Since its inception in 2016, hosted as a prestigious gala event, the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit (LeadingWomenSummit.co.za) has been a platform bringing together a unique collection of female leaders and trail-blazers from across Africa and the world. Held a year after the first reported COVID-19 case in South Africa in March 2020, the summit will reflect on the most disruptive period in recent history through the collective anecdotes and shared experiences of contrarians and corporate powerhouses, also recording for posterity the measurable solutions that will reset Africa.
Hosting this year’s summit has meant adapting to the ‘new normal’ by embracing the latest technology. So, in honour of International Women’s Day, the 2021 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit, presented by Mastercard, will be held for the first time, as a free-to-attend virtual event and across two days, March 8 and 9, anticipated to draw an audience of more than 2,000 attendees from across the world.
This year’s theme, Africa Reloaded: The Power of The Collective, will, through hard-hitting talks, fireside chats and insightful panel sessions, look back on the year that changed everything, but look forward to a new path of recovery, growth and inclusivity on the continent, as a single market where Africa trades with Africa. “This new vision can be achieved only by harnessing the power of the collective and by collaborating as equal stakeholders in the financial and digital economy. The FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit has been a much-anticipated calendar event for the last five years, and this year too, will attract globally renowned thinkers and doers,” says Renuka Methil, Managing Editor of FORBES WOMAN AFRICA.
Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Mastercard Middle East and Africa said: “Gender equality is a core priority at Mastercard. This is why we are proud to partner with FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit for the second consecutive year, and continue our collaboration by bringing diverse perspectives, leveraging networks, sharing insights, and resources to help women navigate the current and post pandemic world. She further added: “Mastercard recognizes the challenges holding women back, from inequality to exclusion – many of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, we are leveraging our partnerships to tackle this problem head on. We believe that working together to connect women to priceless possibilities is fundamental in unlocking their potential. Africa’s inclusive growth depends on it.”
We believe that working together to connect women to priceless possibilities is fundamental in unlocking their potential
“For us, we believe that the Summit is a source of inspiration to connect and empower women, helping them to realize their potential and rise to new heights.” says Roberta Naicker, Managing Director of the ABN Group. Last year, the summit drew a diverse range of A-list speakers, from business, technology, arts, politics, society, science and sports. In 2019, supermodel and businesswoman, Naomi Campbell was headline speaker. This year will be no different, with a stellar line-up of more than 35 African and international speakers, including 2019 Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa, Folorunso Alakija, entrepreneur and Vice-Chair of Famfa Oil from Nigeria, Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi, Emirati entrepreneur, author and artist from Dubai, and Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in Africa, who will be sharing the platform with other phenomenal women. They will together unravel ways in which to engage the continent’s full human capital for a new world order.