Two top Nigerian bankers, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje and Mr. Arnold Ekpe, Group Managing Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) respectively, were honoured last Wednesday night at the African Bankers Awards, in Arusha, Tanzania. Likewise, Access Bank Plc, one of the leading banks in Nigeria got the award for the Best Bank in West Africa. Agbaje received African Banker of the Year award and while Ekpe was honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award, respectively.
Agbaje was presented with his award by Director of the Private Sector Operations of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Tim Turner.
ETI, the parent bank of Ecobank Nigeria Plc won the African Bank of the Year. ETI beat six other banks, in its category to win African Bank of the Year award. The bank was given particular credit for its continued expansion throughout Middle Africa as the pan African bank. It got a strong endorsement when South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation officially signed the $250m investment agreement in the group few days ago. The African Bankers Awards programme organized by African Banker Magazine, is part of the events on the sideline of the annual meetings of AfDB.Founder and Managing Director of the Ethiopia Commodities Exchange, Dr. Eleni Gabre-Mahdin followed in the footsteps of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and international banker, Adebayo Ogunlesi, to win the African Banker Icon Award. In the Best Regional Bank category, the other banks that received awards were: Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco for North Africa; BGFI, Gabon for Central Africa; Bank of Kigali, Rwanda for East Africa; and BCI, Mozambique for Southern Africa – thus highlighting Africa’s diversity but strength as one continent.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Finance for Gambia, Mr. Mambury Njie; Minister of Finance for Rwanda, Mr. John Rwangombwa; Central Bank Governor for Tunisia, Dr. Mustapha Kamel Nabli; Central Bank Governor for Kenya, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u; Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, amongst others. Commenting, Publisher of African Banker, Mr. Omar Ben Yedder, said: “We have recognized some superb individuals and institutions.
Africa’s financial sector is a major vehicle for driving the economic growth that has become the talk of the investor community around the world. “We have honoured individuals who are prepared to take the bull by the horn, to carry out well thought out visions and who have raised the bar and in some cases taken difficult decisions to deliver on their agenda. Good examples are the Central Bank Governor of Tunisia and the Finance Minister of Guinea. The winners this year represent a good mix between francophone and Anglophone Africa, big and small countries. They reflect the achievements in banking and finance all over Africa.” The African Banker Awards celebrate excellence and best practices in African banking and finance.