Thursday 29th June 2017
I’m delighted to announce that our first All-Stars Academy Africa was a tremendous success. It took place 400 meters from Victoria Falls, and participants coming from more than 20 countries were inspired by their force. We visited the falls at the end of the first day of the Academy, and we all walked back to the hotel humbled by nature’s roar. Our workshop was infused with their momentum and strength gathered from the mighty Zambezi River and its tributaries across South Central Africa.
We would not have been in Zambia were it not for the vision of Dr. Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula, whom I first connected with at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s annual meeting in Maputo in September 2015. Dr. Kankasa-Mabula demonstrated a keen interest in understanding the practical ways that GBA banks are supporting women worldwide and a couple of months later joined us for our 2015 Annual Summit hosted by Itaú Unibanco in Brazil, where members gathered to share best practices, network and learn from one another. Last week’s Academy is the fruit of our growing ties, and we thank Dr. Kankasa-Mabula and the Bank of Zambia team sincerely for being our host.
The All-Stars Academy Africa gathered GBA members and non-members from banks large and small across Africa and beyond. Representatives from 20 commercial banks, 4 central banks, 3 international development finance institutions — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group; FMO, the Dutch Development Bank; and the European Investment Bank (EIB) — 1 global insurance company, GBA member New Faces New Voices and event co-sponsors FSD Africa and FSD Zambia all came to learn best practices from GBA Women’s Market expert practitioners hailing from Victoria Commercial Bank in Kenya, BLC Bank of Lebanon and Westpac Banking Corporation of Australia, as well as Women’s Market specialists from event co-sponsor IFC.
This configuration was deliberately chosen to deepen existing networks and create new connections to support the development of the global ecosystem for women’s full financial inclusion.
In this vein, GBA and NatWest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, are pleased to announce the theme for this year’s Annual GBA Summit: Catalysing Growth in the Female Economy: Leveraging the Power of Connection. The 2017 Summit will be held in London from November 14-16.
This year’s Summit will take full advantage of its London location. Day one kicks off with a Master Class hosted by GBA member the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), followed by a working session of the Women and Enterprise All Parliamentary Committee at Westminster on the policy priorities for an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in the UK.
Two days of best practice sharing at NatWest’s impressive venue on Bishopsgate ensues, during which we will hear senior economists’ perspectives on Brexit, senior bankers from around the globe’s strategic rationale and results from targeting the Women’s Market, insights into how disruption offers true upsides for women as consumers of financial services, creating a valued insurance offer for the Women’s Market, building effective customer networks, and maintaining organizational momentum beyond year two of your Women’s Market program. The extraordinarily strong line-up of speakers will be complemented with highly interactive sessions, including “Meet the Banks,” where participants will be able to discuss opportunities and challenges directly with expert practitioners, as well as enroll in our fifth cohort of GBA’s Mentoring Program.
Participants then will have the option of one of two Study Tours — to NatWest’s incubator strategic partner eSpark where 50 percent of entrants must be women-led businesses, or to Drummonds Private Bank to learn about effective strategies for the high net worth female customer.
There are many people who deserve in-person thanks for their successful efforts around the upcoming Summit, but for now I would like to single out Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise, Business Banking, and the team at NatWest for being such excellent hosts. We all owe them thanks for what promises to be a substantively rich, productive and collegial gathering.
See you in London if not before.