When you have scaled the heights of both the US and Europe's financial sector, risen through the ranks of the world's principle development finance institutions, been a director at the largest pan African bank, and steered the Africa department at Britain's most important investment corporation, you might be forgiven for deciding, at some point, to rest on your laurels and take a prolonged break.
But Dolika Banda has no such intention. She sees Africa as presenting huge opportunities. "Africa is always riding on opportunity, and it's a personal thing for me. What is important is to be able to leverage where Africa logically should be. I think that is one of the biggest challenges, but I'm hopeful. And that's why I left Washington DC in 2012 to return to Africa."
Unlike many Africans who have left the continent to pursue their careers in the West, and found it difficult to return to live in Africa, Banda is committed to playing a key role, on home soil, in Africa's journey towards peace and prosperity. A Zambian economist and adviser, Banda has more than 25 years of international banking and financial management experience with a focus on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Banda was appointed regional director for Africa at the UK's CDC (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation) having worked at the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) for 16 years within its financial markets, credit, accounting and treasury departments. As director of financial markets, she managed the IFC's activities across sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. She is also an independent consultant and adviser to such clients as the UN, Rockefeller Foundation, the Gates Foundation and several governments.
Banda had held senior corporate and merchant banking positions at Barclays and Citibank in Zambia --and continues to sit as a non-executive director on a number of boards including Ecobank Transnational. Four years after leaving Washington and returning to Africa, in September 2016 she was appointed the chief executive of the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company (ARC Ltd). ARC Ltd is a specialised agency of the African Union (AU) headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa that provides AU member countries with insurance against climatic catastrophes.
She also cites her biggest personal achievement in 2017 as establishing, in conjunction with the African Leadership Academy, the Dolika Banda Scholarship for...