BOAF inducts Ms. Susan Novela to Africa’s 10,000 Points of Light

Jan - 10

BOAF inducts Ms. Susan Novela to Africa’s 10,000 Points of Light


“It is my distinct honor and privilege to congratulate Ms. Susan Novela, CEO and Publisher of the Diplomatic Informer (DI), a leading foreign affairs publication that provokes intelligent discussions among the foreign diplomats accredited to South Africa, as one of Africa’s shining stars, who is and has been active in provoking, igniting and inspiring positive action in securing a shared and inclusive future for Africa,” said Mr. Mawere, the Chairman of the 1873 FM radio radio and the 1873 Network

The DI was established in 2014 by Ms. Antoinette Wessels who was inspired by the need to create a platform for foreign diplomats accredited to South Africa to share ideas, information and experiences.

Ms. Novela took over the DI in 2016 as the owner of the title. Ms. Novela said: “My decision to be involved in the affairs of DI was inspired by my 17 years of working in the diplomatic field.”

“I am so excited to be part of the BOAF initiative as it is complementary to the mission of the DI. I fully subscribe to the idea that Africa has a myriad of stories that have yet to be told. I believe that knowledge that is shared holds a better promise to the Africa that is possible but yet to be realized,” said Ms. Novela.

She also said: “It was last week that I decided to contact Mr. Mawere to arrange a meeting with him. He agreed to meet me on Monday, 7 January at his office in Rivonia, South Africa.

My intention in approaching him was to explore ways in which we could collaborate. As such, I expected to walk away with a simple answer, yes or no.

I left the meeting richer in content and possibilities of what can be done. He provoked me to think about agriculture, after asking me whether I could identify about five women in agriculture who stand out as people that can be looked up to as champions of food production and security.

Wow!! I could think of none. Shocking realization.

With my background in project and development financing, it dawned on me that there is a lot I do not know about Africa’s shinning stars not only in the field of agriculture and in many sectors.

Against this backdrop, Mr. Mawere challenged me to add value to a platform business model that he is working on in relation to accelerating women participation and advancement in agriculture.

He told me about Mrs. Carin Van Berg, the owner of Lily Valley farm located in Randfontein, South Africa, a farm that produces flowers.

He invited me to join him on a farm visit on Monday and today, we visited the farm, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to see about 80 employees busy at work growing and harvesting flowers.

Guess what, about 70 of the 80 employees are black women involved in the production value chain.

The quality of the flowers is world standard and I only learned that tulips are imported from the Netherlands.

Mrs. Van Berg said that Lily Valley is one of three South African commercial flower producers and explained why the tulips have to be imported.

We had interesting discussions led by Mr. Mawere on the project that is aimed to transform the existing linear business model into a platform business model in which the current farm measuring about 200 hectares will operate as a shared space for a variety of women farmers.

I looked at the concept behind the proposal and acknowledge that the intention to create a critical mass of agricultural outcomes will deliver the promise of least cost solutions.

I left the farm energized and inspired to play my part in making sure that the objective to create a shared farming experiences can be optimally achieved.