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 Aphiwe Hotele

Commercialisation Specialist at SARAO/SKA South Africa

Aphiwe is passionate about making social change. She initiated #breakingthestereotype - an annual event focused on motivating young female engineers studying at the institution. #breakingthestereotype aims to create a platform where female engineers at UCT are able to interact with others in the industry through a panel discussion and the IMBASA program, which is now a registered NPC in which she is a co-director, that aims to motivate and provide academic and financial support to students from previously disadvantaged communities.

Ashleigh Killa

Architect & Community Developer at theMAAK/theMAAKfoundation

Ashleigh Killa is an architect from Cape Town. Shortly after graduating with her Master’s in Architecture in 2016, she co- founded her own studio and non-profit organisation, theMAAK. theMAAK has a strong focus on public projects, and the people whom these spaces effect are their primary motivation. They prioritise rigorous community engagement, and skills development through collective making of buildings. theMAAK has completed several projects, with varying scale and have received international acclaim for their work.

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Aviwe Funani

Monitoring Manager at Waves for Change

Aviwe is a Bcom Information Systems graduate with work experience in managing media and technology marketing teams, project design and monitoring management. She is currently the Monitoring Manager for Waves for Change a mental health organization that is innovative in providing mental health intervention to underprivileged children across Africa. Between 2017-2018 helped design and run the first entrepreneurship and coding academy at Dream Factory Foundation. A Google funded project to expose young underprivileged girls to technology and entrepreneurial thinking. In late 2018 she joined Waves for Change and assisted to manage and roll out an in-house monitoring app. This app is designed for offline use by sports coaches to monitor and track attendance.

Birgit Smythe

Managing Director at Envisage Solutions (Pty) Ltd

Birgit Smythe achieved her degree in Electronic Engineering Cum Laude from UCT in 1995.

Her career started in the Telecommunications department at Eskom, who had given Birgit a bursary for her studies. The Department of Communications hired Birgit as a facilitator in their program to educate B.Sc students from historically Black universities in IT skills.

From there she joined Cisco in a technical sales role and started specialising in Network Management. After a founding role in a small IT company called Blue River Management, Birgit took a year off to have her first child.

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Bonolo Sedupane

Managing Director at Moka Learning Technologies

As a certified NLP (Neuro- linguistic programming) practioner, Bonolo strives to bring change in our learning ecosystems by empowering people with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow in both a personal and professional scale. Bonolo holds a B.Tech in Information Technology (Tshwane University of Technology), a Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education (Vaal University of Technology) and is currently in pursuit of a Master of Education in ICT degree (University of Johannesburg).

Buhle Goslar

CEO Africa at Jumo

Over the past 18 years, Buhle has led customer insight, customer experience, business strategy, commercial product management and brand marketing for organisations such as Investec, Barclays Wealth and Woolworths Financial Services. She has worked across multiple industries with a focus on financial services and technology.

Buhle believes technology is a critical catalyst for social innovation, especially financial inclusion. She is active in multiple research projects in this area, covering mainly micro and small enterprises and closing the gender divide in access to finance.

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Dorreen Mokoena

Internet Governance Specialist at Domain Name Authority ZADNA

Digital Forensic Practitioner by trade, Doreen is an Internet Governance Coordinator for the South African Domain Name Authority, a state-owned agency that manages and regulates the .za namespace in South Africa and the generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. Her role is as an internet Governance coordinator includes Internet governance policy making coordination to enable discussions or to organize pressure towards decision-making bodies to find solutions for emerging issues in the country.

Dr Balindiwe Sishi

Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University

Dr Balindiwe Sishi, mainly known as ‘Bali’ to her peers, was born in the windy city of Port-Elizabeth. She completed her schooling in Pietermaritzburg, KZN and then relocated to the Western Cape to further her studies at Stellenbosch University. She completed her PhD in Physiological Sciences in 2012 (BSc-2006, Honours-2007, MSc-2008) and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physiological Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Among her numerous roles as an academic, she is also a member of the Faculty of Science Committee for the undergraduate Human Life Sciences Programme and a honorary member and fellow of the University's Institute for Leadership.

