One of South Africa and perhaps Africa’s leading business women Dr. Anna Mokgokong has urged local women to come together in business and collaborate in building successful profit making enterprises. Dr Mokgokong was giving a key note address at the inaugural De Beers Women’s Summit held in Gaborone on Thursday. Dr Mokgokong - a true social activist and business leader in Corporate South Africa and whose contribution has been immense in transforming the companies that she leads, said it is high time women talk to who they are and where they want to be. This, she said, will shape their objectives and enlighten them about what to do. According to Dr Mokgokong, strategic collaborations have many benefits and in any case players usually have nothing or little to lose by collaborating. She implored women to do away with the fear of the unknown and test the waters whenever an opportunity presents itself. “It is a lonesome, stressful journey to take on your own; rather share it with others. Start somewhere and the rest will follow,” she said. Dr Mokgokong, who in addition to being at the helm of Community Investment Holdings (CIH), is recognised as a Senior Director of Companies however warned the women that the road to success is not all rosy and smooth. She said she had faced failures and challenges as a business woman but through will power she made a comeback and kept on enterprising.
She bemoaned the fact that although women are in the majority population wise in almost every country they continue to be given a raw deal in favour of and by their male counterparts. She urged women to use their numbers to empower each other and gain mileage. Supporting and collaborating with each other, according to Mokgokong, will not only ensure that women enjoy economic democracy but will ensure their own advancement and empowerment. “Do not shy away from being wealthy, work hard and earn it,” she said. For her part, veteran politician Dr Gaositwe Chiepe urged women to never ignore their ambitions and to be focused at all times. “Your diligence today will open a door for you tomorrow. Your attitude today builds on to the destiny to come. Do not underestimate the power of the decisions that you have the opportunity to make today,” said Dr Chiepe. The primary objective for the De Beers Women’s Summit was to engage and collaborate with women in business and strategic leadership, based in the diamond-producing countries in which De Beers resides.
Diamonds are the De Beers Group of Companies core focus across the world, synonymous with women, romance and emotional desire. To appreciate the role women play in business and leadership and as part of their ongoing support for women, the De Beers Group paid homage to them by creating a platform for business and strategic partnerships, in support of the Government of Botswana’s economic diversification objectives. The Women Summit’s aim was to showcase and support the socio-economic contribution made by women in the region.