For the second consecutive year, the KwaZulu-Natal government has shown its commitment to advancing the role of women in society by hosting the prestigious 2020 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit presented by Mastercard, which will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC Complex in Durban on Friday, 6 March 2020.
“We are excited, as KZN, to once again host the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit,” commented MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomsa Dube-Ncube.
“Through summits such as these, we are positioning the province as a key destination in terms of leisure and sport while drawing in foreign investment.” KZN provides a platform for ‘ceiling crashers’ The province, through the department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, is championing a number of female empowerment initiatives. The focus of these initiatives is to empower women to take charge of their futures as leaders.
Recently there has been an increase in the number of women in the corridors of power. This is reflected by the make-up of the provincial cabinet, which comprises six women and five men. Within the KZN legislature, more than 40% of members are female, including the speaker and various parliamentary committee chairs.
There is also a high representation of black African women (28%) at senior management level in public service among 37% total female representation. “Hosting 2020 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit is also an affirmation of our ability to host international events,” continued Dube-Ncube. “We want to use this event to encourage women in leadership positions to close ranks and support each other in order to transform this province, the country, and the continent as a whole.”
She said the summit would also highlight progress and challenges faced by women in society: “I have always held the view that the economic wellbeing of a society cannot be achieved if women are massively underprivileged compared to their male counterparts. The economy of this country will never grow if we fail to utilize the contributions and skills of women in different economic activities.”
KZN opens the economy to women Outside of the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit, the province is fast-tracking the entry of women into different sectors of the economy through a number of avenues. The government has opened Operation Vula Fund and development finance institutions – Ithala and KZN Growth Fund – with funding aimed at ensuring the participation of women in the following sectors:
• Digital Economy and 4th Industrial Revolution – KZN hosted a Women in ICT Dialogue with the aim to train thousands of women this sector.
• Manufacturing – the department introduced a Black Industrialist Programme to ensure the proportional share of businesses operating is reflective of the demographics.
• Tourism – promotion of female-owned tourism products and facilities.
• Automotive – development of an Automotive Supplier Park in the south of Durban.
• Maritime – promotion of women in this sector including owning and operating workshops and cruise liners. • Clothing and textiles – the department is seeking access to a Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme under the Department of Trade and Industry. “We are proud of the fact that women continue to contribute to nation building by being actively involved as professionals in government, the private sector, as entrepreneurs and other sectors which were previously male-dominated,” said Dube-Ncube. “We also praise women who continue to work as domestic workers, farm labourers, in factories or as street traders, earning a living and raising their children. These women are a beacon of hope for the future of this country.”
Don’t miss out on #LWS2020KZN
The 2020 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit welcomes 30 high-profile speakers to panel discussions and inspiring ‘In the Spotlight’ talks. The line-up includes former first lady, Graça Machel; South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; internationally-renowned singer, Lira; and Lebohang Lebogo, South Africa’s first female drone pilot.
The summit will be followed by the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards & Gala Dinner which celebrates the continent’s most influential female ‘ceiling crashers’ across a number of key categories.
The MEC encourages women to attend the summit and become involved in the discussion to nation-building and female empowerment. Limited spaces are available so interested parties are urged to book early at www.webtickets.co.za to avoid disappointment.
Keep updated on all the latest news and announcements on Twitter @LWSummit and join the conversation using the hashtags #LWS2020KZN #DOKZN.