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Ghana: Afua Kyei, Chief Financial Officer of the Central Bank of England

Afua Kyei is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive of the Bank of England, the central bank of the country. The Ghanaian is one of the few women of foreign origin to hold this position in the 329-year history of the institution, in charge of the UK’s monetary and financial policy.

Afua Kyei has been Chief Financial Officer of the Bank of England since 2019. She was involved in the central bank’s leadership and decision-making during Brexit, Covid 19, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the cost of living crisis… She holds a strategic position, since she reports directly to the bank’s governor.

But how did this Ghanaian woman find her way into the world of finance in England? After graduating in 2004 with a master’s degree in natural sciences and chemistry from Oxford University in England and having benefited from a junior research fellowship in organic chemistry from Princeton University in 2003, she decided to turn instead to finance. She joined Ernst & Young in 2004, where she began her career as a partner in the Banking and Capital Markets, Audit and Insurance group. She subsequently became an executive in financial institutions and corporate finance.

Afua Kyei was certified as chartered accountant by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). In 2009, she joined UBS Investment Banking, where she was in charge of European banking and asset management. In 2012, she moved to Barclays as a Director, Head of Business Planning and Analysis, Group Chief Operating Officer until 2014. Then, she became Finance Director, IB Operations and Technology at Barclays Investment Bank from 2014 to 2015 and Finance Director, Mortgages from 2015 to 2019.

In June 2019, she joined the Bank of England as Chief Financial Officer. Within the institution, she is also executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion and co-executive head of climate change financial disclosure.

As a result of her performance, she was chosen as the Finance Director of the Year 2021 by the Women in Finance Awards in England. In 2022, she was part of the Cranfield FTSE Board report “100 women to watch in 2022″ and was ranked in the list of  the”50 leading lights UK”. In 2023, she was named one of the “100 most influential British women of African descent” and one of the “100 most renowned Africans” by Reputation Poll International.