March 13, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah as their new Regional Chief Executive Officer (RCEO) in charge of six African countries – Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The new appointment, which takes effect from 1st March 2018, will see her overseeing the bank’s businesses in the six West Africa countries.
Before her appointment as RCEO West Africa, Mrs. Bawuah managed the affairs of UBA Ghana as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer since 2013. She had previously worked as Deputy Managing Director at UBA Ghana, an Executive Director at Zenith Bank as well as a Business Financial Manager at Standard Chartered Bank.
While responding to the new appointment, she said It was a wonderful opportunity for her to serve across West Africa and her greatest wish that the six countries that she has been tasked to lead will grow in leaps and bounds.
“I would like to thank my former Regional CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba and the Group Managing Director Mr. 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,” she said.
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.
The above 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 recognising 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 Mrs. Bawuah’s hard work, achievements and contribution to Ghana and awarded 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 organisation 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. Marufatu Abiola Bawuah has enormous experience in retail banking and marketing. She holds a B.Sc in Actuarial Science from the University of Lagos, an LLB with honours 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.
She worked with Standard Chartered Bank as Head of Sales; CAL Bank as Relationship Manager; Strategic African Securities as an authorised dealing broker as well as with the then Bentsi-Enchi and Letsa; now Bentsi-Enchil, Letsa and Ankomah law firm as Investment Officer.
Mrs. Abiola Bawuah’s main goals for the Bank as she begins her tenure as RCEO will be ‘taking 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.
UBA is a full service financial institution offering a plethora of unique banking products and services. Within Africa, UBA currently operates in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Congo DRC, Congo Brazaville and Cameroon.