Multilateral finance institutions win big at African Banker Awards 2024

Afreximbank, BADEA, and Admassu Tadesse from Trade and Development Bank all enjoyed success at the African Banker Awards 2024 ceremony, demonstrating the ever-growing importance of multilateral finance institutions and DFIs in plugging the finance gap.


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The most prestigious event in the African banking calendar, the African Banker Awards Gala Ceremony 2024, took place last night at the JW Marriott Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings. The ceremony was attended by over 300 of the continent’s leading figures in banking and finance.

Now in their 18th edition, the African Banker Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and institutions that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of Africa’s banking sector over the past year. This year’s awards ceremony in particular saw development finance institutions (DFIs) triumph, enjoying successes, in both institutional and individual categories, and representing the increased growth they enjoy in the African financial ecosystem.

In his speech, Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the Awards Committee, noted that banks and financial institutions are going through an important transition and are playing a critical role in financing growth especially with the retreat of international banks from the continent: “We are seeing a coalition of DFIs taking shape and these will have to see considerable capital increases to plug the gap in infrastructure, trade, climate and also SME Financing. These will have to be supported by policymakers in an even more meaningful way. We’re also seeing further reform and new capital requirements for banks. This will lead to bigger banks and we have seen how the likes of UBA, Access, Zenith and GTB in Nigeria for example play a role in financing big conglomerates and large infrastructure projects, something unimaginable two decades ago.”

Vincent Nmehielle, secretary general of the African Development Bank, said that this year’s Annual Meetings were some of the best attended and this showed the convening power of the Bank and how it can bring key stakeholders together to drive the continent’s development.

SME financing was cited by many as the fastest growing and most important asset class. Jules Ngankam, group CEO of the African Guarantee Fund, called for banks to do even more in this sector that had been consistently profitable across the board, be it in agriculture, manufacturing and including lending to youth and women, two underserved segments.

Highlights from the Ceremony:

  • DFIs enjoy well-deserved big wins

Afreximbank, BADEA, and Mr. Admassu Tadesse from Trade and Development Bank all enjoyed success at the African Banker Awards 2024 ceremony, demonstrating the ever-growing importance of multilateral finance institutions and DFIs in plugging the finance gap, even more so with the retreat of larger international banks.

  • Trailblazer and visionary economist wins African Banker Icon award

Ms. Razia Khan, chief economist and head of research for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered Bank, has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning over two decades, during which she has emerged as one of the most influential and insightful economists on the African continent. She wins this award for her exceptional contributions to economic research and policy and her dedication to the advancement of the African continent.

  • A lifelong dedication is honoured with Lifetime Achievement award

Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede‘s journey in the banking industry, spanning three decades, has been inspirational, and in his role as chairman of Access Holdings and Coronation Group, he drives investments and initiatives that promote economic development across the continent. A true titan of finance, he dedicated his award to his business partner and co-founder of Access Bank, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, who died earlier this year in a helicopter crash. Together they have managed to turn a tier-3 bank in Nigeria into one of the continent’s leading financial institutions in less than two decades. In his closing remarks Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede stressed the importance of Africa owning its own capital in order to chart its own future.

  • Centenary Rural Development Bank Ltd wins second-ever AFAWA Bank of the Year Award

Ugandan commercial bank Centenary Rural Development Bank Ltd has won the AFAWA Bank of the Year Award which was introduced at the 17th edition of the African Banker Awards in 2023. This award recognises banks that have greatly incorporated the growth of women-led small and medium-sized enterprises as part of their SME strategy.

The awards ceremony is organised by African Banker magazine with the African Development Bank as its High Patron. This year’s AfDB Meetings is focused on reform of the global financial architecture. The Bank will also be presenting its next ten year strategy.

The 2024 edition was sponsored by African Guarantee Fund, African Trade & Investment Development Insurance (ATIDI), Vista Bank Group, African Export-Import Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Guarantee Trust Bank (GT Bank).

Full list of winners:

Banker of the Year
Mr. Admassu Tadesse, TDB Group President and Managing Director

Bank of the Year
African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank)

African Banker Icon
Ms. Razia Kahn, Chief Economist MEA at Standard Chartered

Lifetime Achievement
Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman, Access Holdings and Coronation Group

Central Bank Governor of the Year
H.E. Kamau Thugge C.B.S., Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya

Minister of Finance of the Year
H.E. Iipumbu Shiimi, Finance Minister of Namibia

Sustainable Bank of the Year
Standard Bank Group

DFI of the Year
Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)

AFAWA Bank of the Year Award
Centenary Rural Development Bank

Fintech of the Year

SME Bank of the Year

Deal of the Year – Debt
€774m Project Strada – Senegal – MUFG Bank

Deal of the Year – Equity
$1.1bn investment into Mopani copper mines – Rothschild and Co

Deal of the Year – Agriculture
$400m Evergrow for Specialised Fertilisers – National Bank of Egypt

Deal of the Year – Infrastructure
$362.5m Standard Gauge Railway – Tanzania – African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Standard Chartered

Regional Bank of the Year – North
EFG Holding

Regional Bank of the Year – Southern
Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)

Regional Bank of the Year – East
Uganda Development Bank (UDB)

Regional Bank of the Year – Central
Rawbank, DRC

Regional Bank of the Year – West
United Bank for Africa (UBA)

About the African Banker Awards

The African Banker Awards, are a prestigious accolade that celebrates excellence and best practices in African banking and finance. These annual awards recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and financial institutions that are transforming the continent’s financial sector and contributing to economic development and financial inclusion in Africa.

Organised by African Banker magazine in partnership with IC Events, the awards bring together industry leaders from across the continent to honour innovation, resilience, and the spirit of competition in African banking. For more information about the African Banker Awards, please visit our website at

About African Banker

African Banker is a leading publication dedicated to reporting on the banking industry across the continent. With insightful coverage on finance, politics, business, technology, energy, and resources, African Banker provides in-depth analysis and commentary on the trends shaping Africa’s financial landscape.

As a trusted source of information, African Banker offers a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities within Africa’s banking sector.

For media inquiries please contact Constance Haasz at [email protected]

African Banker Magazine

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