KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has described the BRICS Women’s Business Alliance Africa Trade Conference as a resounding success and economically meaningful for women.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Women’s Business Alliance Africa Trade Conference was held this week at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC in Durban and brought together over 500 women-led Small Medium Enterprises, from 18 countries, including Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and several other African countries.

The conference saw the signing of several partnership agreements worth billions of rand, which the Premier commended as strategic catalysts for economic development.

Dube-Ncube said, in the landscape of interconnected economies, multilateral trade and investment play an essential role in forging a path towards inclusive prosperity and a more resilient global economic order.

She said the deals are worth over R48.4 billion and over 120 000 jobs will be created across these projects.

“This marks a pioneering moment in our shared journey as women,” the Premier said.

Among the strategic partnership agreements that were signed during the conference was the Russia-South Africa Mobility Center on BRICS, with a projected investment value of R47million, which represents a ground-breaking collaboration between the United Immigration Center (Russia) and Africans Do Travel Pty Ltd (South Africa).

This partnership aims to establish a physical centre in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, with a central goal of facilitating smooth cross-border mobility for education, work, and tourism.

“This initiative underscores the significant influence of population mobility in advancing global sustainable development and economic stability,” Dube-Ncube said.

In the sphere of infrastructure, the R1.96 billion Innovation and Building Technologies Centre of Excellence is set to be established through Private Public Partnership between Afuraka IBT Consortium, and Russia’s Federal Autonomous Institution “RosKapStroy”.

The centre aims to empower micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the construction sector to foster innovation, knowledge exchange, and skill enhancement for MSMEs, facilitating technologies transfer partnerships while promoting sustainable construction practices and eco-friendly technologies.

The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement also set on a dynamic agriculture and energy venture between China and South Africa.

The innovative multidimensional project, valued over R45 billion, seeks to seamlessly integrating marigold plantation and processing facility with an advanced 1GW solar production plant and beef production operation.

The Premier said the project will be established on a vast 3 000-hectare land parcel.

Regarding the medical and digital economy, a strategic joint venture emerged as the Africa-China AI Medics Platform, uniting Meridian Medical Network Corporation, EtaData, and Human Insights (Pty) Ltd.

The innovative partnership capitalises on expertise from China and South Africa, harnessing artificial intelligence, big data, and traditional medicine knowledge to shape the future of healthcare.

Dube-Ncube noted this collaboration aims to revolutionise African traditional medicine by creating a bridge to modern healthcare through the Africa-China AI Medics Platform, fostering economic growth, knowledge exchange, and healthcare accessibility.

“The project will commence with a pilot phase in South Africa, with an initial investment cost of R281.6 million, before expanding to other countries across the African continent,” the Premier explained.

The conference also witnessed the revolutionary IntelliBiz KZN portal geared towards pulsating business intelligence for economic advancement and progress.

The Premier said the ground-breaking initiative is led by prominent Chinese tech firm and a leading South African enterprise, aimed at shaping the digital economy.

“This innovative collaboration aims to provide the KwaZulu-Natal Government with valuable insights into a diverse business community across sectors and an estimated investment of over R846 million over three years, creating 61 600 new jobs.

“Aligned with KwaZulu-Natal Government’s growth agenda, this venture seeks to develop a state-of-the-art KZN Smart business cloud platform that will empower enterprises, entrepreneurs, government entities and other stakeholders through corporate and data resources serving as a catalyst of economic development in KwaZulu-Natal,” Dube-Ncube highlighted.

Building upon this foundation, she said, the goal is to foster robust collaboration between the South African government and society, culminating in the establishment of a harmonious business ecological model that facilitates efficient and collaborative development across government and enterprise sectors.

The conference further witnessed multilateral collaboration between Apollo Hospitals Group, the Health Accelerator and Zayna Africa Holdings.

Dube-Ncube noted that the Health Precinct initiative holds the potential to transform healthcare standards and spur economic growth across India and South Africa.

With Apollo Hospitals Group’s extensive medical expertise, she said the initiative aims to revolutionise healthcare across Africa, beginning in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Focused on health infrastructure development, medical education, combating various disease burdens, public health initiatives, technological innovation, research, telemedicine, medical tourism, and more, this partnership aims to create comprehensive healthcare solutions.

“By addressing critical aspects of healthcare delivery and accessibility, from education to technology, this project aspires to enhance healthcare across borders and contribute to global advancements in the field,” Dube-Ncube said.

“In the landscape of interconnected economies, multilateral trade and investment play an essential role in forging a path towards inclusive prosperity and a more resilient global economic order,” she said.