African women have always been active players in the economy but their contributions are often overlooked despite their proven economic capabilities. However, this is changing. Last year was the African Union’s Year of Women’s Empowerment. This year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is also contributing to closing the gender gap by searching for only Africa’s brightest female innovators. The Forum aims to bring them to its annual World Economic Forum on Africa meeting, which takes place this year on 11-13 May in Kigali, Rwanda.
“Africa’s best resource is its people and the best way to empower a new generation of wealth and job creators is to create an environment where these people can flourish,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum.
“We have launched a challenge to identify Africa’s top women innovators because we know that the female half of the population in particular needs champions and role models,” Kanza added.
Most search for innovators ends with technology entrepreneurs, but WEF has taken this up a notch. The challenge to find Africa’s top female innovators extends to budding fashion designers, retailers, farmers or anyone else who has demonstrated a track record in deploying innovative technology or business models, as well as having given something back to society along the way.
Females across the continent have till Monday 25 April to register for the challenge. The Forum will invite the five best entrepreneurs, selected by a panel of experts, to the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will take place on 11-13 May in Kigali, Rwanda, where they will be able to meet top leaders from across business, government and civil society as well as potential investors.