The Country Director for WEConnect International in South Africa, Jean Chawapiwa, is a strategic communications expert with over 25 years corporate communications experience, over 10 of those years were spent in the African Mining sector serving as vice president communications and external affairs Africa for Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and Placer Dome. Prior to this she worked for seven years at senior management level in CSIR.
During this time her corporate portfolios supported businesses in South Africa, Namibia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, DRC, and Tanzania, this also includes working on various acquisitions and divestments on the continent. Born in Zimbabwe, raised and educated in the UK, Jean has lived an amazing life and worked in Africa for the last 20 years. She has in the last 2 years set up her own consulting company, partnering with other highly experienced Africans.
The team is focussed on using their knowledge & expertise and passion for the continent, to facilitate companies and investors to do business in Africa. Their work involves business facilitation & intermediation; providing valuable insights into African countries; in-depth research & reports; understanding business legislation & changes; investment support; unpacking opportunities and challenges; creating powerful and profitable networks; training professionals; creating experts & enhancing skills; and coaching future African leaders.
Jean has also for over 10 years represented Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold & Placer Dome at senior executive levels in the Chamber of Mines Executive Committee; Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA); World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa; Nepad Business Forum (NBF); African Union meetings; Mining Indaba and various other wide-ranging forums, conferences, government meetings and engagements on the continent, and internationally.
She is passionate about entrepreneurship in Africa, and coaching women & young professionals to play a growing role in Africa’s development; and, as part of this she continues to sit on the Board of Junior Achievement Africa (JA Africa).Back to the Global Team