Well, if you are reading this and you never knew, please be informed that, even the a bad situation may hold the key to your increase and glory, and it is no wonder that, the good book says that, "all things work together for our good". Yes, both the bad and the good! This is the story of this woman, Mrs. Abiola Marufatu Bawuah, what looked like a fall, rather has become a launch pad into soaring always by the grace of God.
Abiola Marufatu Bawuah. is a wife, mother, a firm Christian and prayerful woman, Banker, leader, philanthropist and a survivor. Kindly read to the end and remember to share, if it inspires you.
Last year, the Bank of Ghana after the banking sector clean up and in the enforcement of the new Corporate Governance Directives it had issued, revealed that several board chairs and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of banks in Ghana had to be changed and Board chairs and board members who had served for long periods had to be replaced also, due to this new standards it demanded. This new demand meant that, existing bank CEO's and Board members needed to have a certain high standard of experience, even most especially in the banking sector with several many years experience, and interestingly, some were doing awesomely well without such a standard.
So after the conclusion of a Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Bank of Ghana had said: “A year after the completion of the clean-up and recapitalization exercise, the performance of the banking sector has improved markedly, signifying positive dividends from the reform programme and enforcement of the new Corporate Governance Directives issued by the Bank as part of the recent reforms led to several board chairs of banks and CEOs ending their tenure, while Board members who had served for prolonged periods were all replaced.”
Dr. Ernest Addison, Bank of Ghana Governor
The long and short of this "pat on the back" point is that, many bank CEO's had literally lost their jobs, so long as they didn't meet the set standard. Well, the UBA Bank then had Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, as its Ghana Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and she had led the bank to achieve some good progress, posted some high profits and in fact, through her impressive leadership she had won the prestigious 2016 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Woman of the Year, but due to the fact that, she didn't meet this standard, she had to officially loose the title of a CEO unfortunately.
Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, born to a vulcanizer, had escaped teenage marriage, engaged in petty trading to help herself and her siblings through school etc: knew far too well, what it meant to overcome challenges. Well, she had played all her cards very well, as a diligent banker and leader already, so even though initially it seemed that she was loosing, guess what, she did what she has always done, she rather soar out of this challenge also.
Due to her impressive leadership and posted profitability, the cardinal reason why the investors in the bank had put their money into the business, they knew that, she had to be maintained and in this case, it came rather with a promotion.
As per the Ghana directive, she was withdrawn as the UBA Ghana CEO and became a Non-Executive Member of the Board, but here is the good news, she was promoted to become the Banks Regional CEO, literally overseeing over 9 countries and now, literally as from a country CEO to 9 countries CEO. Isn't that impressive?
So meet Mrs. Abiola Bawuah, one of the top personalities in the banking industry overlooking 9 countries as Regional CEO of West Africa (UBA Group) Some would say it’s luck, others would also say hard work but Abiola Bawuah points to God as the reason for her rise in the banking industry.
After her first degree, she had her share of unemployment as several companies she applied to turned her down. She eventually got a job and it has been a series of career success after securing her first job. She started banking from Cal Bank, then Stanchart Ghana, Zenith Bank and then UBA. She has been banking for over 20 years
Bawuah grew up in Aflao and had her secondary level education at the Achimota School. She furthered at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, where she acquired a Bachelor of Science Undergraduate Degree in Actuarial Science. She later earned a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of London. She holds a Diploma in Marketing from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and an Executive of Master of Business Administration (EMBA) in Finance from the University of Ghana and she also holds several qualifications from Harvard Business School, Columbia, University of New York, INSEAD and Institut Villa Pierrefeu in Switzerland
Mrs. Abiola Bawuah has inspired many young women, rising through the ranks and breaking gender barriers. She recently launched the Abiola Bawuah Foundation (ABF); a non-profit organization poised to positively impact the lives of deprived young girls. Her foundation has among other things, provided underprivileged girls who hitherto had no hope of getting an education talk of quality education.
Abiola Bawuah whose philanthropy is forever inspired by the fact that, a good Samaritan once paid her fees in Achimota School and this singular act of benevolence has brought her this far has made a lifetime decision to also support young girls through school. “This is the reason I have dedicated 100% of the proceeds from my book “Chosen” to support the young enterprising girls to have access to quality education.”
She also counsels young ladies to set their minds on targets and remain focused, so they can surpass the exploits of the counterparts, as Mrs. Bawuah has not only been a great influence to women in society, but her drive to suffice and sore higher forever remains a motivation for future generations to come. She climbed the ladder to occupy executive positions in different Financial Institutions before moving to UBA Ghana, were she was made Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO). She rose to the position of Regional CEO of UBA West Africa 1 before being given the charge for the whole region.
Whiles she was then the CEO of UBA Ghana in October, 2018, which was the day set aside by the United Nations as The International Day of The Girl Child; her charity, Abiola Bawuah Foundation (ABF) launched ‘100 GIRLS PROJECT’, as this project seeks to support over 100 girls in a variety of ways that includes educational and welfare support. So far, over 200 girls have received educational and financial support from the Foundation. ABF is aimed to push the agenda to raise great women in Ghana through working with Social Activists, funding bodies and policy makers regionally and globally.
She has received several awards, most recently been awarded Woman of the Year at the renowned EMY Awards. She also recently authored another book title “Chosen from the darkness” She is married with 3 children and volunteers as a motivational speaker to various churches, religious bodies, NGOs and women’s groups.