ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian Banker has won big as winners of the 2019 edition of the African Banker Awards announced at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Equatorial Guinea, on Tuesday.
The Awards, held annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, have established themselves as the Oscars of African banking celebrating excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
No one region dominated this year’s awards although there was a call from the organizers for greater effort to ensure banking was more inclusive, both in terms of gender representation across senior management in banks and lending to the small and medium sized enterprises.
The two big awards of the night went to development finance institutions. Afreximbank won Bank of the Year while Ethiopian Admassu Tadesse, the president of Kenya-based Trade and Development Bank (TDB), won African Banker of the Year.
TDB has grown its portfolio five-fold since Tadesse took over as President, largely increasing its presence in East and Southern Africa, where it operates. Afreximbank in the past 18 months has launched a number of game changing products.
This year’s lifetime achievement went to former First Rand Group CEO, South African Sizwe Nxasana.
Under his leadership, the bank grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20%. In his acceptance speech, he called for even greater investment in human capital if we wanted to accelerate growth on the continent.
South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Absa won Investment Bank of the Year. Standard Bank and RMB won the equity deal of the year with the VIVO Energy IPO. Deal of the year in the debt category went to Senegal €2.2bn Eurobond and Credit Agricole and TDB’s financing of the Floating LNG platform in Mozambique won the infrastructure Deal of the Year.