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Youth employment, entrepreneurship, and technology: the hot topics in SA’s changing political and economic landscape

Published: May 9, 2018 7:00:00 AM South Africa Standard Time

Youth employment, entrepreneurship, and the use of technology to promote inclusive growth will be hot topics under discussion at South Africa’s biggest board meeting: The Directors Event.

Now in its fourth year, The Directors Event is presented by the Sunday Times in association with JSE listed financial services group MMI Holdings Limited, holding company for a diverse portfolio of companies including Momentum and Metropolitan. As South Africa’s best-selling weekend newspaper – and part of Tiso Blackstar’s highly respected media stable – the Sunday Times delivers a highly focussed discussion programme which attracts participation from the country’s most prominent business and government leaders, and an audience of 300 ‘board member’ delegates.

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Science & Technology; and Enoch Godongwana, Chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation will be representing the perspectives of Government during their round-table discussions.

Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer of MMI Holdings says “Through our portfolio of companies as well as our investments in communities, MMI serves a broad range of people and businesses in our society. We are therefore intensely aware of the role we must play in improving the lives of all South Africans. We are heeding the President’s call to lend a hand in addressing our challenges. We are saying #CountUsIn. The Directors Event discussions go to the heart of the issues we face as a nation. We believe this platform creates a space where constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors can take place with the aim of putting forward concrete solutions that can positively contribute to improving the socio-economic conditions of our country”.

The Directors Event programme is tailored for corporates, SMEs, educators, and non-profit organisations who are serious about turning South Africa’s socio-economic crisis around. Three round-table discussions will be presented.

How can we use technology to promote inclusive growth in SA?

Aki Anastasiou will be moderating a conversation on the application of technology in promoting inclusive growth in SA. Technology not only has the potential to unlock South Africa’s economic growth but importantly also allows for inclusive growth through large scale infrastructural advancements that place ICT at their core. Inclusive growth is about more than just breaking the cycle of poverty: it’s about creating opportunities for those in lower socio-economic sectors to generate wealth. Anastasiou will be joined by: Barbara Mallinson (Founder & CEO, Obami), Timothy Willis (CFO, Aerobotics), Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane (Minister Science & Technology), Suveer Ramdhani (Chief Development Office, SEACOM), and Duduzile Mkhwanazi (CEO, Project Isizwe).

Youth employment and entrepreneurship – creating jobs for the future

A staggering 67.4% of youth under the age of 25 are unemployed, adding to a total of more than 14.6 million jobless people in the country. And while more than 700 000 matriculants will graduate this year, more than half of them have no job prospects available. Against this backdrop, Ayabonga Cawe will be moderating a discussion on youth employment and entrepreneurship, and will be joined by: Naadiya Moosajee (Co-Founder, WomHub), Zachariah George (Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Startupbootcamp Africa), Naledi Pandor (Minister, Department Higher Education & Training), Jayshree Naidoo (CEO, Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Design Institute (YiEDi), and Professor Barry Dwolatzky (Director, Jo’burg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE), Wits University).

South African politics and the economy – where do we stand now, and where are we headed?

Much has changed since Cyril Ramaphosa emerged as the new leader of the ANC in late 2017, and was then sworn in as President of the Republic in February 2018. But where do we stand now, and where are we headed with these changes in South African politics, and what impact can we expect on the economy? Siki Mgabadeli will discuss these issues alongside: Ralph Mathekga (Political Analyst), Thabi Leoka (Economic Strategist), Busisiwe Mavuso (Chief Operating Officer, Business Leadership South Africa), Enoch Godongwana (Chairperson, ANC sub-committee on Economic Transformation), and Peter Major (Director Mining, Cadiz Corporate Solutions).

Hillie Meyer (Group CEO, MMI Holdings Limited) will deliver the opening remarks, while Dr Jabu Mabuza (Chairman, Business Leadership South Africa) will deliver the Chairman’s Report. Dan Moyane (Head: Group Communications & CSI at MMI Holdings Limited) is the MC for The Directors Event.

The Directors Event keynote speaker will be announced in coming weeks. Keynote speakers from previous years have included high profile business leaders like Caroline Galvan (Lead Economist & Editor: Africa Competitiveness Report for the World Economic Forum), and Mcebisi Jonas (Former Deputy Minister of Finance).

The Directors Event is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 June 2018. To view the 2018 agenda, speaker profiles, or to book tickets: www.thedirectorsevent.co.za

The Directors Event brought to you by the Sunday Times and MMI Holdings Limited is supported by partners Mancosa (GSB), the Institute of Directors (IoD SA), and Greymatter & Finch.

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