Women who show the way

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE @Zwane_2li2ls

IN CEL­E­BRAT­ING women’s month in Au­gust, the African Women Char­tered Ac­coun­tants (AWCA) fo­rum is set to hold its an­nual Wo­man of Sub­stance Awards, next week.

AWCA gives awards to African women who show ex­cel­lence in the ar­eas of gov­er­nance and busi­ness to at­tain gen­der equal­ity.

Pres­i­dent of the AWCA, Le­sego Sen­nelo said it was im­por­tant to high­light the pock­ets of ex­cel­lence that they had within the busi­ness com­mu­nity and the coun­try, as well as to show­case what women were do­ing.

“It is still a very dif­fi­cult en­vi­ron­ment to nav­i­gate both in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor. Part of the chal­lenge this year is to find out what is that pos­i­tive nar­ra­tive in it be­ing women’s month,” said Sen­nelo.

Ac­cord­ing to Sen­nelo one of the cov­eted awards of the night would be the Wo­man of Sub­stance ti­tle.

“It is given to one per­son and this year will be the 13th year that we have had the award. Over and above that we recog­nise mem­bers who are in the pro­fes­sion (char­tered ac­coun­tants) who have been nom­i­nated by their peers,” she said.

“We recog­nise an in­dus­try and busi­ness leader who not only has reached the apex of their ca­reer but who has also demon­strated a good track record in terms of com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and men­tor­ing oth­ers and de­vel­op­ing young lead­ers,” added Sen­nelo.

“It’s not nec­es­sar­ily some­one in the char­tered ac­coun­tants pro­fes­sion but cer­tainly an African wo­man busi­ness leader who epit­o­mises what we call a wo­man of sub­stance,” she said.

Pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ents of the ac­co­lade in­clude women of great stature.

In 2014, it was un­der-sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the UN and the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in 2015 ad­vo­cate Thuli Madon­sela and last year Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, for­mer chair­per­son of the AU Com­mis­sion.

In her ac­cep­tance speech, Dlamini Zuma high­lighted the piv­otal roles that African women and their re­spec­tive move­ments played in sup­port­ing women’s en­trepreneur­ship, en­cour­ag­ing young women into higher ed­u­ca­tion – in­clud­ing in male dom­i­nated pro­fes­sions such as char­tered ac­count­ing. Among some of the peo­ple who will be recog­nised at the awards will be the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the year both in the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, the au­dit part­ner of the year, tax part­ner of the year and just look­ing at mem­bers within the pro­fes­sion of char­tered ac­count­ing, ac­cord­ing to Sen­nelo.

Win­ners will be an­nounced at the awards cer­e­mony in Sun City on Au­gust 10.

This year’s AWCA fo­rum theme is Africa in the Rise of Lo­cal­i­sa­tion.

“Look­ing at the rise of a very in­ter­nally fo­cused po­lit­i­cal land­scape or man­date the world over, what does that mean, not only for South Africa but for the en­tire con­ti­nent ?” Sen­nelo asked.

“The in­ten­tion is to have a con­ver­sa­tion around how we start fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­tra-Africa trade and how we start en­sur­ing that re­source-rich Africa ben­e­fits the cit­i­zens of the con­ti­nent,” she said.

We recog­nise an in­dus­try and busi­ness leader

PIC­TURE: BOXER NG­WENYA

LEADER: Thuli Madon­sela is a pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ent of the Wo­man of Sub­stance ti­tle.

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