Africa’s Trade Indaba puts focus on women’s empowerment

Africa’s Trade Indaba puts focus on women’s empowerment

Nancy Hromin was on the ground for Day 2 of Africa’s Trade Indaba which had a heavy presence on improving market access for women

As part of the department’s transformation agenda, Deputy Tourism Minister Fish Mahlalela kickstarted the initiative by announcing that the government is committed to allocating 40 per cent of its budget to procure goods and services from SMMEs, demonstrating that they are backing up their words with action, although a target of 51 per cent would have made more sense, given that is the population figures between men and women.

During a session titled “Spotlight on Women Empowerment,” the panellists discussed the factors that prevent women from reaching top management positions in the tourism industry.

One of the issues raised was the low number of women in technical fields such as transport and logistics.

Nancy Hromin met many amazing women at Indaba.

The panellists agreed that empowerment requires a focus on individuals while creating an enabling environment for them.

Although progress has been made, the transformation has not happened on the scale that was hoped for, according to Lynette Ntuli, CEO of Innate Investment Solutions, who moderated the discussion.

Barriers to women’s advancement in the industry include difficulties in getting products to market, the digital divide in Africa, and a lack of infrastructure such as electricity and space.

Government policy plays a significant role in empowering women in the sector, as argued by Hon. Philda Nani Kereng, the Minister of Environment and Tourism of Botswana.

She emphasised the need to develop the particular strengths of women by nurturing them through funding and training.

The lack of media spotlight and marketing of women in the sector was also addressed, and Mimi Kalinda, Group CEO of Africa Communications Media Group, South Africa, called for more promotion of women in tourism.

Great conversation was being served up at the conference.

She urged women entrepreneurs to showcase themselves and tell their stories to help other women break barriers.

Lindiwe Rakharebe, CEO of the Durban International Convention Centre, emphasised the importance of networking and building a strong network in the industry.

Joanne Mwangi Yelbert, CEO of PMS, Kenya, advised women to start with simple things and embrace technology and AI to become successful entrepreneurs.

She also stressed the importance of networking, saying that one’s network is one’s net worth. Winile Mtungwa, Deputy Head of Durban Tourism, called on women to break barriers and get into technical fields instead of limiting themselves to providing accommodation.

Women attending Indaba join conversation about empowerment.

The importance of passing on skills to the younger generation was also discussed, with a member of the audience mentioning mentoring young people by providing them with practical knowledge.

A delegate from India raised the issue of the role of the informal sector, ubuntu, and service in boosting tourism in Africa.

As I wandered around Indaba I decided to snap some photos of the striking and intelligent women all around me.

Let’s celebrate their rich and diverse stories.

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