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Dr Cherise Dunn

Managing Director at The Africa Makes #3D4D Initiative

Dr Cherise Dunn is one of the female pioneers bringing 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and innovative education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to everyday South Africans.

Recently, Dr Dunn was recognised by the U.S. Department of State as one of the 4IR leaders in the world and was nominated for the International Visitor Leadership Programme (the premier cultural programme offered by the U.S.) for Women in Entrepreneurship. As the only representative from South Africa, and the only techpreneur from the continent, she visited seven states during her extensive visit, engaging with numerous leading public and private organisations.

 Dr Noluxolo Gcaza

Cyber Security Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Dr Noluxolo Gcaza is a young, black, female academic. She is a researcher at heart and has been long captured by cyber security study area. In her research efforts, she strives to make cyber security accessible to different contexts. Her research interests include but not limited to cyber security governance, cyber security awareness and education as well as cyber security culture. Dr Gcaza’s publication record attest to her ability to conduct research that produces novel outcomes. Dr Gcaza is an invited international speaker and contributes in discussion panels on topics related to her fields of interest. She has been invited by the French embassy and US embassy as a subject matter specialist to engage in matters of national cyber security importance. Over and above Dr Gcaza has presented in local and international academic conferences focusing on areas that are more inclined to the human factors within the cyber security domain.

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Dr Paula Barnard - Ashton

Head of E-Learning at University of Witwatersrand

Dr. Paula Barnard-Ashton heads up the E-learning activities for the University of Witwatersrand. She is a qualified Occupational Therapist and has a PhD looking at the integration of e-learning in the healthcare education sector.

Dr Portia Manamela

Obstetrician & (Aesthetic) Gynaecologist at Dr Portia Manamela (Private Practice) & Badiri Healthcare (Pty) Ltd

Dr. Portia Manamela is one of a few female obstetrician & gynaecologist, and aesthetic gynaecologist based in the city of Polokwane, Limpopo with her practice currently at Netcare Pholoso Hospital. As a self-proclaimed feminist, she has dedicated her life’s work to dynamically evolving the gynaecology space through her “beyond medicine” approach to women’s sexual and reproductive health. She has a transcendent passion for women and their reproductive and sexual agency. She is also one of South Africa’s early female entrants into aesthetic gynaecology where she provides quality and comprehensive treatments to improve the appearance and functionality of women’s genital areas. This makes her a bona fide expert in her field.

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Dr Raesibe Sylvia Ledwaba

Senior Research Scientist at University of Limpopo

Dr Raesibe Sylvia Ledwaba is currently employed as a Senior Researcher at the Materials Modelling Centre, University of Limpopo. Her research interests are on large scale atomistic simulations, linear scaling Density Functional Theory and Machine Learning for Multi-Scale Modelling of energy storage materials. Raesibe’s esteemed contributions to science has earned her distinguished awards and seen her as one of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans, in the Science and Technology Category (2017). Raesibe is the chairperson for Women in Physics in South Africa (WiPiSA) and founding member of Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC-SA).

Dr Safiyyah Iqbal

Lecturer at University of Witwatersrand

My name is Dr. Safiyyah Iqbal and I am currently a lecturer for first year medical students at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. The University of the Witwatersrand is where I also earned my undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Science (BSc) in 2012 majoring in Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences. I then furthered my study by completing my BSc honours (2013), MSc degree (2014) and PhD (2019) in Palaeontology at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI), School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand. My educational research comprises of understanding the form related to the function or vice versa of prehistoric organisms.

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Dr Tozama Qwebani - Ogunleye

Project Manager at Dihlare (Pty) Ltd

Dr Tozama Qwebani-Ogunleye is currently the Project Manager at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in a start up company called Dihlare Pty Ltd. In 2014-2016 she was a lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology. Prior to that she was a researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research for 6 years and also completer her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand during this period.

