Bank of Kigali has been named as the best Regional Bank of the Year in East Africa for excelling in the industry in the region.
The Wednesday recognition was announced on the sidelines of the 50th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Finance and Economic Planning minister Claver Gatete was also named the Finance Minister of the Year at the same awards.
Bank of Kigali was also recognised for the role played in reaching out to new customers, offering new services, adopting inclusiveness and making use of new technologies thus contributing to a stronger financial sector.
African Bankers Awards is the continent’s most prestigious banking and financial sector event.
The awards are held under the patronage of the Africa Development Bank.
And African Bankers’ Awards are designed to recognise the reforms, rapid modernisation, consolidation, integration and expansion of Africa’s banking and financial sector.
Minister Gatete recognised
Minister Gatete, named the Finance Minister of the Year, was honoured for spearheading and conducting prudent macroeconomic policies and reforms in the financial sector.
Gatete dedicated the award to the Government of Rwanda, which he said has played a critical role in reforming the country’s financial sector.
“I am really humbled that the committee decided to award this award to me this year. I consider this as a trophy for our authorities in Rwanda and the team I have been working with; members of the government, staff of the Ministry of Finance and all the partners and stakeholders to our economy,” he is quoted in a statement as saying.
Strong economic performance
Amb. Gatete has presided over a good macro- and micro-economic performance evidenced by a strong economic rebound of 7 per cent last year compared to 4.6 per cent in 2013.
His policies are expected to propel the country to an economic growth of about 6.5 per cent by the end of 2015, which experts say will be good performance for Rwanda.
Andrew Mold, a senior economic affairs officer for sub-regional office for Eastern Africa United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, applauded Gatete’s recognition.
“In all countries, the job of the Finance minister is a challenging one. But that is particularly true in the case of fast-growing developing countries like Rwanda. As a result of the good work and strategic planning, Rwanda enjoys one of the most stable and dynamic macroeconomic regimes in the African continent. Our heart-felt congratulations,” Mold told The New Times.
Gatete was a good central bank governor and the insights he gained during that stint at the central bank very much helped him in terms of his strong command of the detail of the Rwandan economy, he added.
Gatete has been the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning for the past two years. Before then, he served as Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda. He has also previously served as Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.