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A Nigerian Success Story ­ Women Leadership in African Banking


At the African Banking Congress 2008, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7 ­ 10 July 2008


· Introduction · Transformation and the increasing role of women in banking in Africa and globally · Unique women initiatives and successes ­ What can the African banking industry learn? · What have been the challenges and opportunities for women in banking in the different African countries? · What does the future hold for women and how can other stakeholders assist? · Conclusion



· Fellow bankers, guests, distinguished ladies and gentlemen · I am delighted to be addressing this gathering of African bankers, and feel most honoured to be speaking on the progress African women have made in the banking sector and in other fields of endeavour · These are exciting times for women not only in Africa but also around the world where women continue to make their mark in both the private and public sectors. · To my fellow African women and sisters, permit me to use the words from a Virginia Slims advertisement that ran in America in the 80s and 90s.

"You've come a long way baby" · The theme of today's seminar; "A Nigerian Success Story ­ Women Leadership in African Banking" is actually a celebration of the success

stories of African women, and other women in the world not only in Nigeria. · We are all partners in progress committed to the socio-economic development of our respective countries.


Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· Women in Africa are playing an increasingly bigger role in various spheres, in politics, in the family, economic development, literature, sports and poverty reduction. · According to Luisa Dias Diogo, the first woman prime minister of Mozambique: "The role of women in Africa in fighting against poverty is very important, very important because she is doing the job, no doubt. She works in the most important area, that is agriculture." · Women also play an important part in families, core units in African societies which are often affected by conflicts and such natural disasters as flood and earthquakes. These roles have in the last decade made women more relevant in Africa


Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· Traditionally, the African woman has always been a strong woman. We have never been the stay-at-home-and-do-nothing-types. · I remember how my mother worked very hard to support my father in his business, while at the same time taking care of her children. · I learnt a lot from her. I learnt to be patient in life, to be supportive of my husband, to be caring to my fellow human beings and to passionately pursue my goals in life. · Perhaps saying that African women have undergone transformation may not pay justice to the efforts of women who came before us and their struggles for emancipation.


Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· Mary Wollstonecraft's book ­ A vindication of the Rights of Woman written in 1792 helped to inspire a whole generation of women to stand up and fight for their rights · These women faced difficult challenges but they stood up to be counted. · The activities of Rosa Parks, Mother of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America is well documented. · Her philosophy of Quiet Strength spurred her into refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. · This action of civil disobedience started the Montgomery Bus boycott which led to the launch of Martin Luther King Jnr who also participated in the protests.


Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· In Nigeria, Igbo women have in the past organised and fought for their social rights as in the historical Aba women riot of 1929, where they protested against alleged imposition of capitation tax on women by the ruling British colonial government. · The women also organised uprising against the men who defiantly and carelessly let their pigs destroy the women's cocoyam farms. · Other notable Nigerian women achievers whose activism have helped shape their socio-economic landscapes of their time include ­ · Queen Amina of Zazzau, warrior from Kaduna · Queen Idia, a warrior from Benin Kingdom · Madam Tinubu of Lagos who against all odds rose to become a successful entrepreneur · Margaret Ekpo (1914-2006), the women's right and social activist who was a pioneering female politician in the First Republic. · Alhaja Abibat Mogaji (Leader of market women in Lagos) · Chief (Mrs) Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the first Nigerian woman to drive a car 7

Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· It is therefore important to continue to encourage African women who represent slightly more than half of Africa's population · As shown by the activities of the women I have mentioned, women are essential to the development and prosperity of nations · It is imperative for the world to pay attention to issues that will give them access to economic independence · An unknown authour once said: "Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece." · That's the true picture of a woman: God's masterpiece! We need to inspire and encourage more women, especially in Africa to fully realise their God-given potential


Transformation And The Increasing Role Of Women In Banking In Africa And Globally

· According to Ms. Soukeyna Ndiaye Ba, Former Minister of Senegal for Regional Planning and decentralized Cooperation and INAFI International Director; "Africa is overflowing with women leaders. They lack only the training and the means to bloom. If you want to develop Africa, you must develop the leadership of African women" · The banking sector in Nigeria has for long been the exclusive preserve of Nigerian men, with only few women being able to make it beyond a certain level. · Every African woman is unique in their own rights; however, I will now showcase outstanding African women role models, who have been great gifts in the banking and other sectors.


Unique African Women

· Otunba Bola Kuforiji-Olubi was a former Commerce and Tourism Minister in Nigeria. Before that, she was the Chairman of UBA, one of Nigeria's first generation banks. She was the first female graduate Member of the Institute of Chattered Accountants(ICAN) and has served on the council from 1978 to 1991, as the first female member of council. She was elected the first female ICAN President in 1989 as the 25th President.