Dr Zikhona Tywabi - Ngeva

Researcher & Senior Lecturer at University of Fort Hare / Dr ZTN Foundation

Zikhona Tywabi-Ngeva (PhD) was born in Macibini Village, outside Ilinge Township, Queenstown, Eastern Cape. S. She then graduated from Durban University of Technology (DUT) with an ND in Analytical Chemistry and BTech in Chemistry and then in 2012 graduated CumLaude in MTech: Chemistry.

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Duduzile Mkhwanzi

Chief Executive Officer of Project Isizwe

Dudu Mkhwanazi is the Chief Executive Officer of Project Isizwe, the South African non-profit organization that advocates for free internet access within walking distance of every citizen in low-income communities. Project Isizwe has facilitated the deployment of the largest free Public Free Wi-Fi network in Africa in the Tshwane Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. With Dudu’s leadership, Project Isizwe recently pioneered the project in connecting mining communities to free Wi-Fi in partnership with Glencore mines.

Ezlyn Olivia Barends

Founding Director of DreamGirls Academy

Named as one of FastCompany SA’s Top Creative People in Business in 2016 and a recipient of the Microsoft Digital Transformation Award, Ezlyn is a dynamic visionary and self-starter. In 2011, she brought together a group of professionals to start the DreamGirls Academy, a female mentorship and empowerment organisation which has since grown to have a footprint in five provinces across the country.

Ezlyn’s key focus is on youth and female empowerment and she is specifically vested in guiding youth to incorporate critical & digital skills development in their lifelong learning to assist them to remain competitive and effectively prepare to thrive in the future. As such, she has developed robust programmes to build the pipeline and develop a hub of top young female talent who take on roles in the technology space.

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Fadzayi Chiwandire

Founder of DIV:A Inititive (Registered NPO)

Born in Zimbabwe, Fadzayi is the illegitimate love-child of binary and creativity. She started off as a Graphic Designer when she was 19, then developed an interest in code and has been writing code for more than a decade.

At OnePointFour, Fadzayi has developed websites and mobile apps used by many across the country. She founded the DIV:A Initiative where she teaches young girls how to code after she identified the need to protect their futures and address the industry’s gender imbalance. Her aim is to give young girls truly useful and relevant skills to fall back on in the event that they’re not able to receive a tertiary-level education. The initiative aims to ensure that women are better represented in the development industry by empowering our girls to go out and correct the gender imbalance themselves.

Farhana Parker

Founder & Managing Director of The Social Makeover

Farhana Parker’s qualifications paint a picture of her passion and commitment towards the development of her fellow citizens. Parker is a Bertha scholar and Masters candidate in inclusive innovation at UCT Graduate School of Business where her research explores innovative pathways to prevent and scale the wicked problem of domestic violence in women, technology playing a significant role. She further holds a social work degree and three postgraduates in psychology, social policy and management from UCT and social innovation from the Amani Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Jayshree Naidoo

CEO at YIEDI (Pty) Ltd

Jayshree Naidoo is considered a thought leader on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the CEO of YIEDI, a company that focuses on Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation. She was recently identified as one of Fast Company SA’s most Creative People in Business for 2018 for “Putting Entrepreneurs First.”

She has developed several frameworks and models for Innovation and Incubation and has created several structured acceleration programmes for Start-ups and Growth Entrepreneurs as well as Leadership Programmes for Corporates. Her company was recently appointed to deliver the IBM Techcale programme for emerging technology startups. Jayshree created a customised programme for the startups which includes development, mentorship, incubation and investor readiness as well as funding.

Keneilwe Hlahane

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst at South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON)

Keneilwe works in the Spatial technology sector. She currently works as a Geographic Information system(GIS) anayst at South Africa Environmental Observation Network. She holds a Msc in Ocean and Atmosphere Science from the University of Cape Town, with the main focus on Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing. Her masters research made use of remote sensing satellite data to monitor water quality in South African dams. Her masters research formed part of the Earth Observation National Eutrophication monitoring project Department of Water Affairs.

