One of Africa’s leading commercial banking institutions, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), has announced the appointment of its first female banker, Abiola Bawuah as new regional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for six West African countries including Liberia.
Mrs. Bawuah’s appointment, which takes effect from 1st March 2018, will see her overseeing the bank’s businesses in Ghana, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Prior to her appointment as regional CEO or West Africa 1, Bawuah has managed the affairs of UBA Ghana as MD/CEO since 2013.
She had previously worked as the Deputy Managing Director at UBA Ghana, an Executive Director at Zenith Bank, as well as Business Financial Manager at Standard Chartered Bank.
Responding to her new appointment, she said, “It is a wonderful opportunity to serve across West Africa and my greatest wish is that the six countries that I have been tasked to lead will grow in leaps and bounds.
I would like to thank my former Regional CEO, Oliver Alawuba and the Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka for their great support and direction so far. I would also like to immeasurably thank the Group Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu for his inspiring leadership and entrepreneurial drive.”
As she begins her tenure Bawuah’s main goals as Regional CEO will be to take UBA West Africa 1 to new heights, exceeding customer’s expectations, with improved service delivery and placing more focus on UBA’s core values – Enterprise, Excellence and Execution.
“In line with UBA’s goal of becoming a top 3 Systemically Important Bank (SIB) in Africa, I look forward to working with the various stakeholders in Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and UBA as a whole in adding value and developing the UBA business in Africa”, she said. Mrs. Bawuah will however be in charge as MD/CEO Ghana until further notice.
As MD/CEO of Ghana, Bawuah recorded significant milestones. In 2016, UBA Ghana Limited announced its unaudited financial results, showing a remarkable 134 percent growth year-on-year in profit before tax. The Bank also recorded significant positive performances in other headline numbers, with a 114 percent growth in Gross Earnings, and 68 percent growth in Customer Deposits.
This resulted in the bank being adjudged the “Best Bank – Product Innovation and Services” and first runner-up for the Best Financial Performance at the 2017 Ghana Banking Awards (GBA).
At the 2016 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana Awards, she was adjudged the CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year and subsequently went on to win the Finance Personality of the Year Award at the Ghana Accountancy and Finance Awards barely two months after.
In 2015 and 2016, Woman Rising, Ghana’s leading network of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders released a comprehensive and inspiring list of the Top 50 Women Corporate Leaders in Ghana, featuring 50 leading corporate women from various business sectors aimed at recognizing the outstanding achievements of women in the development of the Ghanaian economy and inspiring the next generation of globally-minded women business leaders. Abiola Bawuah was adjudged one of the non-ranked top 50 female women in Ghana.
She was also adjudged by the Chief Finance Officers (CFO) in 2016 as “Woman of Excellence in Finance.” At the same awards her gifted guidance led UBA to pick the Best Bank award in Risk Management.
But the crowning moment came in 2017, when the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Millennium Excellence Foundation identified her hard work, achievements and contribution to Ghana, awarding her the ultimate prize as the Female Expatriate CEO of the year. Under her leadership she grew the branch network from 25 branches in 2013 to 28 fully networked branches.
Again, under her guidance, the organization has planted several ATMs from the already 37 in 2013 to 57 Visa, Verve and Mastercard enabled ATMs spread across Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Tarkwa and Aflao.
Mrs. Bawuah has enormous experience in retail banking and marketing. She holds a BSc in Actuarial Science from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, an LLB with honors from the University of London, a diploma in Marketing from GIMPA and an EMBA (Finance) from the University of Ghana.
She also has numerous leadership qualifications from Harvard Business School, Columbia, University of New York, INSEAD and Institut Villa Pierrefeu in Switzerland.
Bawuah worked with Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Sales; CAL Bank as Relationship Manager; Strategic African Securities as an authorized dealing broker as well as with the then Bentsi-Enchi and Letsa, now Bentsi-Enchil, Letsa and Ankomah law firm, as Investment Officer.
UBA Opens New Cash Center on Ashmun Street
As part of efforts in providing convenient banking services to its valued customers, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Liberia recently unveiled a new cash center in Monrovia.
The center, which is located at the United Methodist University (UMU) campus on Ashmun Street, will give access and relief to customers around the busy business and residential axis with great service experience.
It will also provide customers with 24hr ATM services, making it possible for them to open accounts, make balance enquiries, withdraw money as well as deposit cash and checks. Other services include Africash, MoneyGram, Western Union, Nobel, among others.
According to a statement from the bank, the opening of the Cash Center clearly demonstrates the bank’s continuous commitment as a partner in the economic and financial development of Liberia.
The release said the cash center is set to change the landscape of banking services which offer students and the general public a unique experience that provides them means to control their banking and financial freedom.
“Our vision is to be the undisputed, leading and dominant financial service institution in Africa,” UBA Liberia said in a statement. “Our bank will continue to be an agent for driving financial inclusion in Liberia, actively participating in the government development agenda, supporting projects in key growth sectors and their value chain and providing a unique pan-African banking platform to facilitate the growth of regional trade and contributing to the nation’s economic growth.”