The esteemed speaker line-up for this year’s FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit (#LWS2019KZN) will include former Chairperson of the African Union Commission and South Africa’s Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She will form part of an extensive speaker panel, focusing on the summit’s 2019 theme, ‘New Wealth Creators’, taking place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Friday, 8 March.
“With the province of KwaZulu-Natal hosting the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit for the first time, it’s right that one if its most impactful daughters – the Hon. Minister and pan Africanist Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – should be part of this empowering event,” said Methil Renuka, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and Forbes Woman Africa and this year’s host. “Throughout her life, she has taken on so many roles that have served to extend the advantages of African women and she continues to do so today in her position as MP. As an anti-apartheid activist, government representative and chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Dlamini-Zuma has advanced the position of women in Africa, paving the way for others to achieve where they previously couldn’t. We are honoured to welcome her as a speaker on this year’s panel.”
A life of public service
After obtaining a BSc Degree in Zoology and Botany from the University of Zululand in 1971, Dlamini-Zuma went on to receive her MB ChB from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom in 1978, and a Diploma in Tropical Child Health from the School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, 1986.
She worked extensively throughout the medical field, both at home and abroad, during which time she founded the Health Refugee Trust (HEART) and the Health and Development Organisation, while also serving as a member of the Steering Committee of the National Aids Co-ordinating Committee of South Africa in 1992 – among many others.
It was during her time studying that she first became active in the fight against apartheid, serving as the Vice-President of the South African Student’s Organisation (SASO) in 1976, taking on the role of Chairperson of the ANC Youth Section in Great Britain from 1977 to 1978, and then as Chairperson of the Regional Political Committee of the ANC in Great Britain from 1988 to 1989.
Following South Africa’s first democratic elections, Dlamini-Zuma was appointed as one of the country’s first female MPs in the position of Minister of Health. During her tenure she pioneered the anti-tobacco legislation that prevented tobacco sports’ sponsorship and smoking in public areas.
In 1999 she moved to the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs – where she remained for a decade – and, from 2009 to 2012, she once again served the South African people as the Minister of Home Affairs. Her global influence continued when she served as President of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism and President of the Ministers’ Council for the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Dlamini-Zuma once again made history in 2012 when she was elected as the first-ever female Chairperson for the African Union (AU) Commission, a position she retained for two terms until 2017. She worked towards attaining peace and security on the African continent –bringing in a much-needed gendered perspective and holistic approach to African issues.
Despite an already extensive career as activist, medical doctor, liberation negotiator, political leader, AU Commission Chairperson and government minister, Dlamini-Zuma chose to return to her home country and continue serving the people as Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as forming part of the ANC National Executive Committee and National Working Committee.
She has received countless awards for her dedication to improving the lives of others, including – among others – the 1999 Tobacco Free World Award from the World Health Organisation, 2002 Women Who Make a Difference Award from the International Women’s Forum, and the 2004 Stateswoman of the Year Award from BBQ.
Attendees to the summit, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, will get the chance to engage with Dlamini-Zuma, alongside a number of equally influential women, through keynote addresses, panel discussions and personal interviews. International celebrity and philanthropist, Naomi Campbell, has taken the position of headline speaker for the event.
In addition to the daytime networking, attendees to the summit – hosted in association with ABSA and the IDC – are invited to the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards, a glamorous gala dinner celebrating who have made a remarkable impact in the business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership categories. The gala dinner will take place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 6.30pm.
For more information, visit www.leadingwomensummit.co.za or follow @LWSummit on various social media platforms (#LWS2019KZN).