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Kutlwano Hutamo

Founder & CEO at Washesha Online Retail Store

Kutlwano Hutamo is the Co-founder and managing director of Washesha online grocery store, co-founder of Peu Technologies which focuses on Agritech and sustainable urban farming and non-executive director and legal advisor for Girls fly programme in Africa (GFPA) foundation, an NPO dedicated to introducing girls to STEM with a focus on aviation and space. Over and above this, she has about 10 years of experience in the intellectual property (IP) sector.

Leehandi de Witt

Sales and Marketing Manager at New Space Systems & Expore Compliance Adviser at Space Generation Advisory Council

Having worked in the Space industry for the better part of 6 years, Leehandi is currently employed by the satellite component manufacturer, NewSpace Systems, as Sales and Marketing Manager and Export Compliance Officer. However, having graduated Cum Laude in the field of International Relations, Leehandi continues to utilise her policy background through her positions as ad hoc Policy Advisor and UNCOPUOS representative to the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment and has in the past provided policy inputs to organisations such as the SCS Aerospace Group, the South African National Space Systems Enterprise Initiative and indirectly, to the AFRIGEOSS papers, amendments to the South African Space Affairs Act and the African Space Policy, which was adopted in 2016 by the African Union.

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Lerato Dontache

CEO at Nxa Technology

Lerato Dontache is a noteworthy passionate social tech entrepreneur, mentor, and CEO of the technology company Nxa Technology obtained her Marketing Management from Diploma and certificate in Systems design. Quit her first job at an insurance underwriter Lerato began her journey as an entrepreneur at a tender age of 21, Built a multi-million business that employs 30 employees that specialize in Mobile and Web Development and Digital Marketers to build platforms that improve the lives of others.

Loretta Magagula

Chief Technology Officer at Incitech

Loretta is one of the founders of Incitech, a Health Technology start-up, that has developed ground-breaking technology for medical diagnostics that has the potential to change the landscape of medical care in South Africa and abroad. Additionally, she is a final-year PhD candidate specialising in Gene Expression and Biophysics at the University of Cape Town.

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Lucy Cunnama

Research Officer at Health Economics Unit School of Public Health and Family Medicine, UCT

Lucy Cunnama started working in the Health Economics Unit in May 2012. Her undergraduate degree was in Physiotherapy, after which she worked in the Eastern Cape at a rural hospital. Working in this environment inspired her to study public health and she finished her Masters Degree in 2011, specializing in Health Economics. Her research interests include economic evaluation; access to health care in the South African setting; tuberculosis diagnostics and treatment; and models of care relating to the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.

Lynette Hundermark

Chief Product Officer & Managing Director at Useful and Beautiful

An established industry expert in the digital and mobile space in Africa, Lynette is recognised as one of the top 30 most influential women in SA digital marketing, a Regional Business Woman of the Year 2018 Finalist (run by the Business Women's Association of SA) , 2018 Female Role Model in Tech National Winner (SA) and 2018 People's Choice Winner Regional Winner in Southern Africa (Southern African Startup Awards). She has also been recognised by Fast Company in 2018 as one of the most creative people in business. In previous years she has also been a winner of numerous app development awards both locally and internationally.

With over 20 years of experience in the tech, digital marketing and mobile solutions space, Lynette co-founded specialist mobile solutions consultancy Useful & Beautiful and has a passion for creating great customer experience that harness the power of mobile and digital to help businesses achieve their omnichannel goals.

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Maria Joubert

Founder & Managing Director at Purple Word Box

Maria Joubert is a technology PR specialist
who specialises in PR campaigns for STEM Companies and individuals. Maria was born and raised a South African, and moved to the UK in 2002. After working and holding senior positions at PR agencies in the UK for 11 years, Maria came back to South Africa where she still enjoys playing with words and focuses on ensuring a healthy return on investment for clients’ PR budgets. Maria is also a motivational speaker.

