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James Mwangi, African banker/FILE

Kenya

Equity Bank boss retains African Banker award

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – Equity Bank Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi has been named the African Banker of the Year for the second year running at the African Banker Awards which take place during IMF/World Bank annual meetings Washington DC.

Mwangi beat other short listed contenders who included Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank boss Segun Agbaje, KCB CEO Martin Oduor-Otieno, and Mauritius AfrAsia Bank boss, James Benoit. Another front-runner earlier nominated for the award was Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director & CEO, United Bank of Africa, Nigeria.

For being the architect of Uganda’s economic revival, Uganda’s Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumisiime received the Central Bank Governor of the Year award.

Speaking moments after receiving the accolade, Mwangi pledged to further step up his efforts to ensure financial inclusivity for the unbanked masses as his tribute for the coveted award.

“As a career banker, this award has helped me to renew my personal vow to facilitate social and economic transformation through innovative banking practices,” Mwangi explained.

“For this reason, I have rededicated myself to ensure that initiatives such as the deepening of Equity’s agency banking model and financial literacy programmes are achieved on schedule.”

During the award ceremony, Mwangi was one among 13 continental achievers in the banking sector who received their awards during the 5th African Banker awards attended by more than 300 sector players.

Now in its fifth year, the African Banker Awards has become one of the biggest events concerning Africa financial industry, being held during the annual meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions.

Commenting on the Awards, Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker magazine, said: “The Egyptian revolution has not stopped the resolve with two winners from Egypt. And in fact what these past few years have taught us is that we have financial institutions that have been able to show resilience in the midst of uncertainty and global shocks, something which would not have been possible two decades back.”

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Standard Bank Group of South Africa picked up the trophy for the equally coveted African Bank of the Year award while Golden Sugar Refinery Project, Stanbic IBTC Bank picked up Deal of the Year award. Nigeria’s FirstBank was named the Most Innovative Bank as EFG Hermes bagged the Investment Bank of the Year and the National Bank of Egypt scooped the Socially Responsible Bank of the Year award.

This year, Mozambique made its debut into the pool of winners since inception of the African Banker Awards with Millennium BIM scooping the prize for Best Local Bank in Africa.

Evelyn Oputu, CEO of the Bank of Industry and one of the most revered businesswomen in Africa and internationally, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and set a new record for being the first woman to receive this particular accolade.

The African Banker Awards is organised by African Banker magazine, IC Events, and BusinessinAfrica Events. It is a landmark event taking place every year during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings.

The event brought together around 300 key industry players and top government officials from Africa and around the world to honour the achievements of companies and individuals who have contributed significantly to the reform, modernisation and expansion of the continent’s banking and financial system, driving Africa’s sustained economic growth in the process.

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