Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has emerged as the ‘ African Bank of the year’ in this year’s ‘African Banker Awards’ organized by African Banker , a leading magazine that publishes information on banking and finance in Africa.
Ecobank ETI is the parent company of the regional banking group in Africa currently operating in 28 African countries including Rwanda.
Held annually, this year‘s winners were announced on Tuesday during the World Bank / IMF Board of Governors annual meetings in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ecobank beat Arab African International Bank (Egypt); Banco Angolano de Investimentos (Angola); Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (Morocco); First Bank of Nigeria and United Bank for Africa (Nigeria) that had also been nominated in the same category.
The ‘African Banker Awards’ recognize and reward individuals, companies and institutions which have excelled in Africa’s banking and financial sector over the last year.
The awards are designed to recognize the reforms, rapid modernization, consolidation, integration and expansion of Africa’s banking and financial system.
Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Omar Ben Yedder, the Publisher of African Banker magazine said whereas banks and financial institutions in Africa would have previously yielded and vanished in such turmoil (financial crisis) , 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,” Yedder said at the Four Seasons Hotel presenting the winners.
In East Africa, the National Bank of Commerce in Tanzania was announced the winner of ‘Best Local Bank’ while Equity Bank, Kenya emerged as the ‘Micro-finance Bank’ of the year.
“African 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,” said Anver Versi, Editor of African Banker magazine describing the Continent’s banking landscape.
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 present at this year’s African Banker Awards.