Dr Vuyo Mahlati is an entrepreneur as well as public policy and development planning specialist.

Having served two terms as International Women"s Forum (IWF) SA Vuyo has now joined the global board as a director. She is serving her second term as member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission (2010-2020). She formed part of the team that released the National Development Plan, adopted as the national strategic framework by Cabinet and Parliament in 2012. Vuyo also served as the Deputy Chair of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) Panel of Experts. She is now the Chair of BEE Tourism Transformation Council.

As a social entrepreneur and Co-owner of African Financial Group Vuyo initiated and facilitated various value-chain based transactions. These include resource based industries and recently Ivili Loboya Wool Processing Hub in Butterworth and the acquisition of a pay TV license (Siyaya TV where she is the shareholder and Board Chair).

She holds a PhD from the University of Stellenbosch. Her thesis focused on the role of value chains in mainstreaming rural entrepreneurs into global markets, and was the only one selected by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences to be presented at the University’s inaugural New Voices in Science Colloquium. She obtained her M Sc from the UK London School of Economics.

On 28 October 2014, Dr. Vuyo Mahlati received the Mail and Guardian, Southern Africa Trust Individual Award for Drivers of Change. The Judges of this award commented that: “President of the International Women's Forum of South Africa and entrepreneur - typifies the idea of an African Renaissance woman. While working both practically and intellectually in the urban development, poverty reduction, gender equality and policy implementation spheres - she is still committed to the ethos of Ubuntu and care. "Her humility and keen grasp of economic and development issues at the micro and macro levels make her one of Africa's most persuasive young leaders".

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