Event Details

Government has consistently identified the township economy as a key sector to improve South Africa's growth prospects, yet for many corporates, this remains unknown territory. Lack of access to capital and expertise mean that many small enterprises fail to grow their footprint in the country. In this event, we hit Soweto on foot (bicycle!) to provide an on-the-ground view of business in Soweto! We will be joined on the tour by respected business people who have close links to Soweto, who will provide attendees with valuable insights and lessons from the township over an interactive lunch.

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.


  • Sam Rolland (Director, Sub-Saharan Africa of The Economist  Intelligence Corporate Network)

    Sam Rolland

    Director, Sub-Saharan Africa of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

    Sam is a trained economist specialising in understanding the complexities of the South African economy. Prior to joining the EICN, Sam spent time in both the public and private sector, first as an economist within the Economic Policy division of the National Treasury, and then as a consulting economist at Econometrix, and Deloitte. During his time in private sector, Sam specialised in analysing events and government policies to dilute these into constructing business strategies. Sam also spent time in Switzerland as an economist for airline industry body IATA. Sam holds a masters degree in economics from Stellenbosch University, and has studied further at the Insitute for Social Studies in The Hague, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Levy Economics Insitute of Bard College in New York State.

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  • Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa (South Africa CEO of Naspers)

    Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa

    South Africa CEO of Naspers

    Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa joined Naspers as South Africa CEO, in July 2019. Before joining Naspers, she was the co- founder of Sigma Capital, an investment holding company formed in 2015. Prior to that, she held the position of CEO at Shanduka Group, an investment holding company from 2004 to 2015. Prior, she was the Head of the Project Finance South Africa business unit at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Early in her career, Phuthi worked in New York at Fieldstone, an international firm specialising in the financing of infrastructure assets. She later transferred to the South African office, where she served as a Vice President.

    In 2020, Phuthi ranked number 42 in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International list. In May 2016 Phuthi became a member of the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. She has been awarded several
    accolades such as CNBC Africa’s All Africa Business Leaders “Woman of the Year Award” in 2019 and the Forbes Woman Africa “Businesswoman of the Year” Award in 2014. In 2013, she was awarded a “Distinguished Achievement” Award by The Douglass Society, and the Africa Investors recognised her as a “Leading Africa Woman in Business of the Year” in 2012. In 2011, Rutgers University conferred on her the “Rutgers Vision of Excellence Award”. In 2009, she was awarded the “Most Influential Woman in Government and Business” by Financial Services. The Wall Street Journal counted her among the “Top 50 women in the world to watch”. Phuthi was also selected as a Global Young Leader in 2007 by the World Economic Forum. She was awarded “Top in Project Finance, 2003” by the Association of Black Securities & Investment Professionals.

    Phuthi completed a BA Economics from Rutgers University, USA in 1993, and an MBA from De Montfort University in the UK in 1996. She also completed the Kennedy School of Government Executive Education programme “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” at Harvard University in 2008.

    She is the Vice Chairperson of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and is an independent director of Vodacom Group. She serves on the advisory board of Stellenbosch University’s business school. Phuthi also serves on the board of the United Nation’s Global Compact Network SA. She is also a council member of the BRICS Business Council in South Africa.

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  • Mothobi Seseli (Executive Chairman & Founder of Kings' Lane (Pty) Ltd)

    Mothobi Seseli

    Executive Chairman & Founder of Kings' Lane (Pty) Ltd

    Mothobi is an experienced CEO, business leader & entrepreneur, who is Soweto born & raised. A globally multi-awarded financial services executive, with a passion for building ‘stuff’ and developing people & enabling economic participation of previously marginalized people confirms his Sowetan-ness. Mothobi has participated & presented at many international and domestic conferences including presenting in Kigali, Rwanda on the invitation of UNCTAD to speak on African entrepreneurship. His areas of interest are broad and include amongst various investment / asset management industry / BEE / pension funds, investment opportunities / private equity / impact investing / entrepreneurship / global business.

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  • Thando Makhubu (Founder & Owner of Soweto Creamery)

    Thando Makhubu

    Founder & Owner of Soweto Creamery

    Thando Makhubu is a Fashion Design graduate from the University of Johannesburg, a self taught Photographer and an entrepreneur at heart, he is the founder and owner of well known ice cream brand Soweto Creamery, which he started with only R350 of the COVID-19 SRD grant during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Thando has received widespread attention for his entrepreneurship, and was mentioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address in February 2022.

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  • Ciko Thomas (Group Managing Executive: Nedbank Retail and Business Banking Ciko at Nedbank Limited)

    Ciko Thomas

    Group Managing Executive: Nedbank Retail and Business Banking Ciko at Nedbank Limited

    Ciko Thomas holds a BSc from the University of Cape Town, an MBA from University of the Witwatersrand and an AMP from Harvard in the USA. As Group Managing Executive of Nedbank Retail and Business Banking (RBB), he combines his comprehensive marketing and management experience with his strong strategic insights and passion for people to lead the bank’s largest business cluster, in delivering compelling banking solutions that meet clients’ needs while contributing significantly to the group’s success.
    Ciko joined Nedbank in January 2010 as Group Executive of Group Marketing, Communications and Corporate Affairs, bringing with him the diverse experience he had gained at such reputable brands as Unilever, M-Net, SAB, Absa and Barloworld. In the same year, he was made Managing Executive of Consumer Banking in RBB, before taking up his current executive leadership role in 2016. Under his strong leadership and guidance, RBB has gone from strength to strength, steadily growing its customer base and market share, while garnering numerous accolades, not least the 2020 International Banker Award for Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Most Innovative Retail Banking App in South Africa in 2020 and Best Retail Bank in South Africa for two consecutive years.
    His belief in the potential of people is matched only by his recognition of the power of technology and innovation. In his role, he works tirelessly to bring the three together seamlessly to help drive the bank’s ‘Digital First’ aspiration, exceed the expectations of retail and business clients and provide access to financial services for all South Africans.

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Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

Pooe Street 10823, Soweto
Gauteng, South Africa

If you have any questions please contact ECN Africa

Contact Organizer

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