8-11 February 2016 WEConnect International in South Africa attended Mining Indaba, which has been dubbed the “world's largest mining investment event”. The annual event was held in Cape Town, South Africa.
The four-day event was attended by African and non-African Government delegations, mining executives, investors, analysts, and financiers from all over the world, as well as business leaders and regulators from more than 110 countries, service providers, consultants, insurance brokers, stakeholders, and representatives from over 2,300 international companies.
Prior to the event, Mining Indaba Managing Director Jonathan Moore stated that the core goal of the annual conference was to convene global and influential deal-makers and to provide a platform to channel billions of dollars in capitalising the African mining value chain. For WEConnect International in South Africa the conference provided an opportunity to grow awareness of the organisation and its work, meet potential new corporate members, and actualise its vision of helping women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains, in this case, in mining markets specifically.
Co-Founded by Elizabeth A. Vazquez, WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with multinational corporate buyers. WEConnect International supports women business owners in over 95 countries worldwide and has more than 70 multinational corporations and multilateral organizations as members.
WEConnect International in South Africa (www.weconnectinternational.org) was started in October 2013 and has grown to have over 400 women business owners in its network. It is headed by Ms. Jean Chawapiwa, Executive Director in South Africa. Ms. Chawapiwa is a strategic communications expert with over 28 years corporate communications experience, over 10 of those years were spent in the African Mining sector where she worked as senior executive with communications and external affairs portfolios for Africa for Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Placer Dome. Prior to this she worked for seven years at senior management level in at CSIR. During this time her corporate portfolios supported businesses in South Africa, Namibia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, DRC, and Tanzania.
WEConnect International in South Africa is supported by Advisory Council members Intel, ExxonMobil, Protea Hotels, and Accenture as well as corporate member Cummins. The Advisory Council is chaired by Deaneesha Govender; Commodity Manager – GER Regional Strategic Sourcing; Intel Corporation.