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News from Africa

August is Women’s Month But More Women in Executive Roles Are Needed

Last year this Newsletter bemoaned the fact that of all foreign direct investment in Africa, only 1% went to companies owned by women. Ventureburn has just published an article that shows that there were just 4 female CEOs among the top 40 JSE-listed companies in 2021. Moreover, only 5% of all listed companies in SA have a female CEO. And the gender pay gap is bigger at listed companies than in unlisted. Women were the most severely affected by the COVID lockdown in SA: of the 3m South Africans who lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown, 2m were women.

Readers will recall that last year the Newsletter reported on a study done on social commerce in 8 African countries, including SA, which showed that the majority of social commerce e-shops were run by women and young people. That study also showed that these were the best able to adapt to changes.  A study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that the global economy would grow somewhere between 3-6% if women participated equally as entrepreneurs. Additionally, there is research that suggests that a focus on gender in investment decisions is likely to make companies more competitive and to improve human capita.


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