Ground-breaking speaker line-up announced for 6th FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit

In the wake of a tumultuous period in history, many are reflecting on lessons learnt in 2020 while seeking guidance on how to navigate this new reality going forward. Bringing together the continent’s most powerful female voices, the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit (LWS) will take on a guiding role, hinging the conversation on this year’s dynamic theme - Africa Reloaded: The Power of The CollectiveCoinciding with International Women’s Day, the 6th #LeadingWomanSummit, presented by Mastercard, will run from 8 to 9 March 2021, boasting an impactful speaker line-up for this free-to-attend virtual platform.

There is not just one keynote speaker at #LWS2021 but a star-studded galaxy of names including 2019 Miss Universe, South Africa’s own Zozibini Tunzi; British actress and UNHCR high-profile supporter Gugu Mbatha-Raw; Emirati business woman, author and artist, Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi; British-Sudanese supermodel and designer, Alek Wek; IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath; Nigerian entrepreneur Folorunso Alakija; FORBES AFRICA’s African of the Year 2020 honoree, the former Nigerian Finance Minister and first female African Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland; the United Nations’ representative in China, Siddharth Chatterjee; South African music conductor, Ofentse Pitse; South African explorer, Saray Khumalo; and South African rugby player, Piwo Nyanda. These – and many more trail-blazers – will engage the audience through hard-hitting talks, fireside chats and insightful panel discussions that look back on the year while identifying opportunities for growth and recovery on the continent.

“Mastercard has a strong sense of responsibility to take action when it comes to equality,” commented Suzanne Morel, Mastercard Country Manager for South Africa. “FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit is one of those great examples where we can play a key role through our sponsorship. The summit provides professional women with an opportunity to discuss some of the world’s biggest issues – business challenges, workplace issues and the further empowerment of African women. It’s also a fantastic chance to showcase truly inspiring women who are doing extraordinary things, to share their stories and really network with others.”

Renuka Methil, Managing Editor of FORBES Africa & FORBES Woman Africa, said this year would certainly draw on a lot more emotion, following the challenges of the previous year, but that participants would undoubtedly feel more compelled to act on these than ever before: “The Covid-19 experience has brought to light some harsh realities – the deepening inequalities that continue to be experienced by Africa’s women and the continent within the global economy. But it has also lit a fire in many of us. If there is going to be action taken, it needs to be now, and I think that momentum will flow through and beyond this year’s summit.”

“The convergence of powerful, industry-leading women could not have happened at a better time, and on a better platform than the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit. Collectively, we have the power to break down the barriers that were amplified over the past year – specifically, driving the conversation around inequality in access to connectivity, and the crucial opportunities that are enabled through this,” said Lianne Williams, Head of Marketing, Vumatel; South Africa. “The telecommunications sector, for instance, not only empowers the continent with digital tools and information that grows economies, but also allows individuals to access opportunities such as online learning and remote working in the digital age. These is the empowerment we strive to deliver to all communities.”

Roberta Naicker, Managing Director, ABN Group, said the event was a ‘solutions-driven platform’ for women seeking a change in the global narrative: “We have seen that people don’t just want to talk about their problems, they really want to understand how they can actually roll up their sleeves and solve them. We’re looking forward to great conversations this year that tackle global challenges.”

#LWS2021 Panel Discussions

· Agility and flexibility: Culture change in the C-Suite

· The isolation economy and the double shift for women

· Rise of the low-touch economy: Financial and digital inclusion in a pandemic world

· Warriors in healthcare: What’s life like on the frontline?

· Private equity: Still a man’s world?

· The lost generation: The gendered impact of Covid-19 on education

· Back to the garage: Working-from-home (WFH) and the remote revolution

· CFOs, CIOs and CTOs: The new corporate Czars in a COVID era

· Why the Covid-19 pandemic is also a gender pandemic

#LWS2021 Speaker Line-up

· Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, newly-elected Director-General of the WTO (Please place her image first)

· Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019

· Gugu Mbatha-Raw, British actress and UNHCR high-profile supporter

· Alek Wek, British-Sudanese supermodel and designer

· Piwo Nyanda, South African rugby player (Mastercard)

· Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General 

· Sheikha Hend Faisal Al Qassimi, Emirati businesswoman, author and artist; UAE 

· Folorunso Alakija, Nigerian entrepreneur and Vice-Chair of Famfa Oil

· Bisila Bokoko, Spanish-African-American businesswoman; USA

· Vanessa Nakate, climate activist; Uganda

· Natasha Muhoza, poet/storyteller and lawyer; Rwanda

· Ilwad Elman, Somali-Canadian activist, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Director, Elman Peace Centre; Mogadishu

… and many others! Check for the full speaker line-up.

