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Ayeyemi, Wigwe, Uzoka, others, Shortlisted For 2021 African Bankers Award

The African Banker Magazine, on Tuesday, announced the nomination of Ade Ayeyemi, chief executive of the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated; Kennedy Uzoka of United Bank for Africa; and Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank Plc, three financial powerhouses making waves across the continent for the award of African Banker, among others to celebrate African banking achievements.

Other nominees for the category include Admassu Tadesse, CEO of TDB; Brehima Amadou Haidara, Banque de Développement du Mali; James Mwangi, Equity Group Holdings Plc; and João Figueiredo, MozaBanco.

They are among over 60 nominees announced for the 2021 edition of the African Banker Awards holding during the Annual meetings of the African Development Bank and will be live-streamed on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

Selection criteria, the statement said, include financial support offered during last year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

The Standard Bank group leads in the number of nominations with eight entries in seven categories, including African Bank of the Year and Investment Bank of the Year; followed by the Eastern and Southern African Trade & Development Bank, TDB, with five nominations. They are: nomination for Admassu Tadesse, President & CEO, for African Banker of the Year.

For the African Bank of the Year award, the nominees are African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Centrale Populaire Commercial International Bank (CIB), Equity Group Holdings Plc, Standard Bank Group, Trade and Development Bank, Zenith Bank, Investment Bank of the Year Award, ABSA, EFG Hermes, FBNQuest, Misr Capital S.A.E, and Standard Bank of South Africa.

Those shortlisted for the SME Bank of the Year Award are: 4G Capital, Access Bank, Ecobank, FCMB, and Fidelity Bank.

For the Sustainable Bank of the Year Award, the nominees are Access Bank, Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD), Commercial International Bank (CIB), Nedbank, and Trade and Development Bank (TDB).

Financial Inclusion Award nominees are: EFG Hermes, Equity Bank, Jumo, Trust Merchant Bank, DRC Zeepay, while nominees for Innovation in Financial Services Award include: Nigeria’s Bank of Industry, Crowdyvest, and ETI

Those nominated for Deal of the Year Award in the Debt category, are AFC’s inaugural green CHF150m; the 1.2050%, 5-year benchmark by Renaissance Capital; African Export-Import Bank, COVID-19 Support Facility by MUFG Bank; Dangote Cement Plc $208mn (N100bn) Series 1 Bond by FBNQuest; the Teraco Data Environments Proprietary Limited by ABSA; and the African Local Currency Bond Fund Investment in Sonatel Local Currency Bond Issuance (The African Local Currency Bond Fund)

US$1bn Syndicated Guaranteed Loan Facility (Bank of Industry / Stanbic IBTC / Afreximbank); and Wood Technology Company (Banque Misr).

For the Deal of the Year Award (Energy), nominees are: Alten Kenya Solarfarms by Standard Bank Group; ANOH Gas Processing Company by Rand Merchant Bank / Jackson, Etti & Edu; BBOXX DRC (Lion’s Head Global Partners), as well as the Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant in Malawi, and 7.5 MW Solar PV Power Plant in Burundi (African Trade Insurance Agency). There was also the USD353m (EUR 300m) Sovereign guaranteed loan to Societe Tunisienne de l’Electricite et du Gaz (EBRD).

Deal of the Year Award in the Equity segment will be contested by Brait SE Equity Capital Raise facilitated by Rand Merchant Bank; Fawry Accelerated Offering, EFG Hermes, Privatization of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited, FBNQuest; Structuring and establishment of the Acorn Holdings Limited (AHL) student accommodation Real Estate Investment Trusts (Renaissance Capital); Togo Republic long-term and strategic partnership with Olam International Limited by Southbridge.

In addition to these nominations, the African Banker ceremony, according to the organisers “will include special recognitions including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Banker Icon Award, Minister of Finance of the Year Award and Regional Banking Awards.”

This year’s judge panels on project finance, investment and banking, representing all African regions, include Rebecca Enonchong, CEO of AppsTech; Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund; Tom Minney, Editor of African Council Markets News; Toyin Sanni, Group CEO of Emerging Africa Capital, Jean-Louis Ekra, Board Member of British Globeleq Group; Vivien Shobo, CEO of FVS Advisory Partners; Alain Le Noir, Co-Founder of Club des Banques et Etablissements Financiers Africains; and Christopher Hartland-Peel, Principal of Hartland-Peel Africa Equity Research.

The statement quoted Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker saying a record number of entries were received this year across all categories, following which ‘the awards committee debated at length to select the shortlist. Common themes throughout were the rise of digitisation, the work the banks have done to support businesses of all sizes during the pandemic and the importance of innovation.

“All the entries received demonstrated the incredible resilience of the banking and financial services industry during these challenging times and how important the industry is to help soften the economic impact of the pandemic and support growth whilst leading on innovation to provide solutions to our businesses and communities,” he added.

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