Currently, she is a Chief Examiner responsible for Capital Markets and Microfinance Regulation in the Financial Sector Regulation Department of the Bank and leads a team in charge of entry control into the securities market, microfinance sector and financial cooperatives sector in Malawi. Her Division is also responsible for development of regulatory framework and enforcement for the said sectors.

Lynda Kananza is a seasoned regulator with 19 years of experience in diverse specialty fields such as regulation and supervision of securities market, regulation of financial institutions, resolution of financial institutions, legislative drafting, policy formulation and translation, and regulation of financial technologies.

She holds a Master of Law (Commercial) from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Degree from the University of Malawi. She is a Certified Legislative Drafter from RIPA International UK, a Fellow of the Toronto Centre, a Fellow of the Fletcher School Leadership Programme for Financial Inclusion and also a Cochran Fellowship Fellow.

A team player and results oriented professional, Ms Kananza set up the Legal Division, specifically for the Supervision Function of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (Bank) in 2010. The Supervision Function then covered Bank Supervision Department, Capital Markets & Microfinance Supervision and Pension & Insurance Supervisor. She has also been instrumental in setting up policy and regulation divisions in the Financial Sector Regulation Department, 2017 and Capital Markets & Microfinance Supervision Department in 2015. In this context, she authored key documentation for operations of the divisions namely:

  • Licensing Manual and Procedures for Securities Market, Licensing Manual for Microcredit Agencies; Licensing Manual for Non-deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions; Licensing Manual for Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions and Licensing Manual for Financial Cooperatives. These were approved by Executive Management of Reserve Bank of Malawi;
  • Development and Review of Substantive and Subsidiary Legislation Policy and Procedures in 2016. Initially drafted for her Division, but was later on adopted across the Supervision Function of the Bank;
  • Enforcement Policy and Procedures to guide prompt and cost-effective resolution options.

She also designed a Monitoring and Enforcement Database for the subject sectors, a tool used to track implementation of enforcement actions.

Ms Kananza successfully led the accreditation process of Reserve Bank of Malawi to International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in 2012, working with tight deadlines and promptly responding to questions from the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) assessing team.

Ms Kananza is motivated by change by challenging status quo and changing the narrative for efficiency and productivity. In this regard, she has championed a number of policy papers on various topics like Financial Technologies and Regulatory Innovation in Malawi (Fintech Regulation) (2021), onboarding clients on digital financial services platforms, visibility and branding of the Registrar of Financial Institutions (2018). The Fintech Regulation policy proposal was adopted by the Board of the Bank and is part of the Bank’s strategic Plan for 2022-2024. The proposal on website development was also adopted by executive management of the Bank and the development process is almost coming to finalization.

She is also part of Malawi’s Trade in Services Negotiating Team coordinating issues on regulation of financial services industry in Malawi and together with others, successfully participated in trade negotiations under the SADC Protocol in Trade in Services and Africa Continent Free Trade Area Agreement.

In 2012, she was part of the initial technical team under the SADC Banking Supervisors Subcommittee that designed and carried out a survey on legal and regulatory frameworks for banking sector within the SADC region. The findings informed the initial drafting of the SADC Model Banking Law as by the technical team.

Before joining the Bank in April 2010, Ms Kananza was a lecturer of law at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Faculty of Law between 2005 and March 2010. Among her achievements, was leading the development of the first ever Master of Commercial Law Degree proposal and curriculum for the Faculty of Law. The proposal was approved by the Senate of the University of Malawi on its first presentation, a historical record, and the programme is successfully running to date.

Ms Kananza possesses the following skills and competencies: leadership skills, people skills, analytical skills, communication skills, ability to work under pressure, motivated innovator, ability to multi task within competing deadlines, acquired adequate skills in financial sector regulation, results oriented, ability to make strategic decisions, ability to take constructive criticism and handle difficult conversations, assertive team worker and flexible.