When we recognize the potential in women and urge to grow and nurture it, we develop not only as individuals but as a nation as well. My association with Women’s World Banking as their Board of Trustees therefore, is an opportunity for me to serve the unbanked of our society…starting from women. As Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former Minister of Finance and co-chair, Women’s World Banking puts it – giving financial power and aid to the 70% financially excluded women is the way to spur the next wave of economic development. And that is what I hope to accomplish through my association with Women’s World Banking.
Women are key to the development of a nation. They represent a major section of our population and inability to support them in their endeavors as entrepreneurs is our failure as well. When I first associated myself with Women’s World Banking in 2012, it was this intention that motivated me – to methodically provide women access to financial tools that they require to ensure security, stability and the option of business prosperity and sustainability. This is probably why we at Diamond Bank have always tried to be associated with causes of financial and social inclusion.
Diamond Bank’s ‘Banking for Women’ event therefore was more than a reality check – it was our attempt to make people realize what the nation was missing out on by not including women into the socio-economic setup. As Okonjo-Iweala explained, we are in a state of uncertainty due to low-global growth. This is challenge indeed – but there is opportunity. By including the vast majority of underserved women into the mainstream countries like Ethopia and Nigeria, can actually grow their GDPs by 10-12% more than the global number. The banker inside me just cannot ignore this fact and the opportunity it brings with itself.
I feel humbled actually to be honored with this position as Trustee, and together with Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, we hope to be able to introduce many financial products and associate with donor agencies, banks and organizations, that will drive women empowerment for socio-economic development. Our collaboration has already helped us to bring into the frontline 7 million financially excluded customers and I hope the numbers will manifold through collective effort in future as well.