The WEISED 2013 Event took place on 16 -17 May 2013 at the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa, under the Theme: BOOSTING SUSTAINABLE CONCEPTS & CREATING HIGH PERFORMANCE ALLIANCES. The event was officially opened by Hon Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe of the South Africa Ministry of Trade and Industry. Leading women from across Sub-Sahara Africa, the Diaspora and beyond are increasingly concerned about the effects of the limited infrastructure and sustainable energy opportunities available and the impact it is having on the social and economic development of their communities. In addition, women are seeking a more significant and practical role for the implementation of such related projects that will involve them in partaking in the combined challenges and opportunities for transforming existing and future infrastructures while adopting a cleaner and more efficient consideration for the environment.
The Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network (GWIIN) teamed up with Leading Women of Africa (LWA) to work in partnership and organised The Women in Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy Development (WEISED) International Conference 2013. WEISED has been designed to actively seek progress and advancement for leading women in recognition of the growing importance of procurement for economic development and climate change mitigation following the designated 2012 year as the International Year of Sustainable Energy by the UN General Assembly resolution 65/151. The conference addressed and seeks to engage with women from all sectors.
WEISED has been developed as a follow on from the GWIIN event held in Accra, Ghana on the 24 April 2012 and the recent report by the newly launched Women Investment Programme (WIP), a part of the Leading Women of Africa, which emphasises the significant and positive role women play in various sectors such as Oil And Gas, Construction & Housing<, Solutions For Water And Sanitation Crisis In Africa, Women’s Entrepreneurship and Women In Investment.
The WEISED event also served as a new platform for bringing together forward thinking leaders from economic, social, knowledge and growth driven industries, the academia and government to engage in discussion and debate about trends in cross-sector innovation to provide opportunities for international debates and discussions on future perspectives for this area.
WEISED 2013 acted as a vehicle for putting the spotlight on the importance of diversity in the contribution to the development of sustainable energy opportunities and the Design, Planning and Implementation of Infrastructure Development in Africa. The WEISED served as a vehicle to engage with government departments, corporate, private, public and commercial stakeholders that support women investors and entrepreneurs by taking into account their unique potentials, circumstances, challenges, needs, levels of affordability while building deliberate affirmative action provisions into systems that facilitate opportunities for the contribution of women investors and entrepreneurs.
WEISED provided the opportunity to explore and learn more from invaluable models and strategies in order to take advantage of emerging services and opportunities. A focus on alternative and renewable energy gave delegates a global and African perspective and approach to innovative energy sources for respective communities while unlocking business ideas for SMMEs.
- The delegates were honored with presence of some current and past Government officials from across Africa including: Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, Iyom Josephine ANENIH, Immediate Past Minister for Women, Nigeria and Founder/President Women Foundation of Nigeria (WFN), Mrs Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, member of the National Assembly & Former Government Minister of the DRC, representing the Equateur Province and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Randgold Resources Limited.
- WEISED 2013 was an inspirational gathering of innovative leading women, top decision makers from governments, academia, private sector and the multilateral organisations from across Africa and the United Kingdom.
- WEISED 2013 was attended by over 100 delegates from public and private sectors including Botswana, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, UK and South Africa, creating therefore a powerful networking and dialogue for economic and social growth opportunity. The Two full and interactive days offered delegates perspectives from thought provoking speakers from various sectors.
- Sectors represented at the event included but not limited to: renewable energy, construction, oil and gas, International Trade, Investment, Education, engineering, waste management, manufacturing, beauty and cosmetics product development.
- Opportunities were offered to women entrepreneurs already involved in infrastructure sectors to share case studies, experiences, challenges and their overall perspectives of being involved in these male-dominated sectors.
- A platform was offered for Exhibition & Showcase of innovative ideas, products and services
- A well organised visit to SEDA ATLANTIS RENEWABLE ENERGY BUSINESS INCUBATOR (SAREBI) gave delegates a global and African perspective and approach to innovative alternative and renewable energy sources for their respective communities while unlocking business ideas for SMMEs
- GWIIN Honorary Award Ceremony with spotlights on Africa’s unsung heroines, formed part of the WEISED 2013 programme. This Award was not a competition but simply a vehicle to honour and put the spotlight on remarkable women doing remarkable and extraordinary things for Africa.
The delegates were honored with presence of high profile Leaders from across Africa including Hon. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa, Iyom Josephine ANENIH, Immediate Past Minister for Women, Nigeria and Founder/President Women Foundation of Nigeria (WFN), Mrs Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, member of the National Assembly & Former Government Minister of the DRC, representing the Equateur Province and an Independent Non-Executive Director of Randgold Resources Limited.
Guest Speakers also included
- Ms Viola MANUEL, Executive Director Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South Africa
- Ms Peggy MAHLABA, Director, Imbokotho Engineering, Electrical Infrastructure Engineers.
- Ms Julia MODISE, Director: VJ Green Solutions, Cape Town, South Africa
- Ms Elize STROEBEL, CEO, Johannesburg Housing Company. South Africa
- Ms Tshilidzi DLAMINI, Group Sustainability & Environmental Manager, PPC Limited
- Mr Bob HOLT, Chairman MEARS GROUP PLC, United Kingdom, Ms. Shannon ROYDEN-TURNER, Director, In/Formal, South Africa, Mr Sameer HAJEE, Co-Founder & CEO, Nuru Energy
- Ms Ruth MASOKOANE, Chair, South African Women Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN)
- Dr Liesbeth BOTHA, Executive Director: Materials Science & Manufacturing at the CSIR, South Africa
- Ms Bukky BELLO-JAIYESIMI, Special Adviser To The Free Trade Zone In The Republic Of Benin & Director & D.W Realtors Ltd, Nigeria
- Ms Patricia SEPTEMBER, Directorate: Economic Empowerment, Department of Economic Development & Tourism Western Cape Government
- Ms Bose AGBESANWA, Director TEACHRIGHT, United Kingdom
- Ms René Petersen PARKER, Director, RLABS, South Africa
- Ms Ritta VANSKA, Mobile Learning Specialist, South Africa
- Ms Mekedes H. MEKURIA, Exc. Director and Regional Rep World Women Trade Fair-Africa, Ethiopia
- Ms. Achamyelesh ASHENAFI, President, Addis Ababa Women Entrepreneurs Association and Owner, Konimix Trading, Ethiopia
- Ms Yehualawork ESHETE, Ministry of Industry, Ethiopia
- Ms Naadiya MOOSAJEE, Co-Founder, SAWomEng, South Africa