AFI Gender Committee elects new chair, vice chair
AFI is excited to welcome and congratulate Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor from the Bank of Ghana, and Md. Anwarul Islam, General Manager from Bangladesh Bank, for their appointment as the new Chair and Vice Chair of AFI’s Gender Inclusive Finance Committee (GIFC) respectively.
Deputy Governor Awadzi brings over 24 years of professional experience in Ghana and internationally to the AFI Gender Inclusive Finance Committee, as a legal, governance, and international finance expert.
DG Awadzi is the second woman to be appointed Deputy Governor in the Bank’s 63-year history. In her role as Second Deputy Governor, Deputy Governor Awadzi oversees the regulation and supervision of banks and other licensed financial institutions, financial stability and a number of other key areas of the central bank’s operations, as well as supports the Governor in steering the affairs of the central bank.
Before her appointment as Deputy Governor in February 2018, she was Senior Counsel of the IMF’s Legal Department (Financial and Fiscal Law Unit) where she worked for six years advising IMF member countries on measures to strengthen financial regulatory frameworks, manage financial crises, and strengthen public financial management frameworks. Prior to joining the IMF in 2012, DG Awadzi was a two-term Commissioner of Ghana’s Securities & Exchange Commission and was active in formulating policies and rules to regulate the capital market.
To complement Government’s efforts to support those at the forefront of combating the disease and the needy and vulnerable infected with or affected by the COVID-19 virus, DG Awadzi was appointed by H.E. the President as one of seven Trustees of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, established the Parliament. Since then, Deputy Governor has played a key role in designing the central bank’s COVID-19 policy and regulatory response measures aimed at providing more liquidity in the financial system and providing relief to customers of banks and other financial institutions, and in advancing the central bank’s financial inclusion and sustainable banking initiatives.
Deputy Governor Awadzi was recently presented with the Glitz Africa Corporate Personality of the Year Award at the 2020 edition of the Ghana Women of the Year Honours event in Accra. Earlier in the year, she became the recipient of the Ghana Women of Excellence Award by Tap Brass Ghana held under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
DG Awadzi holds academic qualifications in law and finance from Georgetown University Law Center, Ghana School of Law, University of Ghana Business School, and University of Ghana Faculty of Law. She was called to the Ghana Bar in April 1996 and thereafter worked with major law firms in Ghana, designed several financial sector legal and regulatory reforms in Ghana and other African countries, and worked briefly as a Senior Treasury Dealer at Barclays Bank Ghana.
Md. Anwarul Islam is the General Manager of Bangladesh Bank and head of its Financial Inclusion Department. In his central banking career of 27 years, he has contributed to the banking regulation and policy regime in several departments of central bank, namely the Banking Regulation and Policy Department, Financial Stability Department and Department of Financial Institutions and Markets.
For the past three years, Islam has been serving as the Co-chair of Financial Inclusion Working Group of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He is a graduate in English from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, and holds a Master’s Degrees in English Literature as well as Business Administration. He has also attended various trainings and workshops in Canada, USA, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Malta, Australia, and other countries.
Md. Anwarul Islam is a recipient of the prestigious Bangladesh Bank Recognition Award-2007 (gold medal) for his outstanding contribution towards formulating effective and innovative policies for the financial sector.
Other members of the new committee are Dr. Jesimen T. Chipika, Deputy Governor from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Joyce Okello, Executive Director & Personal Assistant to the Governor from Bank of Uganda, Iren Saadeh, Executive Director of Strategic Planning & Communication from Palestine Monetary Authority, Fernando Filartiga, Board Member from Banco Central del Paraguay and Aberrahim Bouazza, Director General from Bank Al-Maghrib Morocco.
Among the key responsibilities of the committee is to provide leadership in advancing and promoting women’s financial inclusion within the network, and to oversee gender policy development within AFI in accordance with the Denarau Action Plan. The committee also provides advisory to Gender Focal Points (GFPs) embedded within AFI Working Groups.
The Gender Inclusive Finance workstream is partially financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and other partners.