2022 is unravelling a workforce that is re-emerging from social isolation and rejigging a global economy hard-hit by two pandemic years. It’s also often in challenging times that true leadership emerges from the cracks, and with renewed vigour. Some of these ground-breaking women leaders will share their thoughts and hard-earned insights at the 2022 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit, presented by Mastercard.
Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the free-to-attend, two-day summit will take place on the Hopin virtual platform on 8 and 9 March.
Themed ‘Resetting Everything: The New Face of Leadership’, the fully-virtual seventh edition of the summit will bring together another powerful community of visionary champions. These industry leaders will use this platform to reflect on the times, trends and topics leading pandemic recovery in Africa and the world.
“As Africa looks to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical that we build a better future – one where everyone is included,” says Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa at Mastercard. “Mastercard has a strong sense of responsibility to take action when it comes to equality, which is why we are proud to present the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit. With an unparalleled speaker line-up, this year’s event promises to be a source of inspiration, empowerment and encouragement for leading women across the continent, as they set a new course for a more inclusive, and equitable future.”
“Having started only seven years ago, and pivoting to the virtual space during the pandemic years, the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit remains a popular annual event for global leaders,” said Renuka Methil, Managing Editor of FORBES AFRICA and FORBES WOMAN AFRICA. “This is a testament to the calibre of our speakers, the engaging platform, and the value attendees receive out of every discussion. We’re very excited to announce our exciting speaker line-up that brings together some of the continent’s most influential women for hard-hitting engagements and discussions.”
2022 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit speaker line-up
– Women in science and medicine
Dr Soumya Swaminathan is the WHO Chief Scientist, strengthening the organisation’s core scientific work and ensuring the quality and consistency of its norms and standards. A paediatrician from India and globally recognised researcher on TB and HIV, she brings 30 years of experience in clinical care and research.
Dr Shaheenah Dawood is a consultant medical oncologist and associate professor in clinical oncology in the United Arab Emirates. She’s been awarded multiple scholar-in-training awards and ASCO merit awards. She served as an editorial fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine and has an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She leads the oncology clinical trials programme at Mediclinic City Hospital Dubai, and serves on various leading summits.
Mabusha Petronella Nyelisani is a Natural Scientist with an MBA degree, BSc Honours degree and BSc degree in Geology. She has a decade of experience in mining, currently working as a project geologist at Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore where she manages day-to-day operations at an exploration project.
Makobo Penelope Simelane is a Senior Geologist with an MBA and BSc Honours degree in geology and more than a decade of experience in aspects of the mining value chain. She works as a Resource Modelling and Estimation Geologist at Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore Sishen Mine and Centurion Corporate Office.
– Women in finance, technology and business
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa is the CEO of Naspers in South Africa, having previously co-founded Sigma Capital, an investment holding company and holding various high-profile positions in finance. She’s involved in several youth development initiatives and is part of the Dignity Day programme led by Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She sits on many boards and has several accolades including CNBC Africa’s All Africa Business Leaders ‘Woman of the Year Award’ in 2019 and the Forbes Woman Africa ‘Businesswoman of the Year’ Award in 2014. In 2020, Phuthi ranked number 42 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International list.
Jane Karuku, MGH, is the Group Managing Director and CEO at East African Breweries Limited, one of Kenya’s biggest manufacturers. Her experience in fast-moving consumer goods and NPOs spans more than 25 years. She has served on several boards including Barclays Bank (now ABSA Kenya), and is currently a Trustee of Precious Sisters, an NPO that empowers underprivileged girls though education scholarships. Jane has been recognized and awarded for her contribution to the country’s social and economic development. She’s been awarded the Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award and the Moran of Golden Heart (MGH) Award for her contributions to the country.
Beatrice Cornacchia is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Mastercard in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) and is the creative force leading the company’s brand strategy across the region’s markets. After starting her journey with the company in 1991, Cornacchia went on to head strategic sales functions and numerous marketing teams in a succession of key roles including Head of Consumer Marketing, Europe; Head of Issuer and Merchant Marketing, Europe; and Head of Marketing, Italy and Greece.
Ebehijie Momoh is the Country Manager and Area Business Head, West Africa, Mastercard. She holds a BSc in Chemistry, and two MBAs. Based in Nigeria, Ebehijie is responsible for advancing the Mastercard brand presence in West Africa, deploying innovative payment solutions and partnering with local governments and market regulators to build a World Beyond Cash.
Neema Iyer is a Tanzanian artist, technologist, and founder of Pollicy, a feminist civic technology collective based in Uganda. She co-hosts the Terms and Conditions podcast, is a Practitioner Fellow at Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab and is on Meta’s (formerly Facebook) Global Women’s Safety Advisory Board.
Dayo Ademola is the MD for Branch International, a San Francisco-based fintech operating in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and India. She has more than 15 years’ experience in technology, fintech, banking and financial inclusion. She is passionate about leveraging technology and capital to deepen access to financial services and wealth for Africans at all levels. Dayo holds a Degree in International Business and Economics.
– Women in activism
Zandile Ndhlovu is the founder of The Black Mermaid Foundation, an organisation which works to enable local community access to ocean spaces for recreation, sport and business, while creating a new generation of ocean guardians. She’s a diversity and inclusion consultant contributing to global topics on ocean conservation, climate change and coastal justice.
Divya Vasant is a purpose-driven entrepreneur, founder and CEO of AMAZI, a social impact brand for enabling the economic inclusion of women. She has a background as a financial analyst, is an alumnus of the Zanele Mbeki Fellowship for Feminist Leadership, and believes mentorship is fundamental in supporting women create their own spaces.
– Women in sports
Salima Rhadia Mukansanga has been a Rwandan international football referee since 2012. She started out in nursing, having received a Degree in Nursing before pivoting into her role as referee. To date she has officiated a number of top games including games for Afcon, FIFA and the Olympics.
– Women in arts, social entrepreneurship and media
Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021 and is also an actress with two Indian films set for release in 2022. She is committed to female empowerment and draws inspiration from her mother who broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynaecologist.
Emma Wareus won the Miss Botswana crown in 2010 before taking Miss Africa 2010 and then the first princess crown in the Miss World pageant later that year. Her humanitarian efforts include running a malaria programme with the Clinton Foundation; and becoming a brand ambassador for Cuplings, providing menstrual cups to girls. She has a Masters from the Elliot School of International Affairs and is building pro-community services with AI company, Dobby.
Shalin Sirkar is a graduate in Psychology and Legal Studies with an Honours in Philosophy, PoliBcs and Economics. She has worked in various NGOs as well as production roles in the South African film industry, establishing Chalia Films in 2004. Shalin wrote, directed, edited and produced the film MINESH, which premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival. In 2016, she created Kismet Rising where she works as a psychic clairvoyant.
The 2022 Leading Women Summit has been made possible by esteemed sponsors, Mastercard and the Multichoice Group, who share our vision to encapsulate Africa’s success through storytelling, thought-provoking debates, and high-level discussions that would shape the future of Africa, for current and future female leaders.
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