The African Banker Awards, considered the most prestigious event in the African banking calendar, recently took place at the Rixos Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
KAMPALA, UGANDA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — The African Banker Awards 2023 Gala Ceremony, a highly anticipated event in the African banking calendar, took place at the Rixos Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, amidst the African Development Bank Annual Meetings.
Attended by over 300 prominent bankers, regulators, and policymakers, the ceremony celebrated the outstanding contributions made by individuals and institutions to the growth and development of Africa’s banking sector in the past year.
Recognizing excellence in African finance! Discover the winners of the prestigious African Banker Awards 2023. Get inspired by their remarkable achievements and industry leadership.
Esther Kariuki: African Banker of the Year
Esther Kariuki, Head of Agriculture Business at the Co-op Bank of Kenya, emerged as the winner of the prestigious African Banker of the Year Award. As only the second woman to receive this accolade, Kariuki was recognized for her instrumental role in advancing agriculture as a vital asset class for her institution.
She significantly increased lending to the agriculture sector and spearheaded the launch of Co-op Bank Soko, a digital marketplace that connects the agriculture value chain, ensuring fair prices for small-holder farmers.
Afreximbank’s Double Triumph
Afreximbank, based in Cairo, secured two coveted awards at the ceremony, solidifying its position as a leading institution within Africa’s financial services sector.
The bank received recognition as African Bank of the Year and Development Financial Institution of the Year, making it the sole recipient of multiple awards this year.
Harvesh Seegolam: Central Bank Governor of the Year
Harvesh Kumar Seegolam, the youngest serving governor of the Mauritius Central Bank, was honored with the Central Bank Governor of the Year Award.
Despite assuming office during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Seegolam utilized the Mauritius Investment Corporation (MIC) to provide vital financial support to key sectors of the economy through investments in private sector operators.
The latest returns report of the MIC showcased increased investment value, even in the face of adverse economic conditions.
South African Banks Shine
South African banks made a notable impact in the Deal of the Year categories, underscoring their success.
Additionally, Enoch Godongwana, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, received the Minister of Finance of the Year Award for his adept management of the economy and efforts to drive investment in the energy transition.
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
Highlighting the significant presence of women entrepreneurs in Africa, Letshego Nigeria was awarded the inaugural AFAWA Bank of the Year Award.
This category recognized financial institutions that empower female entrepreneurs, with the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative working towards bridging the financing gap of $42 billion faced by women in the region.
Celebrating Outstanding Leaders
The African Banker Icon title was bestowed upon Miguel Azevedo, head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) at Citi, in recognition of his remarkable dealmaking expertise.
Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, former Managing Director and current Non-executive Chairman of CIB Bank, Egypt’s largest private sector bank, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his remarkable career as a seasoned banker.
Promoting Excellence and Diversity in Africa’s Banking Industry
Omar Ben Yedder, Committee Chairman and Group Publisher at IC Publications, the publishers of African Banker, commended the vibrancy and dynamism of Africa’s banking industry, highlighting the increasing diversity within the sector.
He emphasized the industry’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and impact in their respective markets and regions, shaping areas such as FinTech, climate finance, and cross-border payments.
The African Banker Awards, organized by African Banker magazine with the African Development Bank as its High Patron, aligned with this year’s AfDB Meetings’ focus on mobilizing private sector finance for green growth.
The 2023 edition received sponsorship from the African Guarantee Fund, the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), and Tanzania’s CRDB Bank.
Full List of African Banker Awards 2023 Winners
- Banker of the Year: Ms. Esther Kariuki, Co-operative Bank of Kenya
- Bank of the Year: Afreximbank
- African Banker Icon: Miguel Azevedo, Citi
- Lifetime Achievement: Mr. Hisham Ezz Al-Arab, Commercial International Bank
- Central Bank Governor of the Year: Harvesh Seegolam, Bank of Mauritius
- Minister of Finance of the Year: Hon. Enoch Godongwana, South Africa
- Sustainable Bank of the Year: Nedbank, South Africa
- DFI of the Year: Afreximbank
- Fintech of the Year: MFS Africa
- SME Bank of the Year: La Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations – CDC
Deal of the Year categories:
- Debt: Harmony Gold Company syndicated multi-tranche, multi-currency, loan facility of US$400m and R4bn – Absa & Nedbank
- Equity: US$298m Infinity Energy equity investment and Lekela Power acquisition – Africa Finance Corporation
- Agriculture: US$78m funding facility for the Southern Oil Structured Commodity Finance Transaction – Absa
- Infrastructure: US$900m debt funding facility for Scatec Solar PV plus Battery Storage Project – Standard Bank
Regional Bank of the Year:
- North: Bank of Africa
- Southern: Zambia National Commercial Bank (Zanaco)
- East: CRDB Bank
- Central: Trust Merchant Bank
- West: Vista Bank
AFAWA Bank of the Year Award: Letshego, Nigeria
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