"Maria has a bulging contact book of business and technology journalists as well as analysts across the African continent."

Mbali Makhathini

Environmental and Social Risk Manager at FirstRand (Pty) Ltd

Mbali Makhathini is a Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Programme for Management Development (Gordon Institute for Business Science) graduate who is currently completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Business (University of Cambridge). Mbali is a registered certified natural scientist by the South African Council of Natural Scientific Professions.

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Mmakgosi Mosupi

CIO at Dark Fibre Africa

With seventeen years of experience, Mmakgosi is currently responsible for the development and execution of IT strategy that supports DFA’s business strategy and growth goals. She is also engaged in analysing, identifying, and re-engineering existing business processes, developing new tools, and reshaping the current enterprise infrastructure and IT governance frameworks. In addition, during her brief tenure at DFA, Mmakgosi has already been instrumental in overseeing the development and maintenance of DFA’s IT architecture in terms of business support systems, user support, information, applications, technology, and data.

Nisha Maharaj

Managing Director at Niche Integrated Solutions, Assist Suites

Nisha Maharaj is known in South Africa as being a tech innovator and has been cited as one of the top 5 women in technology in South Africa. She is a corporate executive having held exco positions for the past ten years in her career and decided to break out into the ICT environment as an entrepreneur she started off her career in ICT with limited knowledge in the ICT sector and has spent many years studying and understanding the technology gaps in South Africa/Africa and how to leverage off technology innovation to solve some of these challenges.

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Nobukhosi Dlamini

Managing Director at Bahati Tech

Nobukhosi believes in giving back to her community and she has founded a project called BAHATI Girls where she mentors young girls from informal settlements who want to pursue a tech-related career. Nobukhosi also participated as a Head Judge in TECHNOVATION 2019 - a global competition for girl teams to build a tech solution to solve a problem in their community. She is also encouraging local schools to submit teams to enter TECHNOVATION 2020 so that more South African girls can be exposed to the global tech community from a young age.

Noluvuyo Mpekelana

Tech Company Founder at CodeNgwana and TechNgwana Foundation

Nolu loves solving social problems through technology. Her entry into the ICT sector was at a call centre for one of the largest telecommunications company in SA.

She started off in the industry by helping users with internet connectivity issues telephonically, moved into various roles after that within the higher education sector and the financial services space, fulfilling technical and manegerial roles.

She is also a final year Master of Commerce (specialising in Information Systems) candidate at the University of Cape Town. She also holds a BCom Information Systems honours degree from UCT, a management development programme qualification from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), and other IT-related qualifications.

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Palesa Mahlatji

CEO at Priyo Tech & Yakhiiphupha

Palesa is a former banker turned into tech enthusiast empowering teachers to prepare students for the jobs of tommorow by equiping them with digital literacy skills and resources that they need to gain employment opportunities in the fourth industrial revulotion she has been able to grow the business annually her work has been recognized by several stakeholders In 2016 she was awarded with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (Mdantsane) heroes’ award for young person of the year In 2017 she was part of the Red Bull Amaphiko academy and Ygap/spark international Accelerator. In 2017 she was awarded with the Youth in ICT Award, won the 2017 Engen pitch and polish (Umtata), GIBS Festival of ideas.

Portia Maluleke

Chief Information Officer at Openserve

Portia Maluleke is an experienced IT Executive, Speaker and Mentor. She is currently employed as the Group Executive for IT Governance at Telkom SA SOC Limited. She has 25 years’ experience in IT, with the past 10 years spent assuming IT Executive roles in financial, aviation and technology sectors respectively. Prior to that, she started off as a developer and moved on Enterprise Architecture and Project Management. She remained drawn to innovation and culture transformation. Over her tenure in IT, she has led complex IT transformation projects.

