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Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum conference in Cape Town

The third Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) conference and exhibition event will take place at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town on 5-6 October 2017. It will feature international and local speakers covering the theme ‘Equity, Impact and Inclusive Growth towards Agenda 2030'.
Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum conference in Cape Town
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The interactive sessions have been designed to bring together Africa's next generation of emerging and leading women in business, entrepreneurs, SMEs and SMMEs, corporate companies and business service providers, investors, government officials, international organisations and NGOs.

“AWIEF is the platform to launch a new service or product with government, corporate executives and decision makers in attendance and paying attention,” said AWIEF founder and CEO, Irene Ochem.


The two-day conference will incorporate knowledge and experience-sharing panel discussions, keynote speeches, workshops and breakout sessions covering a variety of topics across different themes.

Some of the speakers at the conference include:
  • Annette Rosencreutz, CEO, Brandflight AB, Sweden
  • Bulelwa Makalime-Ngewana, CEO, Cape Town Partnerships, South Africa
  • Farai Simoyi, President and Creative Director, Farai Inc., US
  • Jeanne Groenewald, founder & md, Elgin Free Range Chickens, South Africa
  • Judy Dlamini, founder and executive chairman, Mbekani Group, South Africa
  • Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development, South Africa
  • Marek Zmyslowski, frontier and emerging markets online business expert, HotelOlga, Nigeria;
  • Michelle Olckers, managing partner, Mazars, South Africa
  • Mohau Pheko, CEO, The Mohau Group and former South African Ambassador to Japan and Canada
  • Nozipho January-Bardill, executive director, Bardill & Associates and former South African Ambassador to Switzerland
  • Sarah Collins, founder of Wonderbag, South Africa
  • Sharron McPherson, founder and executive chair, Women’s Enterprise Development Initiative, South Africa
  • Swaady Martin, founder and CEO YSWARA, South Africa
  • Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO, The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign, South Africa
  • Tim Harris, CEO, WESGRO, South Africa
  • Waheed Olagunju, md, Bank of Industry, Nigeria

Exhibition, Awards

The exhibition also offers an opportunity for all sector business services, companies, corporate entities, startups and women-owned enterprises to display their products, technologies, innovations, solutions and contributions to the continent’s economy and society. There will also be opportunities for small business owners to interact with prominent business leaders, investors and corporate organisations.

This year AWIEF introduces the AWIEF Awards to recognise, honour and celebrate Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners across sectors in Africa for their economic performance and contribution to Africa’s growth and development. AWIEF will salute these women for their passion and determination in making a difference in their countries and on the continent. The AWIEF Awards cover emerging and established entrepreneurship in the private and not-for-profit sectors.


The 2017 AWIEF event is organised with the support and participation of African Development Bank (AfDB); South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); WESGRO; UN Women; UNDP; Mazars; Southern African – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Southern African – Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC); Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Bank of Industry, Nigeria; among other partners.

As a build-up to this year’s event, AWIEF celebrated International Women’s Day with UN Women on 8 March 2017. AWIEF is committed to #LeaveNoWomanBehind and to a Global Agenda for AWIEF 2017. It is enlisting women’s business associations and networks across the continent and beyond.

For more information, go to

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