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MTN Business backs Forbes Leading Women Summit on International Women’s Day

MTN Business is proud to be the headline sponsor of the 2018 edition of the Forbes Leading Women Summit for the third year in a row. Under this year’s theme: The Trillion Dollar Female Economy, the summit is a platform that brings together inspiring women influencers and leaders from a range of sectors and industries across Africa and beyond.

The Trillion Dollar Female Economy is still a relatively new concept, and in essence, refers to the collective purchasing power of women globally. This is reported to rival the size of the economies of India and China combined, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Furthermore, increased access to education and opportunity has seen more women entering the workforce. Despite the enhanced buying power of women, however, many businesses have treated women marginally or stereotypically.

The leading women in business participating at the summit shared ideas and experiences, and discussed how various industries can unlock the Trillion Dollar Female Economy.

The support of this initiative also forms part of MTN Business’ commemoration of International Women’s Day. MTN Business is committed to creating brighter lives by doing good in the communities it serves, driving socio-economic change and narrowing the gender gap.

The day-long event in Johannesburg included an impressive line-up of presentations and panel discussions. The panelists unpacking “Unlocking the Potential of Women in the Trillion Dollar Female Economy” were:

  • Mapula Bodibe, Executive for Consumer Business, MTN South Africa
  • Sabine Dall’Omo: Chief Executive Officer of Siemens
  • Nonku Ntshona: Managing Director of Nonku Ntshona & Associates
  • Yogavelli Nambiar: Chief Executive Officer of Allan Gray Orbis
  • Tracey Webster: Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Room

Other prominent speakers are Rolene Strauss, former Miss South Africa and Miss World, who went on to qualify as a medical doctor, and former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, who will deliver the closing address.

Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs: MTN South Africa, says MTN Business is proud to once again be associated with this groundbreaking initiative that drives positive change.

 “With MTN being more than an enabler of the ICT sector, we see it as our responsibility to unlock the potential of women. Sponsoring the summit is an important step on the journey to celebrate, enable and empower women from all walks of life.

This is an initiative that resonates with a number of other initiatives that MTN supports. These include the introduction of a 'Women in STEM' (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) category in the 2017 MTN Business App of the Year Awards, the annual MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards, and many children and gender-based projects undertaken by MTN SA Foundation.”

MTN SA Foundation has, over the years, supported projects such as:

  • The launch the White Doors Centres of Hope - sanctuaries that house survivors of gender-based violence, in partnership with the Department of Social Development.
  • A series of breakfast seminars titled: “We need to talk”, in partnership with Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre. These sessions allow for civil society, government and business to engage in open and frank discussions on gender issues.

In addition, MTN’s female executives have, in recent years, braved the winter cold to participate in the SheEO Sleepout, to help raise funds for safe shelter for vulnerable children.

To find out more about the conference, visit:, or follow the conversation on Twitter: @MTNBusinessZA using #LWS2018.

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