The 2021 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit (LWS) presented by Mastercard, is a free-to-attend virtual event, expected to draw more than 2 000 attendees from across the globe on 8 and 9 March 2021. Don’t miss out on what is set to be one of the year’s most impactful events.

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Become part of the change by registering to attend the summit at or visit for more info. Alternatively, follow the conversation on social media @LWSummit #LWS2021 #LeadingWomanSummit.

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Joburg Judo Awards and Commonwealth Championships

Joburg Judo Awards 2018

Joburg Judo’s premier annual awards gala evening took place at Mount Usambara on Saturday 27th October 2018.  It was a fantastic celebration of everything Judo!  300 guests from nine clubs across the Johannesburg district honored players aged eight and up for their achievements locally, nationally and internationally in both Judo and Kata disciplines.

The annual awards dinner is an important event on the Joburg Judo calendar, giving the association the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the club volunteers, coaches, referees, officials and athletes who have achieved at top level over the last 12 months.

Says Paul Nothnagel, Chairman of Joburg Judo,  “We received a record number of nominations for the awards which demonstrates the outstanding dedication and commitment of the volunteers involved in the sport of judo across Johannesburg. The awards recognise a select few who have made exceptional achievements this year, but also our volunteers across the province who contribute to making the sport a success in SA, and to every one of them we are thankful”.

Says Paul Nothnagel, “A huge thank you to Helen Jones, Lesley Shaw, Craig Billson, Oscar Knoester, Basil Smith, Sonia Billson, Vaughn Heidmann, Guy Imbert, Richard Overbeek, Josie Knoester, Danie Bruwer, Ina Botes, Brigitte Hupkes and Herman Overbeek for their commitment to Judo and being the core role players in this expanding sport.  To the parents, volunteers and players for making all this possible. 2018 was another fantastic year and Joburg Judo has never been so strong both in terms of its membership and the quality of its players”.

The event was an opportunity to recognise not only incredible performances on the mat from our judoka, but also the rigorous administration that goes into making it all happen throughout the year.

In many cases the very people who are applauded for the former are also responsible for the latter. Unsurprisingly, this has fostered a culture of unwavering participation and solid teamwork within the Joburg Judo community.

The top lady judoka for 2018 went to Unelle Snyman who has her sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  She is currently participating on the world circuit in her quest for points and medals required to qualify.  The accolade comes after bringing home gold, silver and bronze from a host of national and international competitions.

Honors for top male performer went to David Stockigt who has been active in Judo for 14 years.  He participated in the Africa Junior Championship which was held earlier this year in Burundi.  Here he placed 5th and took gold at the SA Open Championships.

Queen Sehlapelo stole the show when she was announced JBJ development player of the year.  She achieved a bronze medal at the SA Open and gold at the recent SA Schools event.  She was however not only recognized for her outstanding athletic ability on the mat but also for her charisma and sportsmanship amongst her fellow judoka.

An emotional Sehlapelo was overjoyed with her achievements and tributed her success to her teammates, Nooitgedacht Primary School, her Sensei Richard Overbeek and the support she receives from Joburg Judo which enables her to participate in the local and national events.

Joburg Judo currently sponsors 40 children aged 9 – 14 to attend Judo classes at Nooitgedacht Primary School as part of their development programme under the leadership of Sensei Richard Overbeek.

Best Players for 2018 were awarded as follows:

9 years           Kendra De Beer and James Hulett

10 years         Klara Vahrmeijer and Alessandro Losco

11 years         Jessica Nothnagel and Janu Malherbe

12 years         Tylah Van Der Walt and Simphiwe Zindela

Group 3          Samantha Nothnagel and CJ Schutte & Dylan Martin

Group 4          Faith Sookane and JP van Staden

Group 5          Skye Knoester and David Stockigt

Group 6          Skye Knoester and Dalitso Mukumbe

Masters          Tammy Van Der Walt and Rudi Rademeyer


Kata awards for 2018


Group 1          Jayden and Evan Thiel

Group 2          Llewellyn Jones and Aston Billson

Group 3          Samantha Nothnagel and Billieleigh Billson

The next highlight on the JBJ calendar is the Judo Commonwealth Championships taking place from the 4th to the 11th of November 2018 at Sawai ManSingh Indoor Stadium, Japiur, Rajasthan, India where our local judoka Jordan Cockman from Tatami and Dylan Martin from Kano will represent South Africa.