Unique African Women

· Zeinab Bashir EL BAKRI, VP, Sector Operations, African Development Bank · She has served as Vice President North, South and East Operations. Director Social Development. Acting Director, Social Development. Division Manager, Human Resources Division, North Region. Principal Women in Development Coordinator, Central Policy Department (1992-1995), and Senior Women in Development Coordinator, Central Policy Department (1991-1992).


Unique African Women

· Dr. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, Director General, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is one African woman that stands out in the global finance industry. · Under her leadership, the Nigerian capital market has attracted new generation of more-informed and enthusiastic investors both domestically as well as from the Diaspora.


Unique African Women

· Luísa Dias Diogo has been prime minister of Mozambique since February 2004 · Diogo studied economics at Maputo's Eduardo Mondlane University She graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1983. She went on to obtain a master's degree in financial economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1992.


Unique African Women

· Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala: A woman of Sterling qualities, custodian of cultural heritage with concern for the poor and tenacious people. · From an honourable background, she is a Managing Director at the World Bank currently. She is the first woman to be the Honourable Minister of Finance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She has used her wealth of experience to improve the financial status and economic condition of the Nation.


Unique African Women

· Professor Gill Marcus is the former Deputy Minister of Finance, the former Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank and was also Professor of Policy, Leadership and Gender Studies at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). · She has chaired numerous regulatory and policy committees, including the Financial Services Board and the Standing Committee for the Revision of the Banks 15 Act.

Unique African Women

· Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye was former managing director of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, a company she steered to the path of growth and profitability. She is a foremost female insurance practitioner and fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria. Mrs Babington- Ashaye also served on the board of NICON as acting managing director/CEO. She currently heads a leading insurance brokerage firm in Lagos





Unique African Women

· Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Director General of the Federal Inland Revenue Services in Nigeria was the first female professional staff hired in Nigeria by Arthur Anderson. They were not disappointed as she performed beyond their expectation to emerge as the first female professional manager and the first female national partner.


Unique African Women

· Linah K Mohohlo is the Governor of the Bank of Botswana: Educated at the George Washington University in the US where she received a bachelor's degree in economics, and at the University of Exeter in the UK, where she took a master's degree in finance and investment · Linah Mohohlo was at the beginning of central banking in Botswana, joining the central bank at its inception in the mid-1970s


Unique African Women

· Ms Evelyn Ndali Oputu was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry Limited (BoI) in December 2005. · She is renowned for her investment and commercial banking expertise as well as vast experience that spanned more than two decades. · Ms Oputu, an alumnus of the University of Lagos and the Harvard Business School, was at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York for internship.


Unique African Women

· Arunma Oteh was Group Treasurer, African Development Bank Group (ADB). · Ms Oteh is also the co-editor of the book, "African Voices African Visions. · Ms Oteh is current vice-president for corporate services of ADB


Unique African Women

· Jennifer Riria is Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Women Finance Trust (KWFT), a leading Women's World Banking (WWB) affiliate. Dr. Jennifer Riria is a PHD holder and is distinguished as a Microfinance Banker and Practitioner, Researcher, and Gender Specialist. · She has spent all her adult life in building and contributing to systems that empower the majority; and in particular women's empowerment and 21 development

Unique African Women

· Ndidi Nwuneli is the founder and chief executive of LEAP Africa, an acronym for Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism, a nongovernmental organisation, NGO, with which she has transformed the lives of many young Nigerians. · She has devoted her life to grooming young men and women to become leaders. She even has time to help businessmen brush up their business acumen. Nwuneli's ideals are based on the concept called "servant leadership."


Unique African Women

· Wendy Yvonne Nomathemba Luhabe: A social entrepreneur, Wendy is one of the most influential women in South Africa. She is regarded as one of South Africa 's prominent, visionary and pioneering women · Her passion is to see women work towards their own financial independence and get involved in economic opportunities that will make them more active in the South African economy


Unique African Women

· SANDRA E. AGUEBOR is Nigeria's foremost first Female Mechanic who has been practicing as auto mechanic for more than 20 years. She obtained her Ordinary National Diploma in AutoEngineering from Auchi Polytechnic in Edo State, Nigeria. · Sandra is the founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative (LMI), a nongovernmental and non-profit organization which seeks to promote sustainable positive change in the socio-economic circumstances of poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria.


