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Tenth African banker awards fetes Cameroon

By Lucie Morangi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-05-26 16:14

Winners of the 10th African bankers awards were announced yesterday in Lusaka, Zambia and saw Cameroon feature prominently after going home with three prestigious awards.

For the first time, two Cameroonians were featured among the laureates, with Alamine Ousmane Mey winning the Minister of Finance category and leading banker Paul Fokam received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Cameroon scored a hat trick as Lazard's credit enhanced currency swap won the award for Deal of the Year – Debt.

Fokam is the president of the Afriland First Group. He is an entrepreneur and a renowned economist. His bank is one of the more important institutions in Central Africa.

The awards, given annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.

Daniel Matjila, CEO of South Africa's Public Investment Corporation, a fund with $139bn funds under management, was awarded the African Banker Icon, recognizing the significant investments by the fund into African corporations and the leading role he has played in driving investment from South Africa into the continent. The Investment Bank of the Year Award went to Rand Merchant Bank, based in the same country.

Guaranty Trust Bank's Managing Director/CEO, Segun Agbaje, received the Banker of the Year award for his leadership of the Nigerian banking giant, one of Africa's most profitable banks. The Bank also got the Innovation in Banking Award.

North Africa was not left out, with Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank, which is active in 20 countries, winning the 2016 Bank of the Year award.

In East Africa, Kenya's Patrick Njoroge, the governor of Central Bank, bagged the African Central Bank Governor of the Year accolade. Njoroge, who assumed office barely a year ago, has managed to navigate a tough economic climate with the closure of two banks. He is known for his tough stance and is credited with cleaning up the banking sector in his country.

Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award was taken by Fieldstone, Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Bank and IFC ,for their involvement in the $900 Azura-Edo IPP, a 450 Megawatt Open cycle gas turbine power station to be developed near Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria.

Since their inception 10 years ago, the African Banker Awards have become the pre-eminent ceremony recognizing excellence in African banking.

Regional banks feted were Commercial International Bank in Egypt for North Africa, Banque Atlantique in Cote d'Ivoire for West Africa, BGFI in Gabon for Central Africa, CRDB Back in Tanzania for East Africa and MCB in Mauritius for Southern Africa.

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