KCB emerge East Africa’s best bank, Equity honoured for CSR activities at Africa bankers’ gala

Kenya Commercial Bank, East Africa’s biggest assets bank, was voted Africa’s best bank in innovation, while Equity Bank is the best on the continent in Corporate Social Responsibility at the 2019 edition of the African Banker Awards.

KCB, headed by CEO Joshua Oigara, also bagged East Africa’s best bank gong, with Ecobank emerging the best retail bank of the year.

Afreximbank won bank of the year, while the Trade and Development Bank’s president, Ethiopian Admassu Tadesse, won the African banker of the year at a prestigious gala dinner in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Egyptian Central Bank Governor, Tarek Amer won Central Bank Governor of the Year, for his work in restoring faith in Egypt’s markets and contributing to making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the best performing emerging markets. 

TDB has grown its portfolio five-fold since Tadesse took over as president, largely increasing its presence in East and Southern Africa, where it operates, while Afreximbank in the past 18 months has launched a number of game-changing products.

Kenya Commercial Bank won Africa’s best bank innovation award and was also voted the best bank in East Africa during the 2019 African Banker Awards in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. PHOTO/COURTESY

The awards, held annually on the fringes of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank, are considered the Oscars of African banking, celebrating excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.

No one region dominated this year’s awards although there was a call from the organisers for greater effort to ensure banking was more inclusive, both in terms of gender representation across senior management in banks and lending to the small and medium-sized enterprises.

This year’s lifetime achievement went to former First Rand Group CEO, South African Sizwe Nxasana. Under his leadership, the bank grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20%.

Nxasana called for greater investment in human capital to accelerate growth on the continent.

The African Banker Icon went to Mitchell Elegbe, founder of Interswitch, the payments service provider. His company is predicted to be Africa’s first Africa-led unicorn – tech start up whose value exceeds $1bn.

Romuald Wadagni, from Benin, won Finance Minister of the Year. He has managed to considerably improve the country’s macro-economic indicators as well as embarked on a number of reforms to structurally transform of the economy.

South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Absa won Investment Bank of the Year. Standard Bank and RMB won the equity deal of the year with the VIVO Energy IPO.

Deal of the year in the debt category went to Rothschild & Co for the Senegal $2.2bn equivalent dual-currency Eurobond and Credit Agricole and TDB’s financing of the Floating LNG platform in Mozambique won the infrastructure Deal of the Year. 

Nigeria’s Bank of Industry won the prize for financial inclusion.

The awards, which are held under the patronage of the African Development Bank, are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, the Bank of Industry and Coris Bank.

The 2019 host sponsor was Banco Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, by far the country’s biggest bank in terms of assets and footprint.

Information for this article was collected courtesy of APO Group


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