As Betty Wilkinson, the well accomplished head of FSD Africa, steps down from her official role Financial Sector Deepening Zambia has announced a new CEO in Engwase Mwale. She formerly served as an Ms Mwale formerly served as an executive Director of the Non-Governmental Coordinating Committee, an umbrella arm for a variety of NGO’s which cater to various social needs, specifically gender. Ms Mwale has a well decorated history advocating for women’s rights, having challenged the previous government’s alleged degradation of female candidates as an example. FSD is one of the largest Financial institutions in the country , with a current investment mandate exceeding but not limited to K400 million over 5 years. The organisation focuses on conducting research and providing funds for impactful investment to local companies.
The FSD press statement by Chairperson Jude Sharp-Phiri: “Ms Mwale is a long-standing advocate for gender equality and equity in Zambia. She has been active in the Zambian civil society in championing women’s empowerment. She has demonstrated leadership credentials and is a proven fundraiser with great enthusiasm and passion for financial inclusion development. We are confident that she will build on the legacy established by out-going CEO Betty Wilkinson in spearheading the deepening of financial inclusion that serves the most vulnerable in Zambia. On behalf of the Board of FSD Zambia, I wish to welcome Ms Mwale to the FSD Network,” Ms Mwale is stated to have more than 20 years of experience in international development, with a primary focus on civil society mobilisation. Mwale currently holds a MBA from Cavendish University as well as a Degree in Business Administration from Copperbelt University. The incoming CEO is also likely to complete her PHD at the Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship in Malaysia as she is in the final round.
FSD – Zambia’s Investment Centre
In Ms Wilkinsons last christmas letter she stated some of FSD Zambia’s most recent achievements over 2021 and what we are likely to see from the company in the future :
“Throughout all of this time, including restructuring of both the Board and staff, we have enabled new industry associations in payments, digital finance practitioners, and micro insurance. We have grown savings groups, insurance options, mask production and certification for tailors as a Covid response. We distributed 44,000 cell phones to poor women and very poor households along with mobile money access, training, and information access on Covid and markets. The team has extended a range of information options on crops and livestock markets as well as new financial service options via cell phones, grown climate friendly businesses, worked with financial institutions to expand services to rural areas, in bundled forms, and in mobile money. FSD Zambia provided exceptional research both with the Bank of Zambia on Finscope and in a range of other areas including gender norms, impact results of our programmes, and the effects of Covid on a range of groups.”
FSD Zambia has played a key role as an enabler of government as well as providing essential funding for key private sector initiatives. In 2019 the group led the establishment of the Payments Association of Zambia, a group that includes both MTN and Airtel Mobile Money Groups, allowing Financial Technology companies to aggregate ideals and present a united association. The organization was also key to the success of Union 54 (formerly known as Zazu) as CEO Perseus Mlambo received his first break building a financial literacy bot for the group, to help small scale farmers manage . This is just a few of the group’s incredible contributions to the Zambian economy of Ms Wilkinsons time as CEO.
Conclusion – What to Expect
We expect more of the same from Ms Mwale, a new CEO with an impressive record advocating for the most vulnerable in society. We are keen to monitor the direction the company takes following this recent change, and believe it is likely to result in more impact investment for the benefit of the country.
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