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African Banker Awards lauds winners’ innovation and resilience

23/06/2021
Standard Bank Group, Africa's biggest bank, recognized for its role in fighting Covid-19 and empowering women.

Standard Bank Group was on Wednesday named African Bank of the Year by a leading publication in recognition of the banking giant’s achievements in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and empowering women.

African Banker magazine announced the winners of its 2021 Awards at a virtual ceremony held on the side-lines of the African Development Bank’s 2021 Annual Meetings. The African Development Bank is a high patron of the event.

The 2021 virtual event featured performances by African diva Angelique Kidjo and Adina, a Ghanaian-South African singer.

The award for African Banker of the Year went, for the second consecutive year, to Hebert Wigwe, Managing Director and co-founder of Access Bank Group, which has grown rapidly to become one of the largest retail banks in Africa over the last decade, with over 40 million customers.

The 2021 edition of the awards set out to recognize institutions that have contributed to women’s empowerment on the continent and to the real economy, which has suffered from the impact of Covid-19.

Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohammed Benchaâboun, was named Finance Minister of the Year in recognition of his ministry’s exemplary response to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker, commended the banking sector for its responsiveness to clients' needs, and for setting up gender programs, supporting women-led businesses and promoting women within their organizations.

“Fintechs are really the flavor of the year and we’ve seen plenty of money from venture capital, from private equity wealth, going into the fintech space in Egypt, Kenya and in Nigeria, and to some extent crypto and blockchain, although those are at very early stages,” Ben Yedder said.

The continued strength and resilience of the banking sector would be critical to support economic recovery from the pandemic across Africa, he said.

 

Complete list of 2021 African Banker Award winners:

Sustainable bank of the year
Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt

Infrastructure deal of the year
Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway $1.46bn loan facility
 Nedbank | Standard Chartered | TDB

Deal of the year - Equity
Privatization of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Ltd
FBNQuest

Deal of the year - Debt
African Export-Import Bank, COVID-19 Support Facility
MUFG Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group

Award for financial inclusion
Trust Merchant Bank, DRC

African Banker Icon
Charlie Robertson, Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital

Finance Minister of the year
H.E Mohammed Benchaâboun, Minister for Economy and Finance, Morocco

Award for Innovation for Financial Services
Bank of Industry, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme

Energy deal of the year
Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant in Malawi / 7.5 MW Solar PV Power Plant in Burundi
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)

Agriculture deal of the year
$400m Revolving Trade Finance Facility in favour of ETC Group
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

African SME Bank of the Year
Ecobank

Best Regional Bank in Africa
North: Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco
West: Banque de Développement du Mali
East: Equity Bank, Kenya
Central: BGFI, Gabon
Southern: Mozabanco, Mozambique

Investment Bank of the Year
ABSA

Central Bank Governor of the Year
H.E. Lesetja Kganyago, Governor Reserve Bank of South Africa

Lifetime Achievement
Felix Bikpo

African Bank of the Year
Standard Bank Group

African Banker of the Year
Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO, Access Bank

For more on the African Banker Awards, please visit: www.africanbankerawards.com

Media contacts:  
Kwasi.Kpodo, Communication and External Relations Department, African Development Bank, email: w.kpodo@afdb.org
African Banker: awards@icpublications.com