After 14 years of dedicated service, Habil Olaka has retired from his position as CEO of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), effective March 31, 2024. The announcement, made by the Governing Council, marks the conclusion of Olaka’s tenure at the helm of the banking industry umbrella association.

In a statement issued by John Gachora, Chairman of the KBA Governing Council and NCBA Bank Group Managing Director, it was revealed that Raimond Molenje, the Association’s Director of Legal, Human Resources, and Policy Advocacy, will assume the role of acting CEO starting April 1, 2024. Molenje’s appointment is intended to facilitate a smooth transition period until a substantive Chief Executive Officer is appointed.

During Olaka’s tenure, KBA experienced significant growth and achieved numerous milestones under his leadership. He played a pivotal role in steering the Association’s strategic direction, overseeing various advocacy, development, and sustainability initiatives within the banking sector.

One of Olaka’s notable achievements was the introduction of the Sustainable Finance Initiative (SFI) in 2015, aimed at promoting long-term value creation for the economy, society, and the environment. This initiative led to the issuance of the first Green Bond in Kenya and the East African region in 2019.

Moreover, Olaka spearheaded industry-led efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on member banks, ensuring the stability of the financial sector during challenging times. He also championed innovative solutions such as PesaLink, a real-time payment services solution, and the establishment of a robust Automated Clearing House and cheque processing system, significantly reducing cheque clearing time.

In recognition of Olaka’s exceptional leadership, Gachora expressed gratitude on behalf of the KBA Governing Council, acknowledging the Association’s growth and achievements under Olaka’s stewardship. Olaka, in turn, expressed his appreciation for the support received from the KBA, Governing Council, member banks, Central Bank of Kenya leadership, stakeholders, and KBA staff throughout his tenure.

As Raimond Molenje assumes the role of acting CEO, he brings with him 19 years of experience in legal and regulatory practice, human capital, and policy advocacy. His tenure at KBA, which began in 2018, has been marked by significant contributions to the Association’s objectives and initiatives. With his extensive background in senior management roles within leading business member organizations, Molenje is well-positioned to guide KBA through this transitional period and continue advancing its mission in service of the banking industry and the wider economy.

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