Nelson Mandela’s widow Graça Machel said the Ebola epidemic should be a wake-up call for African leaders, saying it had exposed the “extreme weakness” of African institutions.
In an address on the impact on business of an epidemic which has claimed more than 5 400 lives in west Africa, Machel said the heavy toll was “unacceptable”.
Johannesburg 24 November 2014: Business has a fundamental role to play in the fight against Ebola. This was the sentiment put forward by Dr Anuschka Coovadia, Head of Healthcare at KPMG in South Africa. Coovadia was speaking at a dialogue titled “Business response to the Ebola outbreak” hosted by KPMG in conjunction with the Mail and Guardian Africa, the Graça Machel Trust, AGH Capital and the Southern Africa Trust.
Mrs Graça Machel's key note address at the Mail and Guardian and Southern Africa Trust dialogue on the Economic impact of the Ebola epidemic on business in Africa,and business' response to the outbreak.The event was held in partnership with the Graça Machel Trust, AGH Capital, and KPMG on Friday, 21 November 2014.
Given the importance of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the growth of Africa’s economies, the Graça Machel Trust has focused a significant amount of its resources on supporting better and more robust women’s participation in the business sector.
This week, women’s business associations from over 10 African countries, with a membership in the Network of African Businesswomen (NABW) will gather in Johannesburg under the leadership of the Trust. The network aims at consolidating women’s influence on economic policies and creating more opportunities for women to access finance and markets.
Access to finance continues to be a persistent challenge for women-owned small to medium businesses in South Africa. A new report launched by our sister organisation, New Faces, New Voices, examines the strength of the financing pipeline for women-owned SMMEs, and assesses if the policy environment is conducive to the growth and sustainability of women-owned businesses. Read the full report in the link.