Busan, South Korea, May 23, GNA – Ghana’s Finance Minister, Mr Kenneth Ofori-Attah has been crowned the ‘Finance Minister of the Year’ at the 12th edition of the African Banker Awards 2018.
The Awards, held annually on the sidelines of the yearly meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrates excellence in banking and finance on the African continent, was announced at a Gala Dinner in Busan, South Korea on Tuesday.
Mr Ofori-Attah’s prudence in the management of the macroeconomic policies and reforms and skills in creating conditions for an appealing investment climate among others won him the award organized by the African Banker Magazine and BusinessinAfricaEvents.
The Finance Minister, in response enumerated many interventions including growth picking up significantly to 8.5 percent in 2017 from the 3.7 percent rate in 2016, digitizing the economy and instituting measures to minimize probability and entrenching irreversibility to sustain macroeconomic gains.
“We are legislating a fiscal rule to limit the fiscal deficit to no more than 5% of GDP, a measure which has already been passed by Cabinet.”
He paid glowing tribute to the Economic Management Team, chaired by Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumiah, Mr Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister and co-chair, staff of the Ministry and Ghanaians for supporting their efforts.
Meanwhile, East Africa made a strong showing, this year with Mr James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc in Kenya, being declared Banker of the Year, to brush aside strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’.
Tanzania’s Dr Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year, won Central Bank Governor of the Year, for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management. CRDB, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Regional Bank in East Africa’.
South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories.
Standard Bank Group swooped three awards, including the one for ‘Investment Bank of the Year’. Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa took the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year’ for the $5bn Nacala corridor rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi, one of Africa’s largest private sector funded infrastructure projects.
Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa was also recognized for the listing of Steinhoff Africa Retail that took place last year.
Veteran South African banker, Mr Stephen Koseff, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. As the co-founder of Investec, he had built a global leader in banking and asset management.
BGFI Bank in Gabon won the award, ‘Regional Bank of the Year in Central Africa’.
The ‘Socially Responsible Bank of the Year’ title went to BMCE Bank of Africa, widely regarded as a leader in sustainable finance.
Le Crédit Agricole du Maroc won the award for financial inclusion. Ecobank won two awards – one for Innovation in Banking and one for Retail Bank of the year – largely for the way it has integrated technology to considerably widen its products and reach.
Professor Benno Ndulu, former Central Bank Governor, Tanzania was recognized as Governor of the Year.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB pledged the Bank’s continuous loyalty to the members of the banking industry, who he said were strategic partners
Mr Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker, said: “The winners of the African Banker Awards reflect the innovation and energy within Africa’s banking market.
“The categories that most catch my eye are the deals of the year and the one on Innovation in Banking. They reflect the true energy and vigour of the banking sector. I cannot stress enough though the important role financial services have to play to drive the development of the continent.”
As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the South Korean government offered to host this year’s annual meetings, aimed at strengthening its long-standing relationship with Africa.
The 12th edition of the African Banker Awards was hosted by the African Banker magazine and BusinessinAfricaEvents, which took place at the Paradise Hotel Busan.
The awards, which are held under the high patronage of the African Development Bank, are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund as Platinum Sponsor, the Bank of Industry as Gold Sponsor and Banco Nacional de Investimento, Mozambique as Silver Sponsor. Other sponsors include Afreximbank and Crédit Agricole du Maroc.