Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – After months of a desperate headhunt in search of a female to assume the most senior position in a bank whose mission is to provide opportunities for women, the board of directors of Enat Bank have proposed the appointment of veteran banker Brutawit Dawit to be the founding president of the bank and have submitted her name to the National Bank for approval.

Her appointment comes after Birtukan Gebregzi’s proposal was rejected by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) because of her alleged lack of credit management experience.

Banking industry regulators at the NBE have rejected the nomination of Birtukan as a prospective founding president for Enat Bank.

The board of Enat Bank, which was established with an aim to provide financial security and opportunities for women, among others, has been considering women in senior banking positions to head the bank.

The promoters of the bank, which was established in September, 2008, are all high-flying women personalities including Meaza Ashenafi and Nigist Haile. They were nominated to the board of directors in the first general shareholders meeting held on July 9, 2011.

The bank, whose 64 percent of shareholders are women, barely made it past the NBE’s raising of the minimum paid-up capital from 75 million to 500 million birr, has raised a paid-up capital of 110 million birr so far, according to released reports.

Before moving to Zemen Bank where she resigned from the bank’s helm last year, Brutawit served as the president of Wegagen Bank for seven years from May 1997 to December 2004. She has also served as the president of the Ethiopian Professional and Business Women’s Association.

She is known in Washington Circles and on Capitol Hill for her 15 years with the American Bankers’ Association and seven years in the World Bank. She has also done consultation for the NBE, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Finance Bank of Zambia and Coopers and Lybrand International in Bahrain. She was director of Financial Affairs and Development at the Warwick Foundation, a US institution in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

She earned her MBA at George Washington University in Washington DC and her BA in Management and International Trade at Howard University. She holds diplomas in International Banking and in Financial Analysis of the Service Industry from the University of Colorado and Cornell University, respectively.

Apart from that, Brutawit was the Ethiopia Country Representative of ADCI/VOCA (Agricultural Development Cooperative International/ Volunteers Overseas Cooperative Association) for Africa and Middle East Division.

Source: Ethiopian Reporter