Some African Women Initiatives

· · BURKINA FASO: The country has a nongovernmental organisaton, Réseau de communication et d'information des femmes (RECIF, communication and information network for women) which was established in response to the marginalization of women in Burkinabe society. RECIF's objectives are the following: To facilitate access to information; To ensure training to strengthen women's capacities; and To offer women a forum to exchange ideas. Its activities are the following: ­ Training more than 600 women in diverse economic and social activities and experience sharing; ­ Publishing a newsletter that is translated into the country's two principal languages; ­ Offering a forum to enable women to valorize their knowledge; and ­ Using ICTs (radio, video, and audiocassettes) to disseminate specific information

· · · ·


Some African Women Initiatives

· Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm is set to empower Rwandan women through business education. · The initiative announced last week seeks to provide to 10,000 women in developing countries with business skills and Rwanda is one of the beneficiaries. · The programme will be implemented in Rwanda by Rwanda's School of Finance and Banking (SFB) in support of the William Davidson Institute (WDI). WDI is in partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. · We need more of these initiatives to position African women effectively for better performance in the banking sector


Some African Women Initiatives

· Women in Business (WIMBIZ) was formed in 2002 by 13 women and one man to improve the success rate of female entrepreneurs and increase the proportion of women in senior positions in corporate organizations. · It has set out to foster better networking amongst business women and corporate professionals to help address issues peculiar to women in all areas of economic endeavour. · Through support and encouragement, WIMBIZ hopes to raise more women in leadership in Nigeria.


Some African Women Initiatives

· LEAP AFRICA: This organisation has been involved in activities that have enhanced the lives of African women · With a major focus on outcomes and not activities, LEAP AFRICA, through its programmes, changes mindsets and behaviour - inspiring, empowering and equipping our participants with the tools, skills and support that they need to effectively lead positive change efforts in their companies and communities.


Some African Women Initiatives

· SME Toolkit Nigeria: A project of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Enterprise Development Services (EDS), an initiative of PanAfrican University located at the Lekki Campus of Lagos Business School. · The SME Toolkit Nigeria offers free business management information and training for small businesses / small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


Successful Women: Lessons for Africa's Banking Sector

· Assertiveness · Professionalism, excellence · Interpersonal and facilitation skills · Sense of self, self-esteem and confidence · Expertise and experience · Honesty, outspokenness · Dedication and commitment integrity and concern for · Qualifications and job-related skills · Ability to relate to people at all levels · Ability to develop self and others · Inter-cultural skills, · Willingness to take on a challenge or a fight, initiative, · Motivation and a positive attitude, · Strategic searching for




Successful Women: Lessons for Africa's Banking Sector

· Ability to develop self and others · Awareness of trends, future· Self-management and life skills · Decisiveness and determination · Resilience · organisation skills · Self-presentation · Willingness to help others and share skills · keeping abreast of their field, curiosity, and taking responsibility


mindedness, open-mindedness · Hard-working, doing more than expected · Flexibility and adaptability · Team spirit, leadership, supporting and valuing others · Persistence, perseverance and drive

Challenges, Opportunities for Women in Banking

· According to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals Report 2005: "Women's access to paid employment is lower than men's in most of the developing world... Women are less likely than men to hold paid and regular jobs and more often work in the informal economy, which provides little financial security." · Findings of various surveys indicates that gender inequalities in developing countries inhibit economic growth. There is a correlation between gender discrimination and greater poverty, slower economic growth, weaker governance, and a lower standard of living of the people. · Despite efforts deployed towards economic empowerment of women, the majority of the active female population continues to be confined in the micro and small-scale enterprises and the informal sector. · Women's integration into the formal sector is still constrained by limited access to credit, property, technology and technical skills.


Challenges, Opportunities for Women in Banking

· Women entrepreneurs are playing an increasing role in diversifying production and services in Africa economies. · However, they operate in more difficult conditions than the men entrepreneurs. The constraints that impede all entrepreneurs such as political instability, poor infrastructure, high production costs, and non-conducive business environment, tend to impact more on businesswomen than businessmen. · Women entrepreneurial development is also impeded by specific constraints such as: limited access to key resources (including land and credit), the legal and regulatory framework, and the socio-cultural environment. Furthermore, the combined impact of globalization, changing patterns of trade, and "evolving" technologies call for skills that women entrepreneurs on the continent do notfor a large part- possess; as the majority of women lack more than men the requisite level of education and training. · Source In Africa, women own majority of businesses in the MSME sector : Albaladejo, M. (2002); Promoting SMEs in Africa : Key areas for policy intervention, UNIDO background report 33 for AfDB's new policy guidelines to promote Small and Medium scale enterprises).

