CEO panellists for the 2019 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit

Basani Maluleke, CEO of African Bank

The 2019 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit welcomes top CEOs from government and the private sector to participate in this year’s panel discussion entitled ‘The Future Economy: How CEOs Can Lead Value Creation’.

The discussion forms part of an extensive summit programme – taking place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Friday, 8 March – that is set to welcome influential women in the business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership space.

“The panel discussion is always a highly-anticipated segment of the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit,” said Methil Renuka, Managing Editor of FORBES AFRICA and FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, and this year’s host. “It affords women, with a wealth of experience and insight, the opportunity to share their views on how to impact society and the economy while engaging with others on ways to make this possible. This year’s panel is certain to bring varying perceptions on how CEOs are able to lead value creation.”

Basani Maluleke, CEO of African Bank; Grace Harding, CEO of Ocean Basket and Nozipho Sithole, CEO at Transnet Port Terminals will lead the 2019 panel discussion, which will seek to answer various economy-related questions, including:

As leaders in the Fourth Industrial Revolution addressing inequalities and inclusion, how do you create global shared value?
What do you see as the new wealth creators of the future?
How would you diversify into these sectors, and how has the definition of the words 'wealth' and 'value' themselves changed over the years?


After qualifying as an attorney at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, Basani Maluleke joined the corporate finance team at FirstRand Bank, RMB. In this role, she assisted in pioneering the structuring and implementation of BEE ownership transactions for JSE-listed companies. She subsequently joined the FNB Division as the Head of Private Clients and, in 2018, she became the first black woman to head a South African bank. She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, is an admitted attorney of the High Court, and a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. With more than 15 years of financial services experience in corporate finance, banking and private equity, she will bring some worthwhile responses to the panel questions.

From selling paraffin, matches and blankets on the streets of Johannesburg at the age of 12, Grace Harding has worked her way to the position as CEO of South African seafood franchise, Ocean Basket. After school, Harding worked as a receptionist during the day, studying HR at night, gaining significant experience working with people and adapting to all environments. She has held various positions across a variety of sectors from head of advertising at Edgars to running her own employee engagement consultancy firm. Her core principles are to be curious, courageous and empathetic in every role and this has stood her in good stead. Harding’s belief in creating work environments that focus on the customer and people without hierarchy or status will be well-received at this year’s FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit.

In July 2017, Nozipho Sithole took on the role as the first-ever female CEO at Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) - South Africa’s leading terminal operator responsible for loading and offloading cargo aboard vessels calling into seven national ports. Holding B Com, LLB Laws and MBA degrees, Sithole practiced law as an attorney at Webber Wentzel specialising in labour law, litigation and conveyancing before joining Transnet. After taking on several executive positions at the company, Sithole was announced as CEO. Her emphasis on strong work ethics, teamwork, accountability, speed of delivery and quality define a leadership style that will seek to solve many of the economy’s challenges.

In addition to the panel discussions, keynote talks and one-on-one interviews, attendees to the summit are invited to the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards – a glamorous gala dinner celebrating women who have made a remarkable impact in the business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership categories. The gala dinner will take place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

For more information, visit or follow @LWSummit on various social media platforms (#LWS2019KZN).