Thabile Ngwato is a primetime and current affairs news anchor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC 3 and SABC news channel 404). At 27, Ngwato still remains the youngest Prime Time news anchor at the SABC, having started at age 23. Thabile Ngwato is also a former World Economic Forum ‘Global Shaper’ having moderated at WEF Global Shaper Sessions both locally and abroad. She currently also Facilitates and Moderates dialogues and colloquiums, both for private sector and government platforms.

Beyond broadcasting and with an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for innovation, Thabile has founded the entity - Rapid Innovation, which specializes in innovation, technology, and development. The aim here is to develop technological and digital solutions for everyday problems, while also finding new ways to fund and expand the spaces around innovation in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

Chief Executive Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum

Irene Ochem is the founder and chief executive officer of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), a pan-African women’s economic empowerment organisation and business network that promotes and supports female innovation, technology and entrepreneurship across Africa.

She is an entrepreneur and an award-winning international development specialist with more than 25 years’ international management experience in Europe and Africa.

Ms Ochem holds bachelor’s and postgraduate degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the University of Trieste, and an MBA in international management from University of London. She also holds postgraduate qualifications in project management, gender and trade. She speaks four languages and writes, speaks and participates widely in international meetings on entrepreneurship, women and gender.

Ms Ochem is internationally known for her work in the area of women’s economic empowerment and women entrepreneurship and has been widely profiled in international media.

Nokuthula “Nokky” Ndlovu is the founder of Limit Breakers Global Foundation, a Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation mentor, an associate of The Department of Education’s Techno Girls Programme, a mentor on Absa Bank’s Girls-in-Tech Programme and an ambassador for numerous technology empowerment initiatives.

Through Limit Breakers Global Foundation, Nokky provides a platform and network that caters to young girls and boys, as well as women. This serves to empower and provide access to information, mentorship and support within previously disadvantages communities across South Africa. Nokky’s work with Limit Breakers Global Foundation gained her a nomination at the 2018 Gauteng Women Excellence Awards, which recognised the impact of her work which provides young girls with access to networks that allow them to pursue careers in STEM.

Nokky is an international speaker, whose reputation within the technology industry extends globally and has gained her an invitation as a speaker to the 2018 Gender Equality in a New Inclusive African Economy (GENIAE) conference[1].

Nokky is a technology professional who has worked in multiple industries across Africa. These include international football, financial services as well as national government bodies. Her solid knowledge of African IT infrastructure has enabled rapid transformation of technology operating models, greatly impacting the lives of millions of people across the continent.

Amongst Nokky’s many awards and achievements, possibly one of Nokky’s more notable ones is her recognition as one of South Africa’s Inspiring Fifty Women in 2017[2]. This is a globally recognised award which forms part of an initiative between CoCreate and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, seeking to provide visibility to women in Africa who are making strides in STEM and innovation.

Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa  and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. Developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach. She believes that the establishment, and potential discovery of evidence of, life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity.

Adriana  holds  an  MSc  (summa  cum  laude)  in  quantum  cryptography  and  a  PhD  in  quantum  biology.  Her  postdoctoral  research  focused  on  quantum  effects  in photosynthesis  as  well  as  the  origins  of  prebiotic  molecules  and  life  itself.  As  Head  of  Innovation  at  SAP  Africa  she  is  passionate  about  exploring  innovative  applications  of emerging technologies to challenges facing the continent.

Adriana  has  authored  numerous  academic  &  popular  science  articles  on  her  research,  and  has  received  a  range  of  research  awards,  including  the  L’Oreal-­‐UNESCO International  Women  in  Science  Award  in  2015,  and  Royal  Society  of  South  Africa  Meiring  Naude  Medal  in  2016.  Adriana  is  also  a  faculty  member  at  Duke  Corporate Education,  and  volunteers  as  a  board  member  of  the  Match4Action  Foundation  to  accelerate  social  impact  and  director  at  the  Foundation  for  Space  Development  South Africa, an exciting initiative of which is the Africa2Moon project.

Since childhood, Adriana has dreamed of living on another planet, and is currently one of  the  100  Mars  One  Project  astronaut  candidates  in  the  running  to  move  to  the  red  planet  in  the  next  decade.  She  is  grateful  for  the  platform  she  has  as  a  scientist, innovator  and  astronaut  candidate  to  inspire  school  children,  teenagers  and  adults  around South Africa and globally to get excited about the future, believe in their dreams and remember Nelson Mandela’s words “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. 

Abbas Jamie is the director for Innovation and Transformation at Aurecon Africa and also serves as the Community Liaison Africa for the World Design Organisation.

Abbas is passionate about Africa and is using his many years of corporate experience to help create a better future through Afrikan design innovation.

