The auditorium of the grand arena of the Accra International Conference Centre in Ghana was abuzz with a sense of joy and fulfillment as a plethora of worthy personalities across the globe assembled to be honoured at this year’s Grow, Unite and Build Africa (GUBA) Awards with the winner of the GUBA Banking Excellence Award going to the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Kigali, Dr. Diane Karusisi.
The event was graced by Her Excellency the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and the Chief of Staff, Office of The President, Honorable Frema Opare as well as other high-level senior public and corporate officials.
The GUBA awards, led by a Ghanaian media personality, Ms Dentaa Amoateng (MBE), is a Pan-African Organisation that celebrates excellence and exceptional achievements by Africans and the African diaspora. This was its 10th edition and it’s first time to be hosted on the continent.
The awards ceremony was mixed with beautiful Fashion shows, African music and poetic artistry by Ghana’s songstress, Afia and poet, Nana Asaase as well as Zimbabwe musical sensation, Hope Masike with Grammy Award-winning Beninese musician, Angelique Kidjo, who was also an award recipient climaxing the performances.
GUBA awards 2021 was held on the theme: “Celebrating a symbol of Resilience and courage” in honor of the Asante Queen Nana Yaa Asantewaa, who led the Asantes in a war against the British. This year’s Awards were dedicated to celebrating African women and women of African origin for their courage and resilience as well as their positive impact on their societies at a time the world was faced with an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Karusisi was honoured with banking excellence award for her outstanding contribution to the banking sector in Rwanda and Africa and for steering the Bank of Kigali (BK) through a digital transformation journey and expanding the BK Group business into General Insurance, Investment Banking and Technology to respond to growing needs of the market and enhancing better accessibility of financial services to the Rwandan community. It was acknowledged that her work was necessary to enhance the Sustainable Development Goal 5 towards gender equality.
In her brief remarks on accepting the award, Dr. Karusisi acknowledges the role that women play in building families, communities and economies saying: “I dedicate this award to all women in Rwanda and across Africa who are pushing boundaries in different sectors.”
Commenting on the honour bestowed on Dr. Diane Karusisi, the Chairman of The Board Directors of Bank Kigali Group Plc, Mr Marc Holtzman congratulated Dr Diane and made the following remarks “Diane is a remarkable individual who is always making a difference in the lives of people. I am thrilled to be able to join in and give tribute in recognition of her amazing work for Rwanda, Africa and for financially transforming peoples’ lives.”
The recognition of Dr. Karusisi at GUBA Awards 2021 validates the Government of Rwanda’s deliberate agenda to empower women in leadership across all sectors and to support targeted programmes that give equal opportunity to women with more inclusive access to finance and other key resources for development.
Among other winners of the Awards were the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chief Marketing Officer of Netflix, Bozoma Saint John, media personality Afua Hirsch, entertainment icon Nana Ama McBrown and Ms Diane Abbott, British politician and Member of Parliament, as well as academician Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana among others.
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