Founded in 2014 by Seipati Mokhuoa, Strategic African Women in Leadership (SAWIL) has recently announced the appointment of key executives, together with a distinguished board of directors, to bring together leading industry figures with considerable global and regional experience.
Earlier this week the organisation held its first meet-and-greet in Johannesburg where scores of members packed a full house. The purpose of the meeting was to officially welcome the new members and expose them to the numerous opportunities available at SAWIL. With the sole objective of transforming and diversifying leadership composition, particularly in the private sector, SAWIL’s ultimate goal is to bring a more strategic approach towards women’s development and empowerment.
At the end of February this year, Seipati Mokhuoa took over the Executive Chairperson role and handed over the CEO role to Dr Tebogo Mashifana – an engineer by profession and a senior lecture at UJ – who brings years of experience and expertise to the organisation.
When asked about her transition to Executive Chair of the SAWIL Board, Mokhuoa says, “The reason behind this transition has to do mainly with the SAWIL Vision 2030 mandate and strategy. In my role as Chair, I will purely focus on the new expansion strategy into Africa and the Diaspora. I will also be responsible for key partnerships, sponsorships, funding, and especially global collaborations.”
As partner and executive at Board Academy Africa, a subsidiary of Board Academy Europe, Mokhuoa believes SAWIL couldn’t have been better positioned to develop the future of women leadership and entrepreneurship in the continent. It is against that backdrop that Moloko Komane was appointment as Executive Director for Africa, responsible for growing the Africa footprint.
The Country Director for Cameroon, Marie-Rose Daya who is also an Executive at MTN Cameroon, says she had been looking for an organisation such as SAWIL with no luck, so when she received the call to establish SAWIL Cameroon, it was divine timing. Nigeria’s SAWIL Country Director, Karika Yonreme who is also Vice President (Programs) at Softcoms, a Nigeria tech-based company, shared the same sentiments and further alluded to the importance of African women building a united Continent.
With new leadership and strategy, SAWIL will be concentrating on training, executive coaching, board training, masterclasses, public speaking lessons, golf lessons, networking opportunities, and business interventions for its members in entrepreneurship.
“Throughout the year,” says Mokhuoa, “we host various events and have one flagship event where we host women leaders from Africa and the Diaspora for the SAWIL Annual Conference, Golf Day, and The SAWIL Trailblazers Awards – which was won by Mizinga Melu, CEO of Absa Zambia. We are currently taking nominations for the 2021 Trailblazers Awards, and the closing date is 29 May.”
Passionate about developing Africa, Mokhuoa is the strategist and innovator behind HD Afrika, a digital platform set to connect the Continent and ultimately provide solutions for socio-economic challenges exacerbated by #Covid19 and beyond. A philanthropist at heart and an angel investor, Mokhuoa has been the driving force behind the Asante Accelerator program and now the Impact Investment Forum in partnership with UAE-based partners.
Since becoming Executive Chair of SAWIL, she believes the move will strengthen the leadership capacity available to the organisation as it implements the enhanced vision to which it has committed, and continues to serve its members to the highest levels of quality.
In a matter of months after the announcement of its expansion to the rest of Africa and the Diaspora, SAWIL has attracted a strong membership interest of women pioneers and executives from West, East, Central and North Africa, as well as the UAE, the US and Europe. What started as South African Women in Leadership in 2014, transitioned to Southern African Women In leadership in 2019 is now a global movement for African women across the globe.
“I am delighted to welcome our new Strategic African Women in Leadership members. We are building a role model organisation for women in Africa. I’m confident the regional and global expertise of our board members will serve to further drive value creation to our Continent, as we execute our goal of creating an Africa we want to see. Watch this space,” says Mokhuoa.