#AfricaLeads Supply chain partner skills exchange for Africa business

Women entrepreneurs in logistics receive a skills boost through a partnership between two African supply chain organisations, AWISCA and WiLAT.

To boost the capacity of women entrepreneurs in the logistics sector, South Africa’s African Women in Supply Chain Association (AWISCA) has signed an MOU with the Women in Logistics & Transport (WiLAT) organisation from Côte D’Ivoire. The intent is to collaborate on the delivery of tailor-made entrepreneurial skills training in the logistics and supply chain sector; and to bolster such capacities across the African continent through mentorship, training and coaching.

AWISCA is an organisation focused on upliftment, empowerment and transformation of the Sub-Saharan Africa’s supply chain skills environment. The association aims to address shortages and capacity gaps, and to provide integrated solutions that confront such challenges pragmatically. Founded by Lebo Letsoalo, a supply chain champion, the association also intends to bring the supply chain curriculum across African higher education institutions to a globally competitive level.

In this partnership with WiLAT, the two will develop a programme aimed at unlocking the continent’s potential through entrepreneurship, anchored around the varied opportunities within the scope of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

“The programme will necessitate the development of the relevant skills in entrepreneurship within the supply chain and logistic sectors, in order to effectively take advantage of the opportunities in  AfCFTA, especially for the youth and women on the continent,” explains Letsoalo.

Mentorships and coaching

The partnership will also foster a mentorship and coaching-based student exchange program that will see supply chain and logistics students from Côte D’Ivoire visit South Africa on a skills transfer and exchange mission, and the same for South African students. The entrepreneurship element of the training will be offered to emerging entrepreneurs in the same space, with a key focus on the technical skills relevant to the AfCFTA agreement, and through enterprise and supplier development.

WiLAT Côte D’Ivoire is an organisation which promotes the social status of women in the supply chain, logistics and transport industries and coordinates the efforts of other organisations that aid the career development of women and women entrepreneurs in Africa. Chairperson of WiLAT CI, Carine Toure Yemtia, says that the agreement with AWISCA will see it expand and extend its programmes to many more women and countries on the continent: “Over and above the skills development initiatives, the understanding seeks to develop advanced curriculum and further training that will benefit women in the sector. We want to also help create relevant policies that will empower and uplift women in our industries, especially in the Franco Nations.”

AWISCA and WiLAT Côte D’Ivoire will undertake the work collaboratively reaching many economies across the SSA over the next three years. It intends to collaborate with other companies and organisations with the desired expertise to deliver on their objectives.

AWISCA is also already in a partnership with WiLAT SA and CILT SA (The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport), and will be expanding the partnerships across various African countries. WiLAT was launched in 2010 to promote the supply chain, transport and logistics industry to female members and to encourage and support their career development. By 2023 WiLAT had over 3000 members in 35+ countries.


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