Alesimo Mwanga is head of Research and Development at SEA Africa.
JOHANNESBURG - During the 2018 World Economic Forum annual meeting held in Davos, KMPG sponsored the #FutureIsInclusive series of female leaders around the world sharing their thoughts and vision of a shared future for all.

According to the WEF2017 “Global Gender Report Gap” it could take 100 years to close the global gender gap.

By aiming to close the economic participation gender gap to 25 percent by 2025, this could contribute almost $5.3 trillion to the world gross domestic product.

The 2017 report further suggests that, on average, nations had closed 58percent of their economic gender gaps in 2017, down from 59 percent in both 2016 and 2015.

In Africa, Burundi was a top performer by this measure, having closed 91percent of its economic gender gap, while Barbados, the Bahamas and Benin came second (88percent), third (87percent) and fourth (86percent), respectively.

Tebogo Mosito, the co-founder of Ditsogo Projects and 22 On Sloane resident, contributed to the #futureIsInclusive campaign, sharing her journey alongside distinguished global female leaders to address the global phenomenon of gender inequality from different walks of life.

“Being part of the women’s voice campaign in Davos created a wonderful platform to share my story with the rest of the world and build global networks with remarkable leaders across different sectors.”

Born in a rural village of Maile-Rooikraal, in Rustenburg, North West, and now a mother of four children, she has broken barriers within a male-dominated industry. Ditsogo Project, founded in 2012, is one of a few black female-owned metal engineering companies, making an annual turnover of R10.8 million and creating employment in rural communities.

Mosito says it’s very rare for women to venture into businesses and hopes her story will be inspiring to others.

“My experience in Davos has taught me the importance of networking and exposure.

“In Africa, women need to collaborate more, and share information and knowledge to support personal growth that enables access to market opportunities.”

It is estimated that women-owned businesses account for more than one-third of all firms, and they are the majority of businesses in the informal sector in African countries.

Various studies therefore suggest that gender inequality plays a significant role in accounting for Africa’s poor growth and poverty reduction performance.

A recent review of available evidence indicates that gender inequality in education may limit growth; that inequalities in access to land and productive inputs reduce agricultural productivity, investment, and modernisation; and that inequalities in time burdens, alongside high demographic growth rates, all contribute to reducing women’s ability to participate effectively in, and to benefit from, economic growth.

Over the past eight years she not only completed several international entrepreneurship programmes, such as the “Global Women Entrepreneurs Fellowship, Atlanta”, she has received awards and achieved various accolades such as the Ernst and Young 2014 Entrepreneurial Winning Women Award and the Forbes 20 Young Power Women in Africa (2012).

She has also participated in various advocacy forums to improve equality through various global forums to address challenges of unemployment in rural communities.

Moving forward, she plans to grow the business further, partner with academic institutions to improve skills and development and address unemployment among women in rural communities.

“Our long-term goal is to expand our business into African markets. I look forward to more exciting opportunities in 2018 and believe being a resident at 22 On Sloane will contribute towards accelerating my business even further.”

Alesimo Mwanga is head of Research and Development at SEA Africa.