Speaker profile

Ledwaba (Refilwe)

Refilwe Ledwaba

Founder and Executive Director, Women & Aviation

Refilwe Ledwaba is the founder and executive director of Women & Aviation, a hybrid organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in aviation and aerospace industry. She is a qualified rotor wing and fixed wing pilot. She holds the highest-flying license in helicopters and a commercial license in fixed wings. She is also a qualified fixed-wing flight instructor.

Refilwe is also a recipient of numerous scholarships, international awards and honours for her visionary work with the NPO organizations she founded: Southern African Women in Aviation & Aerospace Industry (SAWIA), and Girls Fly Programme in Africa (GFPA) foundation. The success of SAWIA has led to Refilwe being the recipient of multiple social entrepreneurship awards. Refilwe was listed as one of Top 35 Africans Under 35 to watch, by the Young People in International Affairs (YPIA) in 2014

Refilwe holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Microbiology and Biochemistry) from the University of Cape Town (UCT), A Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from UCT graduate school of business and an MBA from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of business science with a focus on Airline strategies. Refilwe also recently completed a course on Aviation human factors from in the USA and she will be pursuing her PhD in 2019.