Women triumphed at this year’s African Banker Awards 2014: Vivienne Yeda, Director General of the East African Development Bank, scooped the award for African Banker of the Year; Linah Mohohlo of the Bank of Botswana was named Central Bank Governor of the Year; and Elizabeth Mary Oleko, chairperson of the Kenya Women Finance Trust, scored the Lifetime Achievement Award.
President of Rwanda HE Paul Kagame received a Special Recognition Award for his leadership and vision. He thanked Rwandans who have sacrificed a much to put Rwanda where it is today: “Rwandans have made me the kind of leader that I am and they have given me the strength that has added up to taking our country forward.” Bob is back, as Bob Diamond the former CEO of Barclays Bank who quit after the bank faced global scandals and fines, was in the deal that was awarded equity deal of the year. Andrew Alli of the African Finance Corporation won African Banker Icon.
This year the judges – I was again privileged to be a judge for some categories – again awarded Nigeria’s GT Bank as African bank of the year. South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank is investment bank of the year and South Africa’s Nedbank won both an award for innovation in banking and the socially-responsible bank of the year. Mastercard won a well-deserved award for financial inclusion.
Investec Asset Management won fund of the year and State Bank of Mauritius won retail bank of the year. Banque Islamique de Mauritanie won best Islamic finance initiative.
The awards also recognized smaller financial institutions and those pioneering in challenging environments. Trust Merchant Bank, an independent commercial bank operating in DR Congo, won Best Bank in Central Africa. Ecobank Mali won Best Bank in West Africa after Mali successfully transitioned back to its historic democracy after a 2012 coup that crippled the economy. Stanbic Zimbabwe beat tough competition from bigger banks to become Best Bank in Southern Africa, despite challenging economic conditions. Bank of Kigali scored in East Africa and Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire in North Africa.
Two landmark deals were rewarded. Citigroup Global Markets won equity deal of the year for helping Bob Diamond, previously of Barclays Bank, in the $325m initial public offer (IPO) of his new investment vehicle, Atlas Mara Co-Nvest. Standard Chartered Bank won debt deal of the year for the $3.3bn finance facility for Dangote Group petrochemical plan, building the continent’s largest refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer plant.
The winners of the 8th African Banker magazine’s African Banker Awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony on 21 May at the Kigali Serena Hotel, linked to the African Development Bank summit. Among the guests were HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and many ministers of finance and bank CEOs were also present.
Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker and IC Publications, commended the achievement by banks: “Here in Kigali.. we have witnessed the transformation of a country. Since we have launched the awards we have witnessed the transformation of an industry. There is no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and development to achieve the transformation we all desire and work towards. But seeing local African banks finance and structure international deals is a step forward and unimaginable a decade back. And I am delighted to see three women pick up three coveted individual awards. Congratulations to them all!”
The African Banker Awards are organized by African Banker magazine and BusinessinAfrica Events (BIAE). It is a landmark event that celebrates excellence and best practices in African banking and finance.
Special Recognition Award: HE President Paul Kagame
Lifetime Achievement Award: Elizabeth Mary Okelo
African Bank of the Year: GTBank
African Banker of the Year: Vivienne Yeda, Director General, East African Development Bank
African Banker Icon: Andrew Alli, CEO, Africa Finance Corporation
Central Bank Governor of the Year: HE Linah Mohohlo, Botswana
Finance Minister of the Year: Hon Armando Manuel, Angola
Investment Bank of the Year: Rand Merchant Bank
Award for Innovation in Banking: Nedbank
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year: Nedbank
Award for Financial Inclusion: MasterCard
Deal of the Year – Equity: Atlas Mara Co-Nvest, Citigroup Global Markets
Deal of the Year – Debt: Financing Facility, Dangote Group Petrochemical Plant, Standard Chartered Bank
Fund of the Year: Investec Asset Management
Best Retail Bank in Africa: State Bank Mauritius
Best Islamic Finance Initiative: Banque Islamique de Mauritanie
Best Bank in North Africa: Banque Centrale Populaire
Best Bank in Southern Africa: Stanbic Zimbabwe
Best Bank in East Africa: Bank of Kigali
Best Bank in West Africa: Ecobank Mali
Best Bank in Central Africa: Trust Merchant Bank
Mortgage Bank of the Year: Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company