And the East African CIO of the Year Award 2020 goes to …!
Jaine Mwai, CIO at Standard Chartered Bank, Kenya!
As the lead IT professional, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Standard Chartered, Kenya, Mwai has made history as the first-ever woman to win this award in the 12-year history of the East African CIO 100 Symposium and Awards.
Held on 21 November 2020 at Lake Naivasha Resort, Mwai was announced as the winner by the CIO100 Awards Founder and CIO East Africa Chairman and Publisher Harry Hare.
Mwai bested her peers, accomplished applicants who were shortlisted from over 300 to the highly acclaimed 100, hence CIO100. Some of the very interesting projects handled complex situations such as telemedicine, use of chatbots and AI, as well as the digitisation of the customer service experience.
These are projects that fit in seamlessly with the universal customer experience during COVID-19 times by placing the customer at the centre of the solutions. Mwai not only pulled ahead with the judges, but she was also nominated by the CIOs themselves as the leader of the pack.
“Each year we see the spirit of positive competitiveness amongst senior IT professionals. This year is unique in that we have our first ever female CIO winning this award. We are very proud of Jaine Mwai and acknowledge her contribution to the technology industry and community,” said Andrew Karanja, Director, CIO East Africa.
No one was prouder of her accomplishments than Laura Chite, the CEO of CIO East Africa and founder of HerNovation, a platform for women in technology and the breeding ground for Mwai.
“To see women start to win and win big in the CIO100 Awards is a moment of happiness for HerNovation. It has been a three-year journey of the programme and we are beginning to see results and the impact in the Women in Tech space. We look forward to more partnerships supporting our efforts when it comes to driving our agenda of growing Women in IT leadership.”
HerNovation mentors women in technology to assimilate into leadership positions, helping them rise through the ranks to the C-Suite level where they can sit in boardrooms, shifting mindsets, agendas and especially profit margins. It does this through mentorships, soft skills training and supporting women who venture into entrepreneurship.
The East Africa CIO of the Year Award shows appreciation to top CIOs, granting them much-deserved recognition. Standard Chartered Bank, Kenya, has made technological strides that have driven the business value upwards. Famously known as Stanchart, they have been awarded the Banking Sector Award for the 2nd year in a row.
Mwai heads the technology department that has achieved prolific status in the tech industry and community through the use of innovative technology. CIOs are increasingly forming an elite group of IT professionals creating a competitive advantage in their organisations.
This, in turn, improves business processes that enable growth and improve relationships with customers who grow savvier with each passing moment. The winners are chosen by a team of external judges, a number of whom are CIOs themselves, on their use of cutting-edge technology that produces measurable results. The CIO of the Year Award has over the years become a most coveted award that signifies the mark of enterprise excellence.
Another big winner of the night was Faith Muricho, the Senior Technical Support Specialist, ABSA Bank, Kenya. Not only did she scoop the inaugural HerNovation Woman in Tech Leadership Award. ABSA Bank, under her care, also won the Special Recognition Award aka Business Transformation Award for successfully, and seamlessly, leading the change from Barclays Bank of Kenya(BBK) to Absa Bank, Kenya.
The Awards target the East African region with submissions and winners from Uganda (Ministry of Works, Uganda) and Tanzania (Azampay Ltd.). Kenya led with their submissions, nominations and wins. Notable companies include Bidco Refineries, KenGen, Absa and Kenya Tea Packers (KETEPA).
“This year we have seen very interesting submissions making the selection process particularly stiff. 2020 will be known as the year technology was specifically applied in keeping with the needs of customers with quite a number of the top projects addressing a seamless and superior customer experience,” said Karanja.
The CIO100 Awards were preceded by a two-day virtual symposium that brought together hundreds of senior IT professionals. Over 30 C-Level speakers were lined up to speak at the annual Symposium where the use cases were shared. The engaging conversations revolved around IT Leadership, The Future of Work, Customer Experience, Lessons From The Pandemic, IoT, Data Protection Law, 5G, AI and RegTech.
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