It will be 8 days of calculation, strategy and giving the best of themselves to climb the world judo rankings.  The Sawai ManSingh Indoor Stadium and its 2000 spectator capacity will vibrate to the rhythm of ippons, wazaris and crowd cheers as athletes grapple for success.

The Commonwealth Championships will showcase performances from hundreds of competitors from 53 countries and will illustrate the global dimension of this highly competitive and culturally diverse sport - modern judo.

For further information please contact

Clubs from Joburg Judo who had top performers for 2018.

Tatami, Bryanston: Hajime, Randburg: Kano, Northcliff:  AJK, Weltevredenpark: Doriyoku, Helderkruin: Nippon, Linden: Jigo Tai, Hartbeespoort: Joburg Judo Development, Nooitgedacht:  Chikara, Sandton: Fudoshin, Randburg

Local Charity honoured with award at the United Nations in Geneva.

The Family Africa, a local charity which focuses on HIV/ AIDS projects as well as working with orphans and underprivileged children has received an award for” Outstanding Contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at grassroots in Africa”.   The chairperson, Rachel Aird, was flown to Geneva where she also gave a speech at the UN on the work of Family Africa and how it contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Rachel, who works in Diepsloot, said “It was a great honour to not only give a speech about our work which was translated into all the major languages for the delegates present, but also an award recognising the contribution of The Family Africa. None of this would be possible without the entire Family Africa team made up of volunteers from around the world and our wonderful local staff who all work tirelessly to alleviate poverty and empower women and children through feeding schemes, literacy and health programs and teacher training workshops.”

The award was presented by Dr. Deisi Kusztra, President of the WFO (World Family Organisation), which was founded by the UN after the Second World War to assist with reuniting families and was part of the celebration of WFO’s 70th birthday at the United Nations.

Rachel continued, “It is my hope that The Family Africa will be able continue to extend its programs and help even more orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS and TB. We cannot do this alone and I would like to urge local companies through this newspaper to get on board in assisting us to offer to as many people as possible “real hope for the future”.

The Family Africa can be contacted on 011 8752085

AU refocuses on rural areas

The African Union (AU) has pledged to renew its focus on infrastructure development in rural and remote areas.

Member states recently gathered in Swakopmund, Namibia, for the 2017 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week. Delegates agreed that Africa should up its game in mobilising domestic resources to fund the complete implementation of the five selected projects and promote the maximal use of local content within the beneficiary countries and regions.

The five projects are the Central Corridor (Dar es Salaam to Chalinze Toll Road), Kinshasa-Brazzaville Road and Railway Bridge, Ethiopia-Sudan Power Interconnector, Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Connection and the Batoka Hydropower Plant.

“We want to reach a point where our discussions are no longer focused on our shortage of funds, but rather on our collaboration and concrete accomplishments to leverage PIDA projects for the economic transformation of Africans, especially the youth.

“I call upon all member states to commit themselves to the development of PIDA projects on the ground and to renew their focus to infrastructure development in rural and remote areas,” the African Union Commission’s Infrastructure and Energy Director, Cheikh Bedda, said.

The week was held under the theme ‘The Regional Infrastructure Development for Job Creation and Economic Transformation’.

In their final communique, delegates called upon AU member states, as well as the Continental Business Network (CBN), to provide adequate resources for PIDA project preparation facilities and for the engagement of partner organisations.

They called for bilateral development partners to provide the necessary technical and financial support for the implementation of PIDA Priority Action Plan projects by 2020 and to continue consultations with the African Union Commission to mobilise domestic resources for the preparation of PIDA projects.

Delegates said there was a need for the continent to support the PIDA Model Law and expand it to address issues such as skills transfer, job creation and training. The model law seeks to harmonise cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa and to unlock investment opportunities for the continent.

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