Madumezulu Girlie Silinda is the Executive Director of Arche Advisory Practice, a consultancy specialising in strategy, research and programming. She has more than 15 years consulting experience in the sectors of Enterprise Development, Local Economic Development, Cooperative Governance and Organizational Development in South Africa. She holds a Master of Philosophy in Entrepreneurship and a BTech degree in Rural Development and Agriculture. In addition, she holds diplomas in Psychology and in Agriculture as well as a Management Development Programme certificate. Her work experience covers executive accountability as Founder CEO of the Marula Natural Products (Pty) Ltd where she developed a commercialisation strategy of the indigenous marula oil, Director of the University of Pretoria Business Clinic where she established the University’s business incubator, and Executive Director of the South African Women In Dialogue (SAWID), a Trust organisation focused on policy dialogue, advocacy and social research.
Her research interest focuses primarily on diagnosing and addressing market failures for SMEs through value chains management and collective entrepreneurship, as well as economic models for building resilience to overcome systemic vulnerabilities. Her value chains research includes a research study for GIZ ABS Compliant Biotrade in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs (BioPANZA) on the analysis of the commercial and export market value chains of the indigenous Marula, Geranium and Aloe, the analysis of the informal market value chains of the prickly pear in South Africa, a HIVOS commissioned study and the analysis of the Small scale Cotton value chains in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Madumezulu designed and led a 3-year pilot on an economic model for contextualising family and intergenerational poverty in SA – a model incorporating lessons from in-situ research in Chile and Tunisia. She conducted an analysis and developed the Financial Capabilities curricula for ASPIRES & FHI 360° Economic Strengthening programme aimed at developing interventions to improve long-term economic security for vulnerable youth in South Africa. She is currently chairing a workstream on analysis and development of a Resilient Agricultural Food system framework for Rural and Urban areas post Covid-19, a study for the SAWID in partnership with UN Women.
Madumezulu developed the Cooperative Governance and Organizational development programme and trained more than 70 cooperatives under the National Empowerment Fund- and Aggre Fund – funded programs – intended for promoting commercialisation, performance and sustainability of cooperatives. Under the Centre for Municipality Research and Advice (CMRA) Program, she advised the Executive Managers of the Ilembe and Maphumulo Municipalities in Kwa-Zulu Natal to develop Municipal Governance and Accountability Policies.
Her strategy work includes establishing the Enterprise Development Strategy for the WDB Investment Holdings, the Organizational Strategy for the BPSA Trust and developing Management Information and Reporting system for the WDB Trust Microfinance and Development programs. Her current assignment entails development and advising on rights-based gender equality strategy to achieve inclusive economic growth for the WDBIH. This involves the review of critical legislation, engaging the King Commission, Social & Ethics Committees of listed companies Boards, women leadership, galvanizing labour and other champions to advocate for industry policies and government legislation changes.
Madumezulu serves at the PhytoTrade Africa as Community Development and SME Incubation Expert. She had served as a non-Executive Director on the Board of Trade and Investment – Limpopo and the Kagiso Trust where she chaired the Kagiso Rural Development Fund. She remains a Patron of the Kagiso Trust.