African women are making headways in the financial sector and can become the driving force of the continent’s economic growth.
In its 2022 edition, Angaza Awards recognized the top 10 African women shaping the banking and finance sector on the continent. Speakers at the awards ceremony shared insights and success stories depicting the transformative impact women are having on financial industries in Africa and around the world.
Delivering a keynote speech at the ceremony, the EJS Center Executive Director, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, remarked that the winners of this year’s Angaza Awards have been instrumental in helping other women “share in the gains of Africa’s economic progress.”
She encouraged the award recipients to venture into even more daring territories to create pathways for more African women to join the formal economy and help them realize their ambitions as entrepreneurs and wealth creators:
“We African women are busy and connected. We are enterprising and ambitious.”
Challenging them to be strategic in their outlook for the future of women in finance and to work hard to make the economic environment inclusive and equitable, Dr. Weeks said:
“We must lay down, for ourselves and others, the targets and guideposts for real, measurable, and sustainable impact, especially ones that affect African women across the globe.”
Before the awards ceremony, Dr. Weeks was featured in a Kenyan Wallstreet podcast where she offered her perspective on the economic role of women in discussion with Nuru Mugambi, a financial expert and Angaza Awards Chairperson.
Emphasizing the significant contribution of African women to the informal economy, Dr. Weeks argued that financial sector leaders must consider the “enormous amount of wealth” they can yield if they are fully integrated into the formal sector.
Turning to the role that the EJS Center plays in advancing women’s leadership in Africa, particularly through the Amujae Initiative, Dr. Weeks highlighted the constant support offered to women to help them take the helm in all sectors and spheres:
“What we would like to do is create a pipeline of women leaders. We don’t want anybody to say ‘Oh, this position is available, but we can’t find the right woman to fill it.’… We need women who will not only rise to the top, but bring other women along.”