By Duncan Mlanjira
Wealth Magazine, Malawi’s quarterly local entrepreneurial and business magazine, is organising an first-ever women’s summit on wealth creation — Wealth Woman Summit — whose panelists will be accomplished Malawian women professionals.
To be held on October 30 at Sunbird’s Soche International Conference Centre in Blantyre from 6pm to 9:30pm, Wealth Woman Summit is being hosted with support from Wealth Magazine alongside different stakeholders in the industry — including the women taking part in the event as well as corporate institutions.
The keynote speaker for the night will be Associate Law Professor, Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo and the other panelists are Mdingase Tewete (managing director of Kombeza Foods); Dr. Margaret Chaika (chief executive officer for Face Forward Group) and Patience Chatsika from Old Mutual Malawi.
“The event brings together an array of women speakers from different industries that are accomplished in their efforts to support the evolution of the middle class in Malawi — which is a catalyst in the provision of an established consumer base that influences socio-economic growth with a focus on women,” says a press statement from Wealth Magazine.
“Furthermore, a middle class influences national and societal concerns, including those that affect women who are considered to be at the heart of economic activity at different levels and is the key to a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem in any economy.”
Wealth Magazine says the Summit comes at a time of calls for gender equality in key decision making positions of the society.
“And whilst high impact ideas from women across the nation should not go without being supported, the Summit seeks to be a platform for learning, dialogue and networking amongst others between women in the private sector and public sectors — whose purpose is to improve the business landscape by promoting an enabling and conducive environment for local investors and entrepreneurs.”
The Summit’s theme is ‘Can You Have It All? – Business, Career, Wealth and Family’ in which the speakers will attempt to look at the issues that hold back women from achieving it all.
In her comment, the Summit’s task-force chairperson, Cecelia Saidi Matthews stressed the need to encourage as many women to be a part of the economic activity chain as part of leveraging entrepreneurship culture in Malawi.
“The Wealth Woman Summit, therefore, appreciates all organisations that have supported the event through sponsorship and other collaborative efforts so that women are able to engage themselves in activities that will challenge them to be as practical as possible whilst being on the ground.
“It is only by adopting a proactive approach that are we going to change the status quo, Matthews said.
Managing executive for Wealth Magazine, Harry Chima said the overall objective of organising the event “is to instill disruptive mindsets in our approach to doing business and seek ways of creating wealth despite the challenges we face”.
Wealth Magazine is a local entrepreneurial and business magazine championing, among others, narrative change from poverty to wealth creation.
It also focuses on helping create a sustainable and conducive entrepreneurial-business ecosystem through practical and actionable information on entrepreneurship, investments, business, technology — which are catalysts for socio-economic transformation in Malawi.
Two weeks ago, the Women’s Manifesto Movement — a consortium of gender equality organizations — organised demostrations in major cities accross the country to show their discontent with the recent appointments both in cabinet and government parastatals that are not gender sensitive despite that the country has many capable women.
The Movement observed that out of 67 parastatal boards appointments, 80% have less than 40% of women representatives and that up to 10 of the boards do not have any female at all and only 7 of the 67 boards have female chairpersons.
Before the fresh presidential elections in June, one of the organizers of the demonstrations, Maggie Kathewera Banda — who is Executive Director of Women Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) — had demanded that the next Head of State that would be voted in should implement to the book that there is equal representation of women in the cabinet as well as other national positions of influence.
Kathewera Banda had stressed that this was not a request but a demand as this is contained in the Gender Equality Act.
The Gender Equality Act says that in appointing all positions of influence, there must be not less than 40 percent and not more that 60 percent of either sex.