The shortlist for the 10th edition of the African Banker Awards which will be held in Lusaka, Zambia on 25th May has been released. This year's shortlist is dominated by some of the larger banking groups from North, East, South and West Africa. The winners will be revealed at a gala dinner during the African Bank Annual meetings that will be held in Lusaka this year at the end of May.
Now in their 10th year, the awards are open to all African financial institutions, including banks, micro-financiers, investment banks, development finance institutions and other financial services institutions.
The awards were launched to reflect the rapid growth and modernisation of the banking and financial services sector in Africa. The 10th anniversary event comes as the banking sector is undergoing significant changes. On the one hand, large global banking groups, such as Barclays are seeking to deconsolidate as they focus on their core (non-African) markets, and the other there is talk of further consolidation across the continent from Kenya, to Ghana through Zambia and Tunisia.
It is against this backdrop that the 2016 awards are being held. Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: "We are thrilled that the African Banker awards are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year. We introduced these awards as a way of recognising the enormous potential of the African banking and financial services sector. Since then, many of our financial institutions have transformed and are well established to compete with the best in class. During this period, corporate and retail banks, along with private equity and investment firms and insurance providers have withstood the effects of the global financial crisis, emerging stronger and more fit for purpose. The category which continues to grab my attention is the Deals category, which reflects the transformational role that banks are playing throughout the continent. They remain a cornerstone of economic development."
GTBank from Nigeria is nominated in three categories including Bank of the Year, Banker of the Year and Innovation. Ecobank is also nominated three times. Rand Merchant Bank from South Africa dominates the investment banking and deal entries. Other strong performers include CRDB Bank from Tanzania, KCB from Kenya, Standard Bank group from South Africa and also Attijariwafa Bank from Morocco, which has a major presence in North and West Africa. The winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges selected for their expertise of the banking and financial landscape throughout the continent.
MasterCard, Ecobank/Nedbank, African Guarantee Fund, PTA Bank are sponsors of the 2016 Awards, along with CRDB Bank, Arton Capital and Qatar Airways.
Last year's award winners included Credit Suisse CEO, Tidjane Thiam (African Banker Icon); former Ecobank CEO, Albert Essien (African Banker of the Year); and the founder and chairman of Zenith Bank Jim Ovia for Lifetime Achievement). Morocco's Groupe Banque Populaire, which took a significant share in West African group Banque Atlantique, won the coveted African Bank of the Year Award.