Uganda’s women have made remarkable progress across various sectors of the economy since 1962.
However, they are yet to make significant inroads in the banking sector especially in top leadership positions.
For example, out of the 24 operating banks in Uganda, there is only one woman heading a bank-Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Finance Trust Bank.
She is the 2nd indigenous Ugandan to rise to the position of CEO in Uganda’s banking history.
Edigold Monday was the first Ugandan woman to rise to the position of a Managing Director (MD) of a top pan-African bank-Bank of Africa.
She resigned a few years ago after serving the banking industry for about two decades. And when Crane Bank opened shop in Kigali, Rwanda, she was appointed MD, but the Uganda based bank collapsed in 2016.
Who is Annet Nakawunde?
Nakawunde is a businesswoman and the current and founding CEO of Finance Trust Bank, a financial service provider with assets valued at Shs166.2bn, as of 30th December 2016.
Born in the Central Region of Uganda in 1960s, Nakawunde studied at local primary and secondary schools before she entered Makerere University, the oldest and largest public university in East Africa’s 3rd largest economy.
She graduated from Makerere with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Later, she obtained a postgraduate diploma in Financial Management from the Uganda Management Institute (UMI) in Kampala. Still later, she obtained a Master of Business Administration in Finance, also from UMI.
In the early 1990s, she started out at Pride Microfinance Limited and later moved to Nile Bank Limited (which was bought off by Barclays Bank in 2007), before joining Finance Trust Bank.
At Finance Trust, Nakawunde has worked in different capacities, including operations and compliance manager and head of operations.
On 3 April 2012, she was appointed as Managing Director and CEO of what was still known as Uganda Finance Trust, a microfinance institution. When the Bank of Uganda granted the Finance Trust a full commercial banking license, Nakawunde became the second woman in the banking history of the country to rise to the rank of CEO at a commercial bank in Uganda, behind Edigold Monday.
The new commercial bank was launched officially in January 2014.
Over time, she has been recognized for her leadership skills and offered further training in leadership, management and problem-solving.
Unknown to many people, Nakawunde is a sister to Bank of Uganda deputy Governor, Dr. Louis Kasekende and senior banker, Herman Kasekende, who was heading Standard Chartered Bank as CEO before being transferred to Zambia early this year to head the bank in the same position.
Nakawunde has managed to keep Finance Trust Bank, an institution that prioritises women, profitable.
In an interview with this writer after transitioning into a bank, she said: “Since 2010 when we started on the process of transforming into a bank, which involves a lot of costs, we have been able to post profits and will continue to do so. We are going to aggressively mobilize free deposits.”
She added: “The banking platform presents an opportunity for innovation to serve our customers better with a variety of products and value added services that will make banking a reality for the financially excluded people by making services more accessible, convenient and affordable.”
In 2016, Finance Trust Bank made a net profit of Shs1bn, down from Shs2bn recorded in 2015. Customer deposits grew to Shs95bn in 2016, up from Shs78.4bn.