Chidinma Lawanson

Country Head, Nigeria Programs

Chidinma has more than 24 years experience, spanning the commercial banking and development finance sector, with a clear and deep commitment to promoting financial inclusion and tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa. As a consultant, CEO of EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access), and senior banker, she focused on MSME banking, agri-finance for smallholder farmers, retail and mass market and other services and products for low income groups. Most recently, Chidinma acted as a consultant to the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group; the African Development Bank (AfDB), Cote D’Ivoire; Development Pathways Limited (UK); and Oxfam-Enterprise Development Centre’s SME Development Program. Chidinma has 21 years of strategy and implementation experience with Diamond Bank Plc, Nigeria, where she held leadership roles for strategic planning and business development; organizational strength and capacity building; and MSME products and reputation management. In 2008, Chidinma was one of two Nigerians selected for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright Scholar program sponsored by the US State Department. She studied at Boston University and earned a graduate diploma in Entrepreneurial Management. As a thought leader and public speaker, Chidinma has appeared at both international and local conferences such as the Global Trade Review (South Africa, West Africa, Nigeria, 2019); a roundtable with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, “Going for Growth” (2019); and several discussions on CNBC Africa TV on topics related to MSMEs and financial inclusion.