In Africa only 5% of top company CEOs are women

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In Africa today, only 5% of CEOs running large companies are women. Yet, the positive impact of women executives on a company’s financial performance has been proven: African companies with the most women on their executive committees achieve 20% higher profit margins than the average for their sector of activity. 

Following on the success of the Africa CEO Forum’s “Women in Business” initiative, the first Women in Business Annual Leadership Meeting, organized in partnership with ESSEC Business School and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, aims to tangibly strengthen African women leadership.

Building and maintaining an influential network, how to manage your image and assert leadership in an era marked by social networks and successfully growing a business internationally as the African Continental Free Trade Area comes into effect are some of the topics that will be covered at the meeting. These are all themes that will be developed during high-level panels, testimonials from inspiring women leaders and interactive workshops run by experts from McKinsey & Company and ESSEC Business School. 

The Women in Business Annual Leadership Meeting will close with a session devoted to creating the first circles of influence for African women leaders. Each circle will be headed by a member of the “Women in Business” initiative board, which will also be introduced at the Meeting.


The board is made up of eight African women business leaders, who embody the continent’s success and are keen to play a role in strengthening African female leadership: Snowy Khoza, Executive Chairperson, BIGEN (South Africa), Elisabeth Medou Badang, Senior VP and spokesperson, Orange MEA (Cameroon), Cathia Lawson-Hall, Head of Financial Institutions for Africa, Société Générale (France), Lucy Quist, Co-Founder, Women Network, (Ghana), Toyin Sanni, CEO, United Capital, (Nigeria), Anta Babacar Ngom, Managing Director, SEDIMA, (Senegal), Carole Kariuki, CEO, KEPSA, (Kenya) and Nadia Fettah, Managing Director, Saham Finances, (Morocco). 

The board meets physically twice a year, at the Africa CEO Forum and the Women in Business Annual Leadership Meeting. The main role of its members is to use their experience and vision to initiate and guide the actions of the “Women in Business” initiative.

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Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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