- As East, South African Banks dominate awards
Nigerian Banks were conspicuously missing among winners in the 2018 African Banker Awards which celebrates excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
Unlike in 2017 when GTBank carted home the prestigious ‘African Bank of the Year Award, and the then acting CEO of Bank of Industry, Waheed A. Olagunju, taking home the ‘African Banker Icon’ award, in this year edition, no Nigerian bank or individual emerged winners.
At the awards which held at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Busan, South Korea, East and South African Banks scooped the continent’s most prized awards.
The Equity group Holdings Plc in Kenya beat off strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’ while its CEO, James Mwangi, won Banker of the Year.
Tanzania’s Dr. Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year won Central Bank Governor of the year for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management.
CRDB, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Best Regional Bank in East Africa’.
South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Standard Bank Group swooped three awards, including the one for ‘Investment Bank of the Year’.
Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa took the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year’ for the $5bn Nacala corridor rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi, one of Africa’s largest private sector funded infrastructure projects.
Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa was also recognized for the listing of Steinhoff Africa Retail that took place last year. Veteran South African banker, Stephen Koseff, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The ‘Socially Responsible Bank of the Year’ title went to BMCE Bank of Africa Group in Morocco.
The bank is widely regarded as a leader in sustainable finance and le Credit Agricole du Maroc won the award for financial inclusion.
Ecobank won the award for innovation and also for Retail Bank of the year largely for the way it has integrated technology to considerably widen its products and reach.
Commenting on the ceremony, Publisher of African Banker, Omar Ben Yedder said: “The categories that most catch my eye are the Deals of the year and the ones on innovation. They reflect the true energy and vigour of the banking sector. I cannot stress enough though the important role financial services have to play to drive the development of the continent.”
This is the first time the African Banker Awards take place in South Korea, more precisely in the port city of Busan. As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the South Korean government offered to host this year’s Annual Meetings aiming to strengthen its long-standing relationship with Africa.