Thugge named top governor during Africa bank awards

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr Kamau Thugge. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Protagonists of innovative trends and development in the fast-evolving world of African banking and finance were the big winners during the 18th edition of the African Bankers Awards, 2024 held on Tuesday.

The annual celebrations are held on the side-lines of the African Development Bank Group meetings hosted by various member states. The awards recognise outstanding achievements of companies and individuals who have positively shifted the perception of Africa’s potential in domestic and international markets, creating new financial opportunities for citizens and communities all over the continent and inspiring new generations of bankers shaping Africa’s future.

Kenya’s Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr Kamau Thugge, was awarded Central Bank Governor of the Year. In their citation, the African Banker highlighted the considerable challenges faced by central bank governors globally, noting that despite the obstacles, Dr Thugge has successfully stabilised markets and bolstered confidence in Kenya's economy.

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) bagged Bank of the Year while Flutterwave was awarded FinTech of the Year for demonstrating original and efficient use of technology, innovative practices and inclusive access to financial services for customers.

Standard Bank Group was awarded under the Sustainable category, for exemplifying philanthropic use of funds to improve the lives of the less advantaged in society.

Ecobank was lauded as SME bank for expanding SME-focused lines of credit, providing technical assistance and linkage capacity-building programmes with the private sector.

Omar Ben Yedder, chair of the Awards Committee, emphasiSed the importance of agility, saying, “Our banks and financial institutions are embracing new ideas and creating mechanisms to unlock capital. However, speed and scale are critical factors that require laser focus. How do we replicate these successes across the continent swiftly and broadly?”

Prof Vincent Nmehielle, African Development Bank Secretary General said that this year’s annual meetings were some of the best attended, ''a testament to the Bank’s convening power, amassing stakeholders together to drive the continent’s development.''

Jules Ngakam, Group Chief Executive, African Guarantee Fund noted the SME paradox - they are expected to be the biggest employment and growth drivers, yet, they are the least funded, with a $300bn (roughly Sh40 billion). 

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