Portia is a founder of Aganang Community Development Initiative. Aganang focuses of career guidance particularly in STEM and technology awareness. She provides mentoring and coaching to professionals and SMEs and is registered with the National Mentorship Movement. She is also a career coach on LinkedIn professional network platform.

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Prof. Debra Meyer

Executive Dean of Science at University of Johannesburg

Debra Meyer is a Professor of Biochemistry and Executive Dean of Science at the University of Johannesburg. She was formerly Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria. Prof Meyer holds a Master of Science in Biochemistry degree from the Rand Afrikaans University and a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Davis in the United States. She also completed short courses in Media Strategy and Academic Leadership at Harvard Business School and the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science. Professor Meyer serves as trustee or board member of a number of organisations.

René Parker

Director of RLabs

René Parker is the Managing Director of RLabs a global social enterprise with a strong focus on Community-driven Innovation and Social Change. RLabs currently have activities in Afri-ca, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North & South America impacting more than 10 mil-lion people across 23 countries. She has played a leading role in transforming RLabs into an award winning global social enterprise from the humble beginnings of a community project in Cape Town.

She served as a board member of the Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLiSA) network where she fulfilled the portfolio of Capacity Building, Community Development and Communica-tions and is a founding member of the Western Cape Government youth development net-work currently focused on driving youth economic empowerment through technology, en-trepreneurship and innovation.

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Reshmi Muringathuparambil

Alternate Service Delivery Units Manager at GreenCape

Reshmi is responsible for developing and managing the Alternative Service Delivery Unit at GreenCape, which aims to provide off-grid electrification to low income communities. This ground breaking work is set to provide services to 3600 households over 3 sites in it's first phase.

Reshmi also runs networking events and recently hosted GreenCape's first diversity themed event, an incredibly successful event titled "Energy: The Gender Imperative", gathering a diverse audience to discuss women in the energy sector.

Shamiso Kumbirai

Water Engineer at Kulani EC

Shamiso is a water engineer with a passion for water and women. She works with the fundamental belief that the empowerment of women, the removal of water as a development constraint and the ability to sustainably harness this resource as a tool to help power Africa will positively change the lives of millions who call it home. As a water engineer she has experience in bulk water supply & hydropower engineering. Her experience ranges from the design of potable water transfer in South Africa, to the provision of large scale irrigation schemes for subsistence farming in Swaziland. She's worked on the design of hydropower infrastructure to sustainably boost the energy output in Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda. She participated in site visits, project stakeholder coordination, client liaison, design of conveyance systems & power output investigations.

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Shubna Harilal

Managing Director at Gijima Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Shubna is a seasoned technology and business turn-around expert, digital evangelist and innovator. A major part of her career has been focused on shaping and building engines to execute complex transformation programs and projects that create relevance to the customer’s customer in the future.

As we move into the digital economy it is critical that organizations across the spectrum are geared to reinvent their business models and processes embracing analytics and breadth of digitized offerings (3D printing, Augmented reality). Currently the Managing Director of Gijima Technology Solutions and Acting Managing Diretor for Human Capital Management.

 Sibongile Mongadi

Founder of Uku’hamba

Sibongile Mongadi is a proud Sowetan entrepreneur and she serves as a Founder of start-up company named Uku’hamba 100% black youth women owned which its core business is Biotechnology and Healthcare Manufacturing. The company specializes in improving the living conditions of amputees living with disabilities.

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Tabassum Qadir

CEO at Uprise Africa

Tabassum A Qadir, better known as “Tabz” is the brain behind “Uprise Africa” – First Equity Crowdfunding Platform in South Africa.

The innovative platform facilitates access to alternative funding solutions for south African entrepreneurs and links everyday South Africans to early stage investment opportunities.

She strongly believes that Uprise Africa can drive positive change within SME landscape , addressing both the access to funding and changing of ownership models.

