The Angaza Awards: Women to Watch in Banking & Finance program has announced the list of Top 10 women who are steering and shaping the financial services sector. The list was compiled following a four-month entry period which saw professionals from Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda submit applications. The Kenyan Wallstreet, a financial news media company and Kaleidoscope Consultants partnered together on the Awards in an effort to raise awareness of seasoned women who are shaping and influencing the sector through their organizations.
The Angaza Award criteria included an assessment of the applicants’ area of responsibility and contribution to firm performance. Scores were also awarded for achievement that transcended the institution and resulted in the sector and, or community shared value creation. Professionals in Banking, Capital Markets, Insurance, Investment Banking, Fintech, Fund Management, Microfinance, and Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) were invited to submit their applications or nominations via the Kenyan Wallstreet Award Web page.
The Top 10 List are:
- Mary Wamae, Executive Director, Equity Group Holdings PLC (Kenya)
- Catherine Karimi, Chief Executive Officer, APA Life Assurance Company (Kenya)
- Lina Higiro, Chief Executive Officer, NCBA Bank PLC (Rwanda)
- Elizabeth Wasunna Ochwa, Business Banking Director, Absa Bank PLC (Kenya)
- Joanita Jaggwe, Country Head of Risk and Compliance, KCB Group PLC (South Sudan)
- Millicent Omukaga, Policy Advisor, Women Empowerment and Affirmative Finance, African Development Bank Group
- Emmanuella Nzahabonimana, Head of Information Technology, KCB Group PLC (Rwanda)
- Judith Sidi Odhiambo, Group Head of Corporate Affairs, KCB Group PLC (Kenya)
- Rosemary Ngure, ESG & Impact Manager, Catalyst Principal Partners (Kenya)
- Pooja Bhatt, Co-Founder, QuantaRisk and QuantaInsure (Kenya)
These women are quietly, behind the scenes, creating an impact for their organizations and in turn shaping the financial sector. They have certainly earned the recognition and we congratulate them for their accomplishments, “I often am asked ‘where are the women,’ when it comes to board appointments. Considering the financial sector employs thousands of women, we recognize that this list is not exhaustive, but it is a start in showcasing the many women who are ready and able to serve,”Chair, Angaza Awards Judges Panel & Director Public Affairs Kenya Bankers Association
“Board diversity includes gender, age, tribe, race, culture and professional backgrounds, and research and analysis have proven that firm performance improves with a well-constituted and diverse board. Moreover, financial sector experience is an advantageous skillset for any board.” added Mugambi. “We need to move away from board recruitment practices that entrench cronyism, tribalism and nepotism. Listed companies in Africa are encouraged to continue making an effort to recruit transparently and from the many databases that will help introduce boards to new names and fresh perspectives. The Angaza list is a good place to start!”
The Angaza Awards Judges Panel was constituted by Prof. Tabitha Kiriti of the University of Nairobi School of Economics; Ms. Catherine Musakali, co-founder of Women on Boards Network; Ms. Ester Ndeti, Executive Director of East Africa Venture Capital Association; Dr. Mary Okello, co-founder of Kenya Women Finance Trust; Mr. Luke Ombara, Capital Markets Authority Director of Regulatory Affairs; and Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga, Chief Executive of Kenya Association of Manufacturing.
The inaugural Angaza Awards is a testament of how important it is to acknowledge the role that women play in the banking and financial services industry. Increasing gender diversity on boards is associated with stronger financial outcomes, stability and a greater focus on transparency and ethics. Regulators, sector businesses and Fintechs need to improve the representation of women in leadership positions. As new market entrants, Fintechs should be encouraged to take a lead in this areaEric Asuma, the Co-Founder and CEO at Kenyan Wallstreet.
See below for the complete profiles of the Top 10 list. Click here to listen to Podcasts on the perspectives of the 2020 Judges.
The Award Secretariat also announced that the 2021 Award will invite applications from across Africa with the Call for Entry period opening in October 2021. Follow @AngazaAwards on Twitter for updates and more information on the award program.