BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
Kanayo Awani, the managing director of African Export-Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) intra-African trade initiative division (IATID), has been named among the 100 outstanding women leaders in Nigeria, according to the list published in the 2022 edition of Nigeria women annual, 100 Leading Women.
Awani, who holds a master of public administration degree (specialising in international trade and finance) from the Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, was listed in acknowledgement of her distinguished career and contributions to the development of society.
As managing director, Awani currently leads Afreximbank’s efforts in implementing its intra-African trade and industrialisation strategies. She successfully led Afreximbank’s engagement in support of the establishment and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
She was the arrowhead for the introduction and organisation of the biennial intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which has delivered trade and investment deals valued at over $70 billion.
According to the pan-African multilateral trade bank, Awani had previously led the Afreximbank’s trade finance and branches department from 2009 to 2016, growing it into the bank’s most profitable department which accounted for over 80 percent of its loan book.
She is also the chairperson of the Africa chapter of Factors Chain International (FCI), a global factoring association.
The Nigeria women annual: “100 Leading Women” is the premier qualitative profiling of phenomenal women who have contributed to the development of Nigeria and the world. A gender-specific biographical compendium, it responds to existing gender gaps in Nigeria’s biographical documentation and leadership and, in 2022, focused on the most inspirational and influential women whose work contributed to shaping Nigeria’s collective history during the year.
This year’s list includes technology experts, politicians, teachers, activists, development practitioners, C-Suite corporate leaders, and other notable women.