He is responsible for driving Aurecon’s Innovation Programme in Africa as well as crafting Aurecon's transformation strategy in South Africa

He has spent his career across government and private sector as well as establishing a number of start-up businesses. He has been involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions as well as project initiation teams for major infrastructure projects in South Africa, including the Gautrain project in Gauteng and the N2 Gateway housing project in Cape Town.

Being a trained systems thinker and futurist allows him to bring a new perspective to Aurecon’s innovation and transformation portfolio.

Abbas holds a BSc Engineering qualification from UCT and PgDip in Futures Studies from Stellenbosch Business School. He is a registered professional engineer has been admitted as a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering.

Creator of SABC 2’s prime time women’s talk show Motswako, Carol Bouwer is a television producer with a heart for women’s emancipation as well as empowerment issues. Recently appointed as UNICEF SA’s Special Advocate for women and children, Carol has always used her work to highlight the needs of the community.

At 43, she is a Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Media owner as well as a speaker on issues pertaining to the welfare of children, women and South Africans at large.

She has created multiple products for South Africans which continue to stand whether she is around or not. Amongst them are 14 years old Motswako- a women’s talk show in prime time, 7 year old Mbokodo Awards- an award to recognise the achievements and contributions of women in the arts, African Odyssey- a showcase of the luxury and fashion business run by women in Africa which hosts international fashion icons as inspiration to local emerging businesses and many others...

Whilst finishing his Msc in Offshore Engineering at Delft University of Technology Frederik co-founded Ampelmann, a high-tech company providing offshore access solutions. Growing the company from a start-up to a multinational Frederik played a pivotal role in building the company from its 5 founders to employing over 400 people and expanding from 1 system to supplying 50 systems worldwide.

Until the founders of Ampelmann sold a majority stake to private equity in 2013 Frederik was the CFO/COO of the company and involved in every step from Finance to Sales and R&D to HR. Shortly after the successful partial exit to IK Investment Partners he moved to Singapore to set-up the first office abroad for Ampelmann and service the Asia-Pacific region. Three years later Frederik handed over his regional responsibilities to his team and went back to the Head Quarters to assist in a reorganization of the company and reshaping the innovation department of the company.

After almost 10 years at Ampelmann he ended his journey with the start-up he cofounded. After finishing his Executive MBA at INSEAD in Singapore end of 2017 he moved to Cape Town. In parallel to this move Frederik has recently co-founded a Venture Capital fund, FORWARD.one, focused on investing in high-tech hardware start-ups.

Next to his professional life Frederik loves to spend his time with family and friends enjoying nature, good food, wine and lots of outdoor sports.

Dr Jantjies is the Head of the Information Systems department at the University of the Western Cape where she manages the academic department and is also responsible for lecturing on various technology related modules.  She holds a PHD in computer science and amongst other focus areas her research focuses on developing and using education technologies to enhance learning particularly in STEM fields. Dr Mmaki Jantjies is a member of the W20 digitization group which is a G20 working group looking at the impact of technology on women in the digital era. Working with UN Women and Mozilla foundation she started technology clubs for girls, boys and co-education clubs which are after school clubs working with students from various universities to teach on the programmes where children from disadvantaged schools come to learn about digital literacies and online safety. She has been recognized for her contribution to the South African technology sector through amongst other awards, runner up in the community builder and leadership categories at the MTN women’s 2016 awards, she was named the Mozilla foundation 50 people who make the Internet a better place in 2016, listed 2017 Inspiring 50 women in technology in South Africa through an initiative by the Netherlands Consulate ,named the 2017 South African Mail and Guardian 200 most influential under 35 and listed as the Destiny Ndalo  media 2017 under 40 power list of women.

Naadiya is a serial entrepreneur by passion, a civil engineer by training, is Co-Founder at WomHub, an ed-tech and advisory firm. She also co-founded WomEng, a global social enterprise. She serves as an independent board director at the MMI Foundation, at Pegasys and is an emeritus director for the International Youth Foundation. Naadiya is a Global Future Council Member with the World Economic Forum: Gender, Education and the Future of Work, a renowned speaker, and was named “Top 20 Young Power Women in Africa” by Forbes Magazine. She also owns a restaurant. She is passionate about fostering prosperity in emerging economies and engineering better societies.

Baratang Miya is the founder and CEO of Women In Tech Academy an educational tech academy, diversity and inclusion consultancy. She serve as a Regional coordinator and mentor for Mozilla, An award winning speaker, facilitator, coder, blogger and tech education activist who works tirelessly to empower her fellow Africans through technology education.

Even though our countries differ, there are many parallels in the public and cultural debates on identity, integration and transformation. Our long term cultural policy is therefore focused on co-creating cultural interventions to build mutual understanding and trust.

Our mission is to promote inclusive economic growth and support Dutch businesses by strengthening entrepreneurship and cross-sectoral cooperation in South Africa.



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