We are pleased to announce 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 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 Awards Web page. 

“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.

Board diversity includes gender, age, tribe, race, culture and professional backgrounds, and research and analysis has proven that firm performance improves with a well-constituted and diverse board. Moreover, financial sector experience is an advantageous skillset for any board. 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!"
Nuru Mugambi (FKIB)Nuru Mugambi (FKIB)Director of Public Affairs, KBA & Chairperson, Angaza Awards Judging Panel
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 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 area,"

Eric AsumaEric AsumaCo-Founder and CEO at Kenyan Wallstreet


MARY WAMAE Country: Kenya Sector: Banking  Age: 52 Years   Mary serves as Group Executive Director for Equity Group Holdings Plc and a Non-Executive Director in the Boards of Finserve Africa Ltd, Equity Group Foundation, Equity Investment Bank Ltd, Equity Insurance Agency Ltd, and Equity Subsidiaries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Congo)...
CATHERINE KARIMI Country: Kenya Sector: Insurance  Age: 47 Years   For the past four years, Catherine has been the Chief Executive Officer of APA Life Insurance Company. By championing the development of such innovative products as Upendo, the first end-to-end digital microlife product, the firm has witnessed impressive performance with revenue increasing 43%...
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...


ELIZABETH OCHWA Country: Kenya Sector: Banking  Age: 48 Years   Elizabeth is Director of Business Banking at Absa Bank Kenya Plc
JOANITA JAGGWE Country: South Sudan Sector: Banking  Age: 41 Years   Joanita is the Country Head of Risk and Compliance at KCB South Sudan
MILLICENT OMUKAGA Country: Kenya Sector: Development Finance  Age: 41 Years Millicent serves as the Advisor, Women Empowerment Policy and Affirmative Finance at AfDB
EMMANUELLA NZAHABONIMANA Country: Rwanda Sector: Banking  Age: 36 Years   Emmanuella is Head of Information Technology at KCB Rwanda
JUDITH ODHIAMBO Country: Kenya Sector: Banking  Age: 48 Years   Judith is the KCB Group Head of Corporate Affairs.
ROSEMARY NGURE Country: Kenya Sector: Private Equity  Age: 47 Years   Rosemary is ESG & Impact Manager at Catalyst Principal Partners.
POOJA BHATT Country: Kenya Sector: Insurance  Age: 32 Years   Pooja is the Co-Founder of two profitable companies: QuantaRisk,  and QuantaInsure



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.