Nigerian bank, Guarantee Trust Bank (GT Bank) beat off competition from five shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’ at the 2017 African Banker Awards Gala Dinner in Ahmedabad, India.
GT Bank posted a 37 percent rise in profits in 2016, despite difficult trading conditions in its main market Nigeria. The Nigerian economy has been in recession for a few years now due to fall in price of crude oil, the country’s main export earner.
The Awards, held annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
No one country dominated the awards this year. The President of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah won Banker of the Year. His bank has grown considerably in the past year, whilst other metrics, such as income to cost ratio were very competitive.
The ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was presented to an institution for the first time, as opposed to an individual. This is recognition to the outstanding contribution to African banking that Citi as an organisation has done since it has started operating in Africa and in shaping some of Africa’s leading bankers, many of who have led the growing number of African financial institutions across the continent.
Waheed A. Olagunju, the acting CEO and Managing Director of Bank of Industry was honoured with this year’s African Banker Icon award, which recognizes a banking career that spans over two decades. Senegal’s Amadou Ba won the Finance Minister of the year award. He has managed to successfully steer the Senegalese economy which is today one of the best performing ones in Africa. Only last week, Senegal issued a Eurobond that was seven times oversubscribed. The ‘African Central Bank Governor of the Year’ accolade was awarded to Mauritius’ Rameswurlall Basant Roi. Mauritius today is one of Africa’s leading financial capitals and this is largely the work of the Governor. Its financial services sector is one of the strongest in Africa and it has thriving capital markets.
Commenting on the ceremony, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker, commented on the breadth of winners as well as the important banks and financial institutions have in driving growth and development: “This year’s entries in the financial inclusion and innovation categories were particularly encouraging. Financial inclusion is possibly the single most important priority so that we can mobilise funds and make this capital to work effectively. Banks are at the centre at this and rising to the challenge.”
This is the first time the African Banker Awards take place in India, more precisely in Ahmedabad, the capital of the state of Gujarat. As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the Indian government offered to host this year’s Annual Meetings aiming to strengthen its long-standing relationship with Africa.
The eleventh edition of the African Banker Awards, hosted by African Banker magazine took place at the Hyatt Regency. The awards which are held under the high patronage of the African Development Bank are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund as Gold Sponsor and the Bank of Industry as Silver Sponsor. Other sponsors include the African Trade Insurance Agency and the Trade Development Bank.
THE 2017 AFRICAN BANKER AWARD WINNERS
Banker of the Year
Dr Benedict Okey Oramah, President, Afreximbank
Bank of the Year
GT Bank Group
Minister of Finance of the Year
Amadou Ba (Senegal)
Central Bank Governor of the Year
Rameswurlall Basant Roi (Mauritius)
Best Retail Bank
Equity Bank (Kenya)
Investment Bank of the Year
Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)
Award for Financial Inclusion
Caisse Centrale de Garantie (Morocco)
Groupe Crédit Agricole (Morocco)
Ecobank – MasterCard
Deal of the Year – Equity
OGP sale to Helios (Argentil)
Deal of the Year – Debt
Helios Towers, $600m debut High Yield Offering (Standard Bank)
Infrastructure Deal of the Year
AFC and Harith Asset Merger (Africa Finance Corporation)
African Banker Icon
Waheed A. Olagunju, Bank of Industry
Lifetime Achievement Award
Best Regional Bank in North Africa
Best Regional Bank in West Africa
Best Regional Bank in Central Africa
Trust Merchant Bank
Best Regional Bank in East Africa
Best Regional Bank in Southern Africa
Mauritius Commercial Bank