Africaâ€™s top bankers, ministers of finance, governors of central banks and industry leaders came together on the 6th of October at the Four Seasons Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, to recognize the continentâ€™s successes in banking at an unforgettable awards ceremony and gala dinner.
Bankers from Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Mali and Chad, representing North, South, East, West and Central Africa, were amongst the nominees of this yearâ€™s African Banker Awards making this truly a pan-African gathering of champions.
A total of 14 awards were presented during the ceremony. The African Banker of the Year award went to Tayo Aderinokun, Managing Director/CEO, GTB Nigeria, the African Bank of the Year award went to Ecobank-ETI. The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to a pioneer of African banking, Paul Derreumaux, the President of the Mali-based Group Bank of Africa, whose outstanding achievements in banking have contributed to Africaâ€™s substantial economic transformation. The award for Finance Minister of the Year was handed to Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, Minister of Finance, Egypt and Tito Mboweni, Governor, South African Reserve Bank was named Central Bank Governor of the Year.
Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker magazine, commented: â€œAfrican banking and financial institutions have not come unscathed by the global financial and economical crisis. But as they say luck favours the prepared. Whereas banks and financial institutions of yesteryears in Africa would have previously yielded and vanished in such turmoil, the banks of today with stronger capital bases and stronger regulatory bodies have suffered severe challenges, but on the whole managed to withstand these external shocks. This is undoubtedly through strong leadership, vision and sustained reform undertaken by many of the winners and nominees present here today.â€
Anver Versi, Editor of African Banker magazine highlighted the potential of Africa: â€œWhen all 53 African countries, with all our cultural heritage, with our natural resources, with our populations and with our genius can act as one and speak with one voice.
, when, as in Istanbul, we can discover unity in our diversity, then the world will see the rise of a power that could become the greatest of all.â€ On the continentâ€™s banking landscape he commented: â€œAfrican banking, over the past five years has not only broken its national and regional shackles, it has also broken international boundaries and has taken its first tentative steps outside the continent.â€
This yearâ€™s event, organised by African Banker magazine and IC Events in partnership with BusinessinAfrica Events, was supported by the African Development Bank in line with its commitment to build a strong and vibrant African banking industry. Sponsors included Ecobank, Lexmark International, Inc. and Centigon. The Awards were held during the World Bankâ€™s critical global discussions on the state of the worldâ€™s financial systems which were held this year in Istanbul, Turkey.
Christian Udechukwu, Managing Director, BusinessinAfrica Events announced that next yearâ€™s African Banker Awards will be held in Washington DC, USA, to again coincide with the IMF/World Bank Annual meeting.