24 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Washington DC- Almost 300 guests were in attendance at the African Banker Awards 2011 that took place yesterday evening, the 23rd September.
Now in its fifth year running, the African Banker Awards was one of the biggest events pertaining to the continent that took place in Washington DC in the midst of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings. Arunma Oteh, Director-General of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Africa Export-Import Bank, and Arnold Ekpe, CEO of Ecobank were amongst the esteemed guests which included Ministers of Finance and Central bank Governors.
Dr James Mwangi was declared African Banker of the Year for the second year in a row at this year’s African Banker Awards. The MD and CEO of Kenya’s largest bank by depositors, Equity Bank, was presented with his accolade at the Awards ceremony that took place at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.
Standard Bank Group of South Africa, picked up the trophy for the equally coveted African Bank of the Year award, presented by Houda Shoukry Managing Director of the Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC), the major sponsors of the evening. Nigeria and Egypt having had several banks short-listed continued their success to the final result with two awards apiece. Golden Sugar Refinery Project, Stanbic IBTC Bank picked up Deal of the Year and FirstBank Nigeria Most Innovative Bank of the Year with EFG Hermes bringing Investment Bank of the Year and the National Bank of Egypt Socially Responsible Bank of the Year home for Egypt. Both nations also received special commendations, Sale of Orascom Telecom Tunisia, EFG-Hermes for Deal of the Year and Diamond Bank for Most Innovative Bank of the Year.
Mozambique made its debut into the pool of winners since inception of the African Banker Awards with Millennium BIM scooping the prize for Best Local Bank in Africa. Evelyn Oputu, CEO of the Bank of Industry and one of the most revered businesswomen in Africa and internationally, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and set a new record for being the first woman to receive this particular accolade.
Another milestone came when the central Bank Governor of Uganda was rewarded not only for his work in the past year but for being the architect of Uganda’s economic revival.
As well as the traditional evening of networking and business dealings, guests were also treated to a variety of entertainment with a lively jazz trio performance at the preceding cocktail reception hosted by the Ecobank Nedbank Alliance and a vibrant drumming ensemble to open the show.
Commenting on the Awards, Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker magazine, said, “The Egyptian revolution has not stopped the resolve with two winners from Egypt. And in fact what these past few years have taught us is that we have financial institutions that have been able to show resilience in the midst of uncertainty and global shocks, something which would not have been possible two decades back. And we are seeing Africans showing the lead – for example new regulation in Nigeria has ring fenced commercial banking from investment banking. And this happened in Africa before the UK and London the world’s financial centre. I’m confident and tonight with the quality on show, my belief is strengthened.”
The African Banker Awards is organised by African Banker magazine, IC Events, and BusinessinAfrica Events. It is a landmark event taking place every year during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings. The event brought together around 300 key industry players and top government officials from Africa and around the world to honour the achievements of companies and individuals who have contributed significantly to the reform, modernisation and expansion of the continent’s banking and financial system, driving Africa’s sustained economic growth in the process.
African Bank of the YearStandard Bank Group, South Africa
African Banker of the Year James Mwangi, Managing Director & CEO, Equity Bank, Kenya
Best Local BankMillennium BIM
Deal of the YearGolden Sugar Refinery Project, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Nigeria
Investment Bank of the Year
Investment Fund/Private Equity Fund of the Year Actis, United Kingdom
Microfinance Institution/Project of the Year EB-Accion Savings & Loans Company, Ghana
Most Innovative Bank of the YearFirstBank of Nigeria
Socially Responsible Bank of the Year National Bank of Egypt
African Banker IconAdebayo Ogunlesi
Central Bank Governor of the YearHE Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor of the Bank of Uganda
Finance Minister of the YearHE Situmbeko Musokotwane Zambia
Lifetime Achievement AwardEvelyn Oputu