Revealed: The most influential women in East Africa’s finance industry

Women have always made an impact in the world of finance and banking, but they are being observed closer than ever in today’s increasingly dynamic market.

After a period of four months were entries were sought, professionals from Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda submitted applications of some of the most inspiring women to watch in the industry today.

The exercise, which culminated in the maiden Angaza Awards: women to watch in banking and finance, is an initiative of Kenyan Wallstreet and Kaleidoscope Consultants that sought to raise awareness of the experienced women, who are shaping and influencing the industry in their roles at various organizations within the region.

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The survey assessed the candidates’ area of responsibility and their contribution to the overall performance of the company. The women were also awarded points for achievements that transcend their host institution and result in sector and, or community shared value creation.

Women professionals in the region’s banking, capital markets, insurance, investment banking, fintech, fund management, microfinance, and Saccos were invited to submit their applications for the study.

And here are the top 10 women professionals to watch:

  1. Mary Wamae, Executive Director, Equity Group Holdings PLC (Kenya)
  2. Catherine Karimi, Chief Executive Officer, APA Life Insurance Company (Kenya)
  3. Lina Higiro, Chief Executive Officer, NCBA Bank PLC (Rwanda)
  4. Elizabeth Wasunna Ochwa, Business Banking Director, Absa Bank PLC (Kenya)
  5. Joanita Jaggwe, Country Head of Risk and Compliance, KCB Group PLC (South Sudan)
  6. Millicent Omukaga, Technical Assistance Expert on Inclusive Finance, African Development Bank (Kenya)
  7. Emmanuella Nzahabonimana, Head of Information Technology, KCB Group PLC (Rwanda)
  8. Judith Sidi Odhiambo, Group Head of Corporate Affairs, KCB Group PLC (Kenya)
  9. Rosemary Ngure, ESG & Impact Manager, Catalyst Principal Partners (Kenya)
  10. Pooja Bhatt, Co-Founder, QuantaRisk and QuantaInsure (Kenya)

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“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,” said Nuru Mugambi, who chaired the Judges panel.

The Angaza Awards Judges Panel was constituted by Professor 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.

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