Tebogo Makgatho

CEO at Netcampus

She was recently appointed by Minister of Department of Communications to Chair the Selection Panel that will select board members for the .za Domain Authority

Professional memberships
Board Member - Torque-IT Technical Computer Training (Pty) Ltd - Board Member – Stortech (Pty) Ltd -www. Board Member – Arbez (Pty) Ltd –

She holds positions in the following industry organisations:
Board Chairperson – South African NGO Network (SANGONeT) Former National Executive committee Member – Black IT forum (BITF) Vice President – Information Technology Association – 2009-2010 Adjudicator – IT Web and Computer Society of South Africa’s (CSSA) IT Personality of the year awards 2009 and 2010.

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Tebogo Mokwena

Chief Technology Officer at Akiba Digital (Pty) Ltd

Tebogo is a Multipotentialite, and as a showcase to this, she continues her journey as a resilient entrepreneur and technology enthusiast, passionate about solving African problems.

Having been part of the team that built the first digital bank in Southeast Asia, she's proven herself as a highly skilled software engineer, and now a progressing business women having, in the last 2 years, co-founded a Financial Technology company, Akiba Digital, as well as holding various equity in other technology businesses through her Digital Consulting Firm, Bold.

Thembiso Magajana

Co-Founder & CEO at Social Coding

Thembiso is a recipient of the Margaret Hirsch Heroine Award 2017, A World Economic Forum Global Shaper, A TEDx Speaker and Spark* International Alumni. Thembiso holds a Bcom Degree in Accounting. She’s spent the past five years evangelizing an industry-wide shift that seeks to prepare South African Youth for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

A calculated risk-taker with deep tech industry knowledge, Thembiso has championed taking computer programming to township and rural areas; her channel incentive models have motivated hundreds of partners locally to not only embrace coding but to make it a necessity in education.

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Vanessa Sealy - Fisher

Director & Trustee at Isinyithi Holdings (Pty) Ltd, Isinyithi Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, Isinyithi Corrosion Engineering (Pty) Ltd, Insinyithi Fundisa (Pty) Ltd & Isinyithi Trust

Vanessa has a Masters Degree in Chemistry. After working for several years in a technical consulting and project management role, she became a shareholder and director in a small consulting practice. She has developed this business into a group of companies operating in South Africa and Internationally which is acknowledged as a leader in its field. The group includes a technical training arm and an educational trust which seeks to suuport prviously disadvantaged individuals at all levels. The companies also actively promote skills developement by providing practical technical training for B.Tech students.

Yandisa Sokhanyile

Founder & CEO at Konecta (Pty) Ltd

Yandisa Sokhanyile (35), born in the rural town of Mt Ayliff, Eastern Cape. She started school at the age of 4 and matriculated at Commercial Park Private School at 15. A born entrepreneur, she started selling chips and sweets in primary school and at 10 she was running a mini bakery from home.

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Yolandi Schoeman

Founding Director at Baoberry Centre of Innovation & The Ecological Engineering Research Institution

Yolandi is an international recognised innovator and change leader in ecological engineering. She currently heads up the Ecological Engineering Research Institute and is the founder of various biotechnology companies such as Baopod and Baoberry. A Mail and Guardian 200 Young South African 2015 Alumnus, Brightest Young Minds Alumnus and chosen to represent South Africa in 2017 in the ALPS 8 (Austrian Leadership Program) in Austria. Yolandi is a Doctorate in Engineering (Civil) candidate and holds double Masters degrees.

Yolandi Strauss

Head of Product Delivery at Black Beard Technologies

Yolandi Strauss is the Agile Head of Product Delivery for Black Beard Technologies, international tech solution builders. Yolandi has more than 10 years of extensive project management experience in the Information Technology arena and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile methodologies, Agile Certified Practitioner. Yolandi was instrumental in Black Beard’s recent launch of their office in Dublin, Ireland and has managed many other several key projects which have put Black Beard squarely on the international tech map. Her core experience is in balancing client and business needs with the most suitable team and methodologies and she brings to the table an excellent reputation in trouble shooting, risk management and problem solving.

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