45

Young entrepreneurship


Future-makers: In conversation with African young women entrepreneurs 


  • Myriam Fournier Kacimi, Founder & CEO, Sungy, Algeria
  • Chebet Lesan, CEO, BrightGreen Renewable Energy, Kenya
  • Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa, Founder & Executive Director, Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab, Uganda
  • Odunayo Eweniyi – Founder & COO, Piggyvest, Nigeria


Moderator: Ramah Nyang, Business Journalist, Bloomberg & CGTN (Africa Bureau)

Side Event
12:00 – 15:30


Pitch n Grow™ – Culminating Demo Day event for 2021 cohort AWIEF Growth Accelerator (In partnership with Nedbank)


Closing – AWIEF2021 Conference

Peter Ndoro, Anchor/Broadcast Journalist, SABC

2021 AWIEF Awards

Sponsored by: Amazon Web Services

Hybrid Event: Virtual; In-person at Marriot Hotel Melrose Arch, Johannesburg


2021 AWIEF Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner

MC – Asanda Beda, Broadcast Journalist, SABC
Entertainment – Yvonne Chaka Chaka

Opening keynote address:
Tiara Pathon, Digital Skills Lead – Africa, Amazon Web Services

AWIEF Exhibition

AWIEF offers an exhibition platform for companies, organisations and women-owned businesses to showcase their projects and innovations.

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