Office of the President Advisor – Women Empowerment and Affirmative Finance, African Development Bank Group, Côte d’Ivoire
Dr. Millicent Omukaga is a policy advisor in development programming and finance with expertise in investment projects and portfolio management and market development for rural and agricultural communities across Africa. In her current position at African Development Bank (AfDB), she guides on financial inclusion through policy engagements at corporate and country levels, and provides technical assistance through access to finance and markets programmes targeting women entrepreneurs across the Continent. Some of her recent achievements include contribution to the establishment of the Bank’s 10-year Gender Equality Trust Fund, which is the first thematic fund on gender in the Bank Group’s history; USD250 mn Risk Share Mechanism; and USD25m Technical Assistance project.
Dr. Millicent Omukaga Career Trajectory
Prior to joining AfDB, she worked in public and private sector financial institutions, where she was directly responsible for implementation and supervision of rural and agricultural development programs across East Africa. Organizations where she played a key role in advancing women’s economic empowerment include African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), KCB Group, and Kenya Women Microfinance Bank (KWFT).
She also has served as Chief Operations Officer for Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Kenya, a position she held for three and a half years. At AFC, she was instrumental in the development finance institution’s (DFI’s) successful recapitalization, effectively increasing its capital base by 30 percent. She led the bank-wide effort to develop a new strategic plan (2018-2022) and worked closely with the CEO to ensure prudent operations that improved the bank’s external rating (from B to AA in 2019).
She developed a special initiative for AFC dubbed “Women Affirmative Access to Agri-finance Window” or WAAW that bundled capacity building and alternative collateral. The WAAW initiative increased the number of women agri-MSMEs financed by AFC, growing the portfolio from approximately one percent to 16 percent within the first year; 600 women entrepreneurs were trained with 100 receiving customized technical assistance thus leading to improved access to additional capital. Leading a dynamic team of over 360 staff, she grew the portfolio for the bank’s USD 80mn agri-finance revolving fund by 30 percent while stabilizing quality by reducing the portfolio at risk (PAR) by 54 percent. At the same time, she championed AFC’s advocacy and publicity agenda, raising the profile of AFC through traditional and digital media platforms, and positioning AFC as a trusted national DFI.
She has initiated successful policy dialogue platforms with governments, private sector and civil society organizations –particularly on rural development and financial inclusion. She is also a regional advocate for financial inclusion and women’s voices through the African Women Leadership Network (AWLN), a network by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN) through the Office of the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and UN Women.
Millicent is internationally recognized for championing inclusion of vulnerable communities and has earned several awards, fellowships and commendations including from Harvard Business School and Womens World Banking. She is also a Trailblazer Award recipient conferred by the President of the Republic of Kenya. She is a qualified banker and accountant, and is certified in internal audit and project management for development. She earned her doctorate (PhD) in Development Studies, and has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Commerce degree (1st class honors).