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Women at the forefront of the economic transformation agenda
​EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and former Chairperson of the
African Union and Member of Parliament Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
have called on women to take up leadership positions and be at the
forefront of the economic transformation agenda.
WOMEN are essential role-players in the economic sector and should be at the forefront of the radical economic transformation agenda.

These were sentiments shared by speakers at the Women Economic Conference held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 28 September, as part of the Essence Festival Durban 2017.

To give impetus to the social transformation agenda, keynote speaker, former Chairperson of the
African Union and Member of Parliament Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said women should support each other. “As women, we need to find a way of using our consumer power to challenge both government and business to make policies that support women economic empowerment.”

She said women are the world’s largest consumers as they account for 70 to 80 percent of purchases. Dr Dlamini-Zuma also called on all women in leadership positions to work together to ensure that women assume their rightful position in advancing the radical economic transformation agenda. “Our first step should be to convene consumer power a workshops where we will educate each other about the power that we have and how to use it to our advantage.

This is something we can do, it is possible. We need to see a black women-owned bank in the near future,” said Dr Dlamini-Zuma. Furthermore, she said there is a need to fast-track women skills development in critical areas such as agriculture, maritime, mineral resources and the creative industry. Global civil rights activist, Reverend Al Sharpton echoed the same sentiments. “Women are capable of achieving anything if they unite.”

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said the underpinning factor of radical economic transformation is the social entrepreneurship agenda, adding that this was the reason behind the City hosting the Essence Festival. Mayor Gumede outlined a number of Municipal programmes and partnerships aimed at driving and sustaining women empowerment. “I am proud of what we have achieved thus far. One of the speakers today, Bongi Shangase who is the founder of Seasons Network, which now trades across Africa started from our training programmes as an entry level entrepreneur.”

The seminar was a resounding success with some of the speakers pledging to assist emerging entrepreneurs. Trade partnerships were also facilitated between the City of Durban and New
Orleans as they share the same vision of empowering women and young people.
WEATHER

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