Challenges, Opportunities for Women in Banking

· Let me share the approaches recommended by The African Development Bank Group · Developing the Knowledge Base and Raising Awareness: This includes data development and dissemination, raising awareness among stakeholders (including governments, NGOs, Parliamentarians, particularly female). · Addressing Internal Constraints and entrepreneurship skills needs. This includes financing innovative groundbreaking research; building corporate partnerships for learning; promoting university partnerships for learning (where universities can play such roles); building up internationally recognized Training Institutes for women entrepreneurs that would provide certifications to facilitate their deals; and creating a "business idea" competition that could bring forth ideas on new projects from existing or potential African women entrepreneurs · This will lead to acquisition of skills by women that can come in handy in the banking sector


Making the future Brighter for Women

· Ensure that fiscal, trade and general macroeconomic policies are designed to promote women's economic empowerment and do not cause adverse gender impacts · Ensure stronger and culturally appropriate social safety net for women and families · Promote the application and extension of Gender Responsive Budget (GRB) processes, and integration of gender analysis in trade policy and negotiation of trade agreements · Develop and enforce policies and standards that recognise the contribution of women in the informal economy, and also ensure that their needs and interests are met in the policies of all relevant ministries.


Making the Future Brighter for Women

· Promote policies and strategies, and ensure the enrolment retention and successful achievement of girls in education systems particularly at the primary and secondary levels · Develop programmes to meet women's needs for appropriate skills including non-traditional skills, technology and facilitate marketing and credit/financing · Support women's entrepreneurship and provide an enabling environment for business development and promote userfriendly training in trade negotiations at all levels and secure new markets for agriculture and other products. · Improve statistical systems to make the paid and unpaid work of women visible and valued, and to ensure that data is disaggregated by sex to understand and monitor the elimination 36 of poverty among women

Making the Future Brighter for Women

· Create a unique opportunities for women entrepreneurs from all over the world to network economically · Provide new growth opportunities for women entrepreneurs to emerges in the national global economy · Expose products made by women to potential buyers and investors. · Encourage women entrepreneurs to pull their resources together maximize their output and improve competitiveness in a liberalized and globalized market.


Future of Banking in Africa and Women's Involvement The following are issues to be addressed to ensure a brighter future for Banking in Africa · Macroeconomic environment · Quality of manpower · Corporate governance issues · Adoption of appropriate advances in technology · Policy and strategy for resolving bank distress · Efficacy of bank regulation and supervision For each of these issues, the role of women, and the impact of policies adopted must be carefully and strategically considered


Future of Banking in Africa and Women's Involvement

· Already, African Banks are involved in various ICT development strategies · Global advancements in information technology is expected to drive international banking, automation, e-banking and online banking · Robust ICT platforms to enhance - design and delivery of more innovative financial products - staff training - internal controls - reduction of operating cost Efforts Must Be Made To Ensure A Level Playing Field For Women To Participate Effectively In The Sector Across The Continent


Why Women Should Be Involved

· There is ample evidence to show that countries that have enjoyed or are enjoying economic prosperity have been linked with an efficient mechanism for mobilising financial resources · African Banks from all indications are poised to intensify their crucial role as mobilisers of savings, allocators of resources, and providers of liquidity and payment services, as well as a fulcrum for monetary policy implementation · Given the growing influence of women in the sector, more opportunities should be extended to them for 40 greater participation

What African Women Must Do

· While more is still desired in policy-formulation and creation of enabling environments for African women to excel, we still need to make the CHOICE to take advantage of available opportunities · We need to step out of our comfort zones, confront the barriers of gender limitations head-on and seize this moment where women-related agenda have become front-burner issues globally · According to Eleanor Roosevelt, former American First Lady: "One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility"


Going Forward

· We read from Runoko Rashidi's `THE AFRICAN WOMAN AS HEROINE; GREAT BLACK WOMEN IN HISTORY' that: "For many thousands of years the African woman has been worshipped, revered and idolized by individuals, families and nations--not only in Africa but around the world. Ancient records show her as queen, goddess, scholar, diplomat, scientist, icon, prophet and freedom fighting warrior exalted with and sometimes above her father, husband and brothers. The African woman has administered great and mighty nations, led determined and capable armies into battle and founded splendid and enduring royal dynasties. Indeed, no other human of any racial or ethnic type has been so widely venerated as has the African woman". · The time has come for us to work towards improving the fortunes of African women and indeed, their counterparts across the globe



· I want to conclude with the words of Susan B. Anthony. "The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race."

Thank you for listening


Think Banking... Think Oceanic



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