By Omoh Gabriel
Two Nigerian Bankers have been tipped for recognition as African Banker of the year at a ceremony to be held in Washington during the forth coming IMF/World Bank Annual General Meeting. They are the Managing Director of United Bank for Africa UBA, Mr. Phillips Oduoza and Mr Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank. They are to be considered for the honour along with other African Bankers which include James Benoit, CEO & Executive Director, AfrAsia Bank, Mauritius; James Mwangi, Managing Director & CEO, Equity Bank, Kenya, Martin Oduour-Otieno, CEO, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
According to the organisers of the award, First Bank of Nigeria, Standard Bank Group, South Africa, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE Bank Group), Morocco, Ecobank Transnational, Togo, Equity Bank, Kenya are to vie for the African Bank of the Year award.
For the deal of the year ConTour” Project, African Export-Import Bank, Egypt, Sale of Orascom Telecom Tunisia, EFG-Hermes, Egypt, Nigerian Bond Issue, FBN Capital, Nigeria, Golden Sugar Refinery Project, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Nigeria, Dangote Cement Deals, Vetiva Capital Management, Nigeria are nominated for the award in this category. For consideration for the award of the Most Innovative Bank of the Year are BIM – Banco Internacional de Moçambique S.A., Mozambique, Diamond Bank, Nigeria, Equity Bank, Kenya, FirstBank of Nigeria and Kenya Post Office Savings Bank
Also nominated for consideration for the award of Socially Responsible Bank of the Year are BIM – Banco Internacional de Moçambique S.A., Mozambique, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), South Africa, Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria, National Bank of Egypt (NBE)
In a statement made available to Vanguard the organizers said “The Bank of the year will be contested amongst African heavyweights; BMCE Bank Group of Morocco, the Ecobank group, headquartered in Togo, Kenya’s largest bank in terms of customers, Equity Bank, and the biggest banks respectively in their countries FirstBank of Nigeria and Standard Bank Group of South Africa.
“James Benoit, CEO and Executive Director of AfrAsia Bank, Mauritius goes head to head with Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria, Martin Oduour-Otieno, CEO, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank of Africa, Nigeria, and last year’s winner James Mwangi, Managing Director & CEO, Equity Bank, Kenya for African Banker of the Year.
Egypt has undergone a tough start to this year with the political disruptions that occurred. However, its banks were not deterred from making a significant mark on the competition with the National Bank of Egypt nominated for Best Local Bank and Socially Responsible Bank of the Year and EFG Hermes short listed for Deal of the Year.
Commenting on this year’s entries Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker magazine, said:”As expected Nigeria is back as a key competitor. The Central Bank of Nigeria has taken important steps towards easing the limitations facing the market and the results have paid off as banks have proceeded with strong performances. We were delighted to see the progress and I know that coming up with a shortlist in the local bank category proved particularly difficult. The same can be said for Deal of the Year which was extremely competitive. Both reflect growing local economies and the growing interest in the region as a whole. You have some fantastic growth stories, and they reflect veritable emerging markets with burgeoning opportunities.
The African Banker Awards is organised by African Banker magazine, IC Events and Business in Africa Events. It is a landmark event taking place every year during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, and brings together over 300 key industry players and top government officials from Africa and around the world to celebrate excellence and best practices in African banking and finance. The Awards are supported by the Corporate Council on Africa in line with its goal of championing the role of the private sector in Africa’s economic development through strengthening the commercial relationship between the USA and Africa.
A distinguished and independent panel of judges, known and respected for their expertise on the African banking and finance industry, will decide on the final winners of each award. The event is supported by the Private Sector Operations of the African Development Bank. Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC) is the Platinum sponsor for this year’s African Banker Awards. Other sponsors include Afrexim Bank, Harland Financial Solutions, Visa and Wavetec. The Ecobank, Nedbank Alliance will be hosting a cocktail reception directly preceding the Awards ceremony.