South Africans Take to the Stage

President Obama took his first question from Tshakani “Nola” Mashaba, the South African Director of Marketing of the ABN Group, who expressed her concern for the continued financing of business ventures, “And my question is, previously Nelson Mandela had inspired the foundation of the South Africa Fund for Enterprises. It has run for two decades, and it has since been stopped. Is there any chance to develop another fund for enterprises in Africa?”

President Obama responded that financing is a priority in Africa, and would be the focus of the African Leadership Summit to be held the next week. “One of the things that’s been interesting in not only some of the platforms that you developed at your universities, but also during my trips to Africa is the degree to which young Africans are less interested in aid and more interested in how can they create opportunity through business and entrepreneurship and trade…

The Two Participants

Faith Mangope has over seven years of experience as a broadcaster. She is currently the anchor, insert producer, and field reporter at E.TV’s breakfast show called Sunrise and the columnist for the national newspaper publication the New Age Newspaper titled “The New G.” In addition, she has just completed her three year tenure as the host of the Current Affairs talk show on South Africa’s only youth broadcasting station YFM. Faith is the founder of the New G in Business Forums, a bi-monthly empowerment forum that is aimed at educating young professionals, entrepreneurs, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs on the different sectors of industry in South Africa. She is also the Managing Director of FTA Media Communications, a public relations company. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Faith plans to introduce the New G in Business Forums to the rest of the South African and African market, utilizing those resources attained through the forums to strategically create employment opportunities for the youth as well as in particular, women in the African continent.

Faith Mangope’s Twitter account provides an exciting chronicle of her experiences at the Summit, including photos with President Obama. A photo of the President’s signature on her introductory speech is proudly displayed

Tsakani Mashaba currently serves as the Director of Marketing for the ABN group, the parent company of CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. She became group head of communications and stakeholder relations after a year spent in marketing. Since she joined the company, she has been responsible for the ABN’s corporate social investment portfolio and ABN Education Trust. Prior to this role, Tsakani worked for multinational companies such as BAT, OGILVY & MIG and was responsible for CRM, branding, marketing and public relations at senior management levels. After completing the Washington Fellowship, Tsakani has a vision to confront the challenge of unemployment by creating an initiative called Further Education Training (FET). The FET initiative will ensure guaranteed job, internship, and incubation placements, introduce entrepreneurship program in schools to facilitate the building of enterprising communities, and create a social investment fund to stimulate entrepreneurial ideas amongst youth. FET will allow previously disadvantaged entrepreneurs with limited assets and access to capital get their ideas off the ground.