Dar es Salaam. CRDB and NBC banks have been shortlisted for Africa’s premier bankers’ awards which celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the continent.
The two Tanzanian banks are among six from the East African region that were nominated as finalists for the top honours in the African Bankers of The Year Awards for 2020. The others are Kenya’s Equity bank, Kenya Women Microfinance Bank, Absa of Uganda and East African Development Bank.
Winners in the 11-category list will be unveiled on 26 August this year during the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The AfDB ceremonies will, however, be clouded by the unravelling investigation on the bank’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who has been accused of corruption and abuse of office by his own staff.
Dr Adesina was expected to be re-appointed to the role for a second five-year term during the annual meeting but his fate now depends on the direction that the investigation takes.
But that investigation notwithstanding, the continent’s who is who in the financial circles will gather to cheer peers celebrated for pulling some of the mega and life changing deals in the quest for Africa’s development. The awards also recognise reforms, rapid modernisation, consolidation, integration and expansion of Africa’s banking and financial system.
In Tanzania, CRDB’s two tickets to the finals was courtesy of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Sh6.6 trillion Rufiji Hydroelectric (Nyerere Dam) projects. The bank will compete in the Infrastructure Deal of the Year and the Energy Deal of the Year. CRDB and other local banks put together a funding mechanism for the two signature projects.
The amount that the bank individually pumped into the two projects was not made public. Efforts yesterday to get comment from the bank’s officials were futile. However, in April this year, CRDB and United Bank for Africa (UBA) provided $737.5 million (about Sh1.7 trillion) in guarantee to the joint venture comprising Egyptian firms Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric for the execution of the Rufiji Hydroelectric dam project.
CRDB and NMB Banks also teamed up with the African Trade Insurance Agency (Ati) to issue guarantees for the SGR infrastructure project which aims to facelift the 1,800-km central railway line to a modern landmark.
For its part, NBC was nominated in the Small and Medium Sized (SME) Bank of The Year category which would make its maiden entry this year. NBC prides itself as the one-stop shop for all SMEs banking needs and has rolled out several tailor made products targeting financial inclusion for small businesses.
Kenya’s Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi was nominated in the category of African Banker of The Year, which celebrates influential and inspirational captains of Africa’s banking industry. He will battle it out for the ultimate prize with four other nominees from Nigeria, Egypt and Mozambique.
The African Banker of The Year award is meant to demonstrate outstanding integrity, leadership and outstanding vision for CEOs with exceptional agility in achieving a strong financial performance and playing an active role in enhancing socio-economic empowerment and development. Other than its CEO, Equity Bank was also nominated in the financial inclusion and social responsibility categories. Kenya Women Microfinance Bank will featured in Financial Inclusion and Agriculture Deal of The Year awards.
South Africa, Nigeria and Kenyan banks were dominant in the nominations this year, with each country appearing in four different categories. Uganda’s Absa will compete for the Agriculture Deal of The Year award.
“As we rebuild economies around the world, banks will have a key role to help businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the choppy waters ahead,” said the statement announcing the finalists.