World Economic Forum Opens Search for Africa’s Top Female Innovators

23 Mar 2017

Oliver Cann, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 799 3405; Email:

· The World Economic Forum launches its second annual search to identify Africa’s next generation of top female technology innovators and entrepreneurs

· The top five entrepreneurs selected by the Forum’s judging panel will be invited to participate in the World Economic Forum on Africa on 3-5 May in Durban, South Africa

· The meeting will convene leaders from business, government and civil society to explore regional solutions

· To enter the challenge, visit:

Geneva, Switzerland, 23 March 2017 – Building on the success of last year’s inaugural search, the World Economic Forum has started the process to select the top female tech innovators in Africa, who will be invited to share their experience and engage with leaders at the Forum’s regional meeting this spring.

The search is open to any female entrepreneur whose business is less than three years old, uses innovative technology or business models, and has at least one year of revenue generation. The business must also be able to demonstrate social and economic potential.

“Africa’s best prospects for inclusive growth lie in its ability to tap into its vast pool of entrepreneurial talent,” said Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum. “We want Africa’s top female tech entrepreneurs to join us so we can celebrate them as role models and so they can help governments and policymakers create conditions for others to flourish.”

The 2017 World Economic Forum on Africa will convene on 3-5 May in Durban, South Africa, under the theme Achieving Inclusive Growth. The meeting will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to explore solutions to create economic opportunities for all. It will provide insight from leading experts on how Africa will be affected by the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, particularly in terms of safeguarding the region’s economies from negative disruption and exploiting opportunities for further growth and development.

The application for the 2017 search for Africa’s top female innovators can be found here. The closing date for submission is Monday 17 April. Prior to the World Economic Forum on Africa, a panel of experts will select the five top entrepreneurs to participate in the meeting.

The co-chairs of the 2017 World Economic on Africa are: Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, United Kingdom; Siyabonga Gama, Group Chief Executive Officer, Transnet, South Africa; Frédéric Lemoine, Chairman of the Executive Board, Wendel, France; Rich Lesser, Global Chief Executive Officer and President, Boston Consulting Group, USA; and Ulrich Spiesshofer, President and Chief Executive Officer, ABB, Switzerland.

Notes to Editors

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.
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