Lebogang Zulu, the Rotating Chairperson of BRICS WBA in 2023, addressed the delegations with the welcoming speech. Lebogang Zulu noted that the collective vision of the members of Alliance to create impact has indeed translated into a series of inspirational initiatives that have fostered connectivity and collaboration among the enterprising women across the BRICS and African nations.
Following this, addresses to the attendees were made by the dignitaries of the Republic of South Africa. In particular, Sheila Motsepe, Head of Human Capital of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, presented her report. During the speech, Sheila Motsepe stressed that the activities of the Alliance cover a wide range of issues, ranging from the issues of running small and medium-sized businesses to issues related to the field of health and ICT.
Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province, delivered a report on "The Role of Multilateral Trade and Investment in economic re-calibration, reconstruction and recovery plans", emphasizing the fundamental principles of multilateralism such as consultation and solidarity. "In the landscape of interconnected economies, multirole trade and investment play an essential role in forging a path to more resilient globe and economic order", the Premier added.
Her Royal Majesty Queen KaMayisela Zulu also welcomed the Conference participants. The Queen noted that "there's a greater opportunity for better partnership between traditional monarchs, government and private sectors in order to fully further unlock opportunities across the continent to South Africa".
Within the framework of the Conference, two panel discussions were held. The first one was dedicated to the topic of transforming global challenges into opportunities and driving inclusive growth. Elena Chashchina, Co-owner and Managing Partner of EPOTOS Group of Companies, took part in the discussion from the Russian side. She emphasized the importance of government assistance in the development of small and medium-sized businesses. "It is difficult for people to realize startups on their own without government support, however, with government support, small businesses will be able to grow and advance". At the end of discussion, panelists concluded that the prosper future of women would depend on common efforts of both the government initiatives and the BRICS WBA projects including educational and technological exchange within the BRICS nations.
The second panel discussion was devoted to the topic of digital transition for gender equity. Kristina Romanovskaya, Owner and General Manager of Lazarevskoye Breeding Farm, spoke from the Russian side within the framework of the discussion. "Using environmentally friendly technologies and following the path of sustainable development is very labor-intensive and energy-consuming for business. Efficient and rapid development of agriculture is possible if a government shares responsibility with agricultural producers. To strengthen food security, it is necessary to invest in new technologies, environmentally friendly approaches for crop and livestock production," explained Kristina Romanovskaya.