Magazine article New African

Africa's Finest Bankers Shine

Magazine article New African

Africa's Finest Bankers Shine

Article excerpt

Africa's top minds and key industry players in the financial and banking sector, as well as top government officials from the continent and from around the world, were the talk of town as they gathered for the 4th annual African Banker Awards in Washington DC on 8 October, to honour the achievements of bankers who have contributed significantly to the reform, modernisation and expansion of the continent's banking and financial system.

FOR THE FOURTH YEAR RUNNING, Africa's financial and banking royalty returned to the African Banker Awards, which this year saw two French-speaking African banks take home two highly coveted prizes. The African Bank of the Year and the Best Local Bank in Africa awards went to Moroccan bank Attijariwafa and Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie (BIAT), respectively. East Africa was also triumphant, with Dr James Mwangi, MD and CEO of Kenya's Equity Bank, picking up the African Banker of the Year award--a clear acknowledgement of the successes the region has achieved in the crucial banking sector. Dr Mwangi was praised for his dedication to revolutionising not only the Kenyan banking industry, but pioneering the first mobile banking technology in the world and for championing the empowerment of ordinary people through inclusive finance.

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Uganda's Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, HE Syda Bbumba, was honoured with the Finance Minister of the Year award. She has helped her country to institute sound fiscal and monetary policies, which have lowered inflation and contributed to growth in the economy. For the first time in the ABkA's history, Ethiopia also joined the exclusive ranks of winners with Amhara Credit and Saving Institution (ACSI) taking home the Microfinance Institution of the Year award.

Although the Nigerian banks have taken a hit due to restructuring and tough reforms over the past year, Access Bank and Stanbic IBTC managed to stand out and win the Socially Responsible Bank of the Year and Best Issuing House awards respectively, an indication that the traditional financial powerhouse is ready to bounce back bigger and better.

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The audience had a treat as Christine Ohuruogu, the 2008 Beijing Olympic 400m champion, presented the Best Global Bank in Africa award to Standard Chartered Bank. …

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