Ten women executives steering East Africa’s banking, financial sector
1 . Mary Wamae, is the Executive Director, Equity Group. The 52-year banker also holds various non executive board positions within the group’s regional subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Congo.
She led the Group’s acquisition of BCDC in DRC in 2019, and the subsequent merger with Equity Bank Congo, enabling the bank to attain a combined balance sheet of Sh2.5 billion, and crossing the Sh13 trillion balance sheet milestone.
Besides, she is a philanthropist and mentor, sponsoring more than 20 students and five orphans pursuing their high school, college and university education.
2 . Catherine Karimi has for the last four years has been the Chief Executive Officer of APA Life Insurance Company, a period within which the 47 year old insurance executive has overseen innovative products including Upendo, the first end-to-end digital microlife product that saw APA’s revenues increase 43 per cent and assets by 50 per cent.
The APA Life Fund has grown by over Sh2 billion under her tenure. She has been recognised for overseeing company operations to ensure efficiency, quality service and cost-effective management of resources, an approach that has anchored the firm’s sustainable growth.
3 . Lina Higiro, leads one of Rwanda’s fastest growing banks, NCBA Bank PLC Rwanda as its Chief Executive Officer.
The 49 year old uses digital-led efficiency and staff engagement to foster NCBA’s institutional growth that has seen the bank consolidate its operations, revised its business model and introduced new income and customer segments, growing operating income by 141 per cent.
Through digital offerings the lender has grown its deposit base by 99 percent ($21m to $41m) between 2019 and 2020; and mobile money customer base to represent 80 per cent of Rwanda’s active mobile money users.
4 . Elizabeth Wasunna Ochwa, is the director of business Banking at Absa Bank Kenya. She joined Absa in 2018 as a growth strategist.
The 48 year old reviewed the bank’s lending policies by introducing new unsecured products to attract small local businesses through Absa “Wezesha Biashara” campaign, leading to a 28 per cent asset growth and 6 per cent increase in customer deposit base for the first time in 2019, leading to the Business Banking Segment revenue recording a 10 per cent growth in earnings in 2020, in spite of a challenging business environment. She also set up a Sh10 billion facility to grow women entrepreneurs and enhance their management skills.
5. Joanita Jaggwe heads the Country Head of Risk and Compliance for KCB Group’s South Sudan subsidiary, where she has been credited with improving the bank’s operations by introducing risk management structures and frameworks that have stymied losses.
The 41 year old has also implemented robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing systems for rigorous monitoring of customer profiles and transactions, interventions that led to KCB South Sudan being recognised for attaining the highest Enterprise-Wide Risk Management Index Score within KCB Group.
She has also previously served as Governance and Control Manager at Absa Bank Uganda Ltd.reducing the bank’s operational loss expense from 20 per cent to 6 percent of Profit Before Tax.
6. Millicent Omukaga is the Technical Assistance Expert on Inclusive Finance, at the African Development Bank (Kenya), focusing on Women Empowerment Policy and Affirmative Finance.
The 41 year old has guided transformative gender finance by strengthening gender mainstreaming across AfDB operations and strategies. She addressed the bank’s internal transformation to make it a more supportive, gender-responsive institution.
Through her watch, AfDB established a Gender Equality Trust Fund, the first gender thematic fund in AfDB history, also championing a Risk Share Mechanism facility that unlocked up to $2 billion (Sh216 billion) in credit, the largest effort ever to bridge the gap in access to finance for women in Africa’s history.
7 . Emmanuella Nzahabonimana, Heads the Information Technology wing of KCB Group’s Rwanda subsidiary., responsible for directing the planning and implementation of IT systems in support of business operations to improve cost effectiveness, service quality, and business development.
She has successfully delivered a $3 million (Sh324 million) core banking and disaster recovery data centres project datacenters that delivered a 10 per cent cost saving.
Away from banking, the 36 year old mentors upcoming women leaders through the US State department’s techwomen Rwanda through the Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum at local schools.
8. Judith Sidi Odhiambo is KCB Group Head of Corporate Affairs, a role that involves managing brand reputation, stakeholder engagement, internal and external strategic communications, sustainability and responsible banking.
Largely through her initiatives, in 2020 the group was accredited the global Green Climate Fund, unlocking up to $250 million (Sh27 billion) in funding for onward lending to clients aligned to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Other firsts for the 48 year communication specialist include helping incorporate Environmental and Social Governance requirements into the bank’s credit processes in 2014.
9 . Rosemary Ngure, is an environmental, social governance (ESG) and Impact Manager at Catalyst Principal Partners (Kenya), a private equity firm. She has developed and managed ESG frameworks for two private equity funds, worth $300 million (Sh32.4 billion) in assets under management, and over 10 local and international investors.
She has also incorporated ESG aspects across 12 companies spanning Fast Moving Consumer Goods, pharmaceutical, printing and office automation, heavy equipment leasing, agribusiness and financial institutions.
The 47 year old lawyer is special advisor to EGF, an impact fund seeking to raise $100 million (Sh10.8 billion). She has previously been a legal Counsel to the United States International University.
10 . Pooja Bhatt is a co-founder of QuantaRisk and QuantaInsure, which sells insurance products via mobile application technology, a platform enabling customers to buy policies or make claims real time.
A qualified actuary, her clients include businesses with annual turnover of more than Sh20 billion. Pooja has worked as an actuary at XL Catlin (UK) until 2018, where she helped digitize its insurance reserving process.
The $1 million (Sh108 million) project included working with interdepartmental teams such as Actuarial, Finance, Claims, IT, as well as, offices across the globe in order to understand their current processes and future requirements.
Original Source Website: : https://www.pd.co.ke/news/ten-women-executives-steering-east-africas-banking-financial-sector-71752/