Bank of kigali chief executive officer, James Gatera, has scooped this year’s Johnnie Walker Blue Label CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leader of the Year Award for East Africa (AABLA).
Gatera beat Uchumi Supermarket chief executive officer and Group managing director Jonathan Ciano, and Duncan Kibui, the Chase Bank Kenya chief executive officer, to the accolade.
“I would like to commend the Government for its continued support as we work to create big brands in Africa by bringing together resources, which ultimately leads us to being a global market player,” said Gatera in his acceptance speech.
This was during the awards ceremony at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Monday.
The feat qualifies Gatera to compete in the continental version of the awards.
Kamal Budhabatti, the founder and chief executive officer of Craft Silicon ICT Kenya, scooped the Young Business Leader of the Year Award, while Priya Budhabatti, the head of Human Resources at Craft Silicon Kenya ICT and Craft Silicon Foundation Kenya, emerged winner for the Business Woman of the Year Award.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was won by Peter Nduati, the Resolution Health East Africa Limited founder and chief executive officer. The late James Mulwana, founder of Mulwana Group of Companies Uganda, received a posthumous Life-time Award, which was received by his widow and daughter, Vanessa and Barbara Mulwana.
Speaking at the event, Amb. Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance, tipped the private sector to be a major drive in lifting East Africa Community (EAC) economies out of the ongoing global economic slowdown.
Gatete said the awards are a morale booster for the private sector at a time “when global economies are struggling”.
After a slowdown in real GDP growth of 2.5 per cent in the second half of last year, the world economy grew marginally in the first quarter of 2013 by 2.8 per cent year-on-year.
However, this was below what was forecast by International Monetary Fund in April 2013 due to lower-than expected growth in some emerging economies, recession in the Euro area and fiscal contraction in the US.
The global economy is expected to grow by 5 per cent in emerging and developing countries and by 1.2 per cent in developed economies this year.