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Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector

Women continue to expand their footprints in the top echelons of Rwanda’s banking sector, with two of them now leading the country’s biggest commercial banks both in terms of assets and branch network.Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector

It is a story of grit, sheer determination to succeed and consistency with results in a sector where women have time and time again shattered the glass ceiling.

Here, in no particular order, we take a look at some of the top women executives who are shaping Rwanda’s banking sector.

Diane Karusisi, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Kigali

Diane Karusisi is a seasoned economist who held several leadership positions in the past. She is the current CEO of Bank of Kigali – the largest commercial bank in Rwanda by assets.

 

Prior to that, she was the Head of Strategy and Policy as well as the Chief Economist at the Office of the President. Karusis also served at the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda where she oversaw the design and implementation of major surveys. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Fribourg and sits as a non-executive director on several boards.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Diane Karusisi, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Kigali,

Patience Mutesi, Managing Director, BPR Bank

Patience Mutesi was recently appointed as the Managing Director of BPR bank – the largest bank in the country by branch network with 154 branches.

She has been serving as the Country Director of TradeMark East Africa since July 2016 where she oversaw a strategic trade facilitation programme which contributed significantly towards increasing Rwanda’s trade, investments and job creation.

Before that, she held several other roles including Head of Corporate Banking in Ecobank Rwanda, and also served as board member on the boards of BPR Rwanda, MTN Rwanda, Rwanda Cooperation and Advisory council of One Acre Fund in Rwanda.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Patience Mutesi, MD of BPR Bank

Beata Habyarimana, Chief Executive Officer, BK Group

In 2022, Beata Habyarimana was named CEO of BK Group Plc – the parent companyof Bank of Kigali, BK General Insurance, BK TechHouse, BK Capital Ltd, and BK Foundation.

 

Previously, she had served for one year and three months as Minister of Trade and Industry. And, prior to that, she was the Deputy Managing Director of Bank of Africa and chief executive of Agaseke Bank.

Habyarimana holds a Master of Business Administration majoring in Finance from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands and a Bachelors Degree in Public Economics from University of Rwanda.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Beata Habyarimana, CEO of BK Group.

Christine Baingana, Chief Eexecutive Officer, Urwego Bank

Baingana has been the Chief Executive of Urwego Bank for more than five years now.

Since 2017, she has spearheaded a turnaround strategy that helped the microfinance bank to make profit after some years of struggling business environment. Earlier, has served as a Business Development Director at Hope International – an organization that owns 99 percent stake in the bank.

Baingana holds an MPA in social entrepreneurship and technological innovation in development from Harvard Kennedy School.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Christine Baingana, CEO of Urwego Bank

Lina M. Higiro, CEO of NCBA Bank

Higiro is the Chief Executive of NCBA Rwanda since 2018 and she has led initiatives aimed at making workplaces safer and conducive for women.

 

She has over 10 years’ experience in banking, covering small and medium enterprises lending, product and business development, strategic planning, marketing and communications and sales.

Previously, she was Chief Operating Officer of AB Bank Rwanda, for two years. She served five years as the Head of Strategy and Marketing at I&M Bank Rwanda, and four years as the Head of SME banking at GTBank. She holds an MBA, Bachelor of Commerce and a Diploma in Communication.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Lina M. Higiro, CEO of NCBA Bank

Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Deputy Governor of Central Bank

Hakuziyaremye was appointed Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda in 2021, following her service as the Minister of Trade and Industry since 2018.

She also worked in various senior positions at BNP Paribas Group in Paris, Fortis Bank and the Bank of New York Mellon in Brussels, and she was a board member of Ngali Holdings as well as the Brussels-Africa Hub.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Deputy Governor of Central Bank

Carine Umutoni, Managing Director of Ecobank

Umutoni was appointed the Managing Director of Ecobank in 2022, after serving for the last four years as the Managing Director of BK Capital Limited.

She carries an 18-years luggage of experience in the banking industry at different levels of senior management.

She served as Head of Treasury and Trade Finance at Bank of Kigali, Head of Treasury and Institutional Banking at KCB Bank Rwanda and Head of Treasury and Trade Finance at Banque Comercialle du Rwanda (BCR) now I&M Bank Rwanda. Umutoni holds MBA in corporate Strategy and Economic Policy from Maastricht University, Netherlands.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Carine Umutoni, CEO of ECOBANK

Kampeta Sayinzoga, CEO of Rwanda Development Bank (BRD)

Prior her appointment at BRD, Sayinzonga was the Director General of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA).

She also served as the Director of Cabinet in the Prime Minister’s Office and held various senior positions in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for a decade. She sat on boards like PTA Bank, the East African Development Bank (EADB), Rwanda Eurobond Committee, GT Bank, and National Capacity Building Secretariat, and Rwanda Revenue Authority.

She holds a Master’s degree in Economic Development and Policy Analysis from the University of Nottingham.

 

Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Kampeta Sayinzoga, CEO of Rwanda Development Bank.
Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector
Top8-Leading women in Rwanda’s banking sector

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