The DCA Group hosted its 5th impactful and insightful Executive Roundtable conversation on the topic of “Women Bankers for Women Entrepreneurs: A post 2020 strategy for success, presenting a unique topic about “What Women Want” in Banking.
The virtual meeting dialog consisted of leading ladies at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Zanzibar, Credit Bank PLC-Kenya, Bank of Ghana, NCBA Bank Group, Absa Bank and African Development Bank Group.
The rich discussions encompassed Ambassadors, Ministers, Senior Managers, and Directors in top Banking and Finance Industry who are passionate and well known in their work to bridge the gender gap in the financial sector in Africa.
The following topics were addressed during the session: The different ways to boost financial inclusion in Africa: Increasing women’s formal financial inclusion will yield knock-on effects for African economies, how African banks can tailor banking services and products to women bankers in order to address their specific needs, how banks need to conduct more gender-segmented market research in order to design products that meet women’s needs, the role of governments in offering financial literacy training and up-scaling digital literacy levels among women, the adoption of collateral registries, which accept a broader class of assets as security including tangibles and intangibles and, adoption of mobile money services in Africa and how they meet women’s unique financial needs.
Ms. Sophia Bekele, Founder & CEO of DCA Group & Pioneering Miss.Africa Digital Women-in-Tech Impact Seed-Fund Grant Award and Former US Bank Executive while chairing the forum acknowledged that we need women champions internally in all organizations as well as externally to get the financial inclusion equation right.
Pamela Mutembei, Founder of TGBH, Former Head of Credit Bank Marketing, Named as “Girl Boss” by BusinessToday Kenya while moderating the discussion said that the networking and training and peer learning is the key to the financial inclusion.
Hon.AMB.Amina Salum, the Special Guest Appearance who is also Minister of Trade and Industry in Zanzibar and First African Union Ambassador to United States admitted that the Government has to reach the banks and work together with financial institutions to enable women to have access to financing.
On her part, Rosalind Gichuru, Group Marketing Director, Global Brand Strategist, Communications Expert & Customer Experience Champion at NCBA Bank Group, Kenya emphasized on the need to embrace “Figital Banking,” combining tech and human touch to give women a dignified way to borrow and access to capital. She also highlighted on the need to level the playing field for women.
Clarissa Kudowor, Assistant Director at Bank of Ghana, fellow at the Fletcher Leadership School for Financial Inclusion and Gender Focal Point for the Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG), Ghana advised the banks to walk the journey with their clients so that they can also showcase that story and that journey. She cautioned them, (banks) against throwing money at women bankers.
Notably, Monica Chege, Senior Manager- Marketing and Communications, Credit Bank PLC Kenya reiterated that commercial banks need to come to the level of these women and tailor solutions in the space that they are in.
The Forum ended in the concluding words of Esther Dassanou, Manager Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) at African Development Bank Group, Washington DC, USA who said women entrepreneurs need to join their forces because our continent is in dire need of employment and jobs.
Roughly 35m women in Africa are excluded from financial services. Without access to finance, women face difficulties in collecting and saving income, growing their businesses, and pulling their families out of poverty. As a result, women remain largely excluded from the formal economy.
Investing in women’s economic participation not only has a profound development impact, it makes good business sense for companies and economies.
Banking on women is in the interest of banks. As Africa’s commercial banks grapple to differentiate themselves from mobile money and fintech providers, women represent an untapped customer base worth potentially billions of dollars.
Banks should lead the charge in developing Africa’s women’s economy.
Watch the Web Forum below: