By David Ssempijja
BANK of Africa has appointed Edigold Monday its managing director. She becomes the first Ugandan woman to be the managing director of a financial institution in the country.
Monday, a teacher turned accountant, became a banker in 1994 with Centenary Bank as an account trainee.
â€œI performed all the clerical work in the department that was greatly manual including store keeping. I rose through the ranks up to the level of principal accountant,â€ Monday observed.
â€œThis inspired me to enroll for a professional accounting course, which I completed with an award of the best national candidate in strategic business planning and development in 2002. I have close to 15 years in banking,â€ she noted.
Monday observed that while the financial market was competitive, it offered potential for growth.
â€œThere are 22 banks yet the banked population is still small. With only three million bank accounts out of a total adult population of 15 million, the sector still has a vast potential for growth.
â€œThe challenge is to become more creative and innovative to attract more Ugandans to use banking services.
â€œOur approach is to offer practical and customised solutions to customers needs,â€ she explained.
Monday said her priorities will be to continue delivering products and services suitable to the various client base.
â€œWe will continue to drive a savings culture among Ugandans. We recently rolled out innovative range of savings products that have been well received.
â€œWe are also breaking into virgin sectors like the youth to bring them into the banking system.
â€œWe will also continue to drive convenience of access of our services. We have set ourselves to open at least seven branches every year up to 2012 to add on the current 21 branches.
â€œAs we extend our network to other regions, the agriculture sector has become important for us. We will certainly pay extra attention to the sector because it has a lot of potential.
â€œAlready, we have several partnerships with a number of institutions that are enabling us to be active participants in this sector. We will also continue to give attention to SMEs as a driver to attain a middle income economy,â€ she said.
Monday also welcomed the Central Bank plan raise capital requirements for commercial banks.