Women steal the show at the African Banker Awards 2022

Two of the most prestigious awards, the African Banker Icon and the Finance Minister of the Year, went to African women, Vera Songwe and the Hon Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves de Sousa, respectively.


The 16th edition of the African Banker Awards Gala Ceremony took place at the Kempinski Hotel, in Accra, Ghana on 25 May. The event was held under the High Patronage of the African Development Bank, as part of the programme of the Bank’s Annual Meetings. Over 300 banking and financial services professionals joined the Gala Ceremony to discover the winners of the African Banker Awards 2022.

Women win two of the most prestigious awards

Two women won two of the most prestigious awards: the African Banker Icon and Finance Minister of the Year.

Vera Songwe, UN under-secretary-general and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), was awarded the African Banker Icon Award for her tireless work in providing governments with the fiscal ammunition to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

“It really was a moment to demonstrate that Africa is resilient,” said Songwe in her acceptance speech. “I came to the table with an understanding of the menu of solutions because in 2008 I was on the other side [of the table] when SDRs were handed out to European economies [to stave off a financial crisis].

“What we are focusing on at the ECA is prosperity. The ingredients are there for success; there is latent innovation; what we need to do is provide the infrastructure; the soft infrastructure, the hard infrastructure and the human capital to deliver the end game which is jobs, prosperity and a better life for all.”

Angola’s finance minister, Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves de Sousa, was recognised as the Finance Minister of the Year for her stand-out work in restoring stability and market confidence to her country.

Another notable recognition was for Michael Atingi-Ego, deputy governor of the Bank of Uganda, who won Central Bank Governor of the Year. Earlier this year, his predecessor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, passed away, leaving a void which will not be easily filled. However, the Bank of Uganda was one of the star performers this year, having managed to stave off inflation and achieve currency stability in an extremely challenging environment.

The winners of the African Banker Awards 2022 line up on stage.

Africa’s banks need to achieve financial sovereignty says African Banker publisher

In his speech, Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the African Banker Awards Organising Committee and Publisher of African Banker, said that it is time we focused our efforts on strengthening our domestic capabilities to finance growth.

“We need strong institutions, and we need to start with our commercial and development banks. If we have learnt anything from the past two years, and even more so these last two months, it is that we need to achieve financial sovereignty if we are to own our growth agenda.”

Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the African Banker Awards Organising Committee and publisher of African Banker.

Other winners include legendary Nigerian banker Atedo Peterside, founder of IBTC Bank, which he merged with Stanbic 15 years ago, who won Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to banking. The success of ICBT, he said, was built on everyone buying into the mission of the bank and shared values and culture.

Benedict Oramah won African Banker of the Year for his work in growing Afreximbank’s balance sheet and making it one of the leading banks in terms of its response to Covid-19 by providing much needed liquidity and solutions when it came to vaccine acquisition, as well as its lead role in helping create the conditions so that businesses can take advantage of the AfCFTA once all negotiations are finalised.

The winner of the African Bank of the Year, for the second year running, was awarded to the Standard Bank Group, the continent’s largest bank by assets and also by tier one capital.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were Ken Ofori-Atta, minister of finance and economic planning of Ghana; Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, minister of finance and budget of Senegal; Romuald Wadagni, minister of economy and finance of Benin; Swazi Tshabalala, Senior vice-president of the AfDB; Vincent Nmehielle, secretary-general of the AfDB; Solomon Quaynor, vice-president for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation at the AfDB; and Chinelo Anohu, senior director of the Africa Investment Forum.

This year the Awards were sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, Bank of Industry (Nigeria) and the Trade Development Bank as well as Access Bank.

The Award Patron is the African Development Bank. This year it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the African Development Fund, which is undergoing a new replenishment round.

Awards Name of Winners
Energy Deal of the YearTemane Thermal Power Station
Absa Mozambique and International Finance Corporation
Agriculture Deal of the YearUS $200 Million corporate facility (the “Facility”) to BUA Industries Limited (“BIL”)
Africa Finance Corporation
Infrastructure Deal of the YearThe Luanda Bita Water Supply Project
African Trade Insurance Agency
Deal of the Year – DebtBANK OF INDUSTRY €750 Million Debut Senior Note Participation Notes due 2027
Bank of Industry
Deal of the Year – EquityProsus’ c. US$15 Billion Accelerated Equity Offering in Tencent
Sustainable Bank of the YearTrade and Development Bank
FinTech of the YearInterswitch
Award for Financial InclusionTugende Uganda
SME Bank of the YearEcobank
DFI of the YearTrade and Development Bank
African Bank of the YearThe Standard Bank Group
African Banker of the YearBenedict Oramah
Yaw Kuffour Award for Trade FinanceCoris Bank
Central Bank Governor of the YearMichael Atingi-Ego
Deputy Central Bank Governor, Uganda
Minister of Finance of the YearHon. Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves de Sousa, Angola
African Banker IconDr. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Lifetime AchievementAtedo Peterside CON, Founder of ICBT Bank
Best Regional Bank – North AfricaNational Bank of Egypt
Best Regional Bank – Southern AfricaMauritius Commercial Bank
Best Regional Bank – West AfricaFidelity Bank, Ghana
Best Regional Bank – East AfricaCo-Operative Bank of Kenya
Best regional Bank – Central AfricaRaw Bank, DRC

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