Equity Group MD and CEO Dr James Mwangi.

Equity Group Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi emerged as the Banker of the Year during this year’s African Banker Awards held yesterday during a prestigious Gala Dinner in Busan, South Korea.

The win was as a result of his efforts in driving the growth of Equity Bank through a series of innovations and diversified investment channels.

Equity Bank also shrugged off strong competition from four other nominees to win the coveted African Bank of the Year Award. The award goes to the bank in Africa that has demonstrated a high performance, having considerably changed the banking landscape by reaching out to new customers, offering new services, adopting inclusiveness by bringing the unbanked into the banking space, making use of new technologies, and helping to drive growth through a stronger financial sector.

Commenting on this achievement, Mwangi noted that the Bank will continue championing the social-economic transformation of the people of Africa through financial inclusion, shared prosperity, innovation and technology.

On his part, Publisher of African Banker Omar Ben Yedder, said: “The winners of the African Banker Awards reflect the innovation and energy within Africa’s banking market. The categories that most catch my eye are the Deals of the year and the one on Innovation in Banking. They reflect the true energy and vigour of the banking sector. I cannot stress enough though the important role financial services have to play to drive the development of the continent.”

The win comes days after Equity Group Plc won 22 awards during this year’s 2018 Think Business Banking Awards and five awards during The Banker Africa (EA) Awards.

Mwangi, who had been selected for the Banker of the Year Awards alongside KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara, has won the gong twice in 2010 and 2011 for revolutionising Kenya’s banking industry, pioneering the first mobile banking technology in the world to reach out to the unbanked, championing the empowerment of ordinary people through inclusive finance and  ensuring financial inclusivity for the unbanked masses.

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East African bankers dominated the awards this year. Tanzania’s Dr Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year won Central Bank Governor of the year for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management. CRDB, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Best Regional Bank in East Africa’.

Here is the full list of winners:

African Banker of the Year
James Mwangi, Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya

Lifetime Achievement Award
Stephen Koseff, co-founder Investec

African Bank of the Year
Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya

Best Retail Bank in Africa
Ecobank

Investment Bank of the Year
Standard Bank

Award for Financial Inclusion
Groupe Crédit Agricole (Morocco)

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year 
BMCE Bank of Africa Group (Morocco)

Innovation in Banking
Ecobank

Deal of the Year – Equity
Steinhof Africa Retail Listing – Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)

Deal of the Year – Debt
$300m Diaspora Bond, Nigeria
Standard Bank / FBNQuest Merchant Bank (Nigeria)

Infrastructure Deal of the Year 
Nacala Railway and Port Corridor
Standard Bank / Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)

Best Regional Bank

East Africa – CRDB (Tanzania)
West Africa – BDM (Mali)
North Africa – CIB, Egypt
Southern Africa – State Bank Mauritius (SBM)
Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon

– Additional reporting by Agencies. 

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