LINA HIGIRO

Country: Rwanda

Sector: Banking 

Age: 49 Years

Lina serves as Chief Executive Officer of NCBA Bank PLC, one of the fastest growing banks in Rwanda.  A key approach to her leadership is to foster institutional growth through digital-led efficiency and staff engagement. In her first years as CEO, Lina consolidated operations, revised the business model and introduced new income and customer segments, resulting in a remarkable growth in operating income by 141 percent, driven by a 163 percent growth of the loan portfolio.  

She has delivered five key digitization and efficiency projects, which attracted new customers and grew the bank’s deposit base by 99 percent ($21m to $41m) between 2019 and 2020; and mobile money customer base to represent 80 percent of Rwanda’s active mobile money users. Lina’s leadership style has resulted in a positive culture within the bank, which is rated the highest in the NCBA group in terms of employee satisfaction. 

Prior to joining NCBA, she served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at AB Bank Rwanda, where she helped streamline operations resulting in a 150 percent growth in non-funded income and 235 percent growth in payment transaction volumes.

In 2019, she set up a “Fee Gap Fund” dubbed “LIK Fund” to support university students with housing, food, fees and transport, and in January 2021 she co-initiated the introduction of a mental health Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for the banking sector which will be launched in May.

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