Women Top 2020 African Banker Awards List [Full Winners List]

The winners of the 2020 African Bankers Awards have been announced with women in the banking and finance sector claiming more top spots.

News Central gathered that the African Bankers Awards, regarded as the Oscars of the African banking community, was announced at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

The awards were pushed back to August to coincide with the African Development Annual Meetings which are scheduled to hold this week, with the election of the new president of the bank expected on Thursday.

One of the big winners this year was Nigerian group Access Bank. Following on from what was seen as a lack of inclusion last year, the organisers put an emphasis to reward institutions that ensured that women and financial inclusion were at the forefront of their agenda.

Access Bank’s Group CEO, Herbert Wigwe, won this year’s African Banker of the Year. The bank ranks as one of Africa’s top-tier banks and Wigwe has been at the helm of the bank’s growth and expansion, including the oversight of the takeover of Diamond Bank, a bank that estimated bigger than Access Bank less than 15 years ago. Access Bank also won Agriculture deal of the year, in their role to help Olam develop their rice operations in Nigeria.

The Central Bank Governor of the year went to Caroline Abel of Seychelles and the Finance Minister of the Year went to Nigeria’s Zainab Ahmed. The organisers had noted that despite difficult circumstances Ms Ahmed had managed to push through a set of difficult reforms as well as successfully engage international partners to help the country navigate an extremely challenging economic environment.

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The African Banker Icon award was given to Vivien Shobo, who was the CEO of ratings and advisory firm, Agusto & Co. up until last December. She was recognised for playing an instrumental role in developing Nigeria’s credit markets and also for helping grow a truly world class organisation that is competing against much better resourced international players.

Tunisian pioneer Ahmed Abdelkefi won the Lifetime Achievement Award. This businessman and financier is the founder of numerous businesses operating in leasing, brokerage and investment banking. He also founded private equity group Tuninvest, and launched Africinvest, without doubt one of Africa’s most successful Africa-owned PE firms.

The split of the other winners was quite even. TDB won Bank of the Year. Incidentally, its CEO, Admassu Tadesse, won Banker of the Year at last year’s ceremony. The organisers added a number of awards this year to reflect the AfDB’s High Fives Agenda. The energy deal of the year went to a renewable energy bond structured by Nedbank and infrastructure deal of the year went to the Port of Maputo in a transaction led by Standard Bank. The SME bank of the year went to Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.

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Commenting on this year’s awards, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: “It’s been a momentous year in every sense. Banks will have to play a lead role in kick-starting post-Covid growth and sustaining the real economy. Governments and regulators have done an excellent job with limited means and both our winners Caroline Abel and Zainab Ahmed have demonstrated strong leadership there. Banks will need to work with institutions and partners to ensure liquidity doesn’t dry up. To quote our Lifetime Achievement Winner: Keep moving forward: adapt, innovate, take risks. That’s your job. Today’s crisis is neither the first and it will not be the last.”

The Awards took virtually on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings which are now officially open.

The awards, which are held under the high patronage of the African Development Bank, are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund as Platinum Sponsor, the Bank of Industry as Gold Sponsor and Moza Banco as Associate Sponsor.

The 2020 African Banker Award Winners

African Banker of the Year
Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank

Lifetime Achievement Award
Ahmed Abdelkefi, Founder Tunisie Leasing; Tuninvest; Tunisie Valeurs

African Banker Icon
Vivien Shobo, Former CEO Agusto & Co.

African Bank of the Year
Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Minister of Finance of the Year
Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance of Nigeria

Central Bank Governor of the Year
Caroline Abel, Central Bank Governor of Seychelles

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Investment Bank of the Year
Citi

Award for Financial Inclusion
Kenya Women Microfinance

SME Bank of the Year
Bank of Industry, Nigeria

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year
Equity Bank, Kenya

Innovation in Banking
Ecobank

Deal of the Year – Equity
MTN Nigeria IPO – Chapel Hill Denham

Deal of the Year – Debt
Bank of Industry €1bn syndicated senior loan facility – Bank of Industry / Afreximbank/ Credit Suisse

Infrastructure Deal of the Year
Port of Maputo – Standard Bank

Energy Project of the Year
Renewable Energy Bond – Nedbank

Agri Deal of the Year
Olam Rice Farm – Access Bank

Regional Bank of the Year
East Africa – Equity Bank
West Africa – Coris
North Africa – CIB, Egypt
Southern Africa – Moza Banco
Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon

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