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01.10.2008 Press Release

Shortlisted Nominees announced for the African Banker Awards 2008

By Alex Enahoro

The shortlisted companies and individuals for the African Banker Awards 2008 have been announced. The unique ceremony, organised in partnership with BusinessinAfrica Events, will recognize and reward across 17 award categories the individuals, companies and institutions which have excelled in Africa's banking and financial sector over the last year.

This year, the number of entries received across the various categories has more than doubled. The high participation of African banks emphasises their eagerness to showcase their achievements, record earnings, innovative practices and their commitment to social responsibility and gender equality. This event will be a true pan-African celebration. The regional spread of participating companies is a lot wider this year.

Nigerian and South African banks are once again well represented but a rising number of banks from other countries, including among others Morocco, Egypt, Cameroun, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique and Mauritius, have all excelled allowing them to make the final shortlist. Mahmoud Abdel Latif (Chairman / CEO, Bank of Alexandria), Erastus Akingbola (CEO, Intercontinental Bank), Mamadou Igor Diarra (CEO, Banque Internationale pour le Mali), Arnold Ekpe (CEO, Ecobank), Tony Elumelu (CEO, United Bank for Africa, UBA), Paul Fokam (President & Board Chairman, Afriland First Bank) and Aigboje Aig Imoukhuede (CEO, Access Bank are all up for the much prised category African Banker of the Year. The other sought after award is African Bank of the Year.

The nominees include Attijariwafa Bank, Banco Internacional de Moçambique (BIM), Intercontinental Bank, National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Oceanic Bank, Standard Bank and Zenith. A full list of the nominees and more information on the criteria and the panel of judges can be found on The event is supported by the African Development Bank which is deeply committed to building a strong and vibrant African banking industry, more particularly through its private sector arm. “Considering the challenges posed by the present environment”, says Tim Turner, director of the private sector department at the African Development Bank, “African Banks appear on balance to be weathering the storm reasonably well.

The encouraging reality of Africa on the ground includes positive growth trends, cessation of conflicts, strengthening of economic reforms, and more trade openness, all of which imply continued strong growth in demand for finance and financial services throughout much of the continent. We therefore look forward with a sense of optimism that African banks are ready and able to handle the challenge of financing Africa's sustained growth.” Stephen Hayes, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), strategic partners to the event, reiterated the importance of the banking sector in Africa. “Africa's emerging financial markets are more secure and dynamic.

In today's global marketplace the success of Africa's banking industry is pivotal to the success of the investment climate on the continent.” The winners will be announced during the Gala Dinner which will be taking place on the 10th of October at the Willard Intercontinental hotel, Washington DC, on the eve of the World Bank meetings. Four awards, Lifetime Achievement, Finance Minister, Central Bank Governor and Banking Regulator of the Year have been chosen by the editorial committee of the African Banker Awards and will also be presented in the course of the evening.

The awards are designed to recognise the reforms, rapid modernization, consolidation, integration and expansion of the African Banking sector. The sponsors of this prestigious Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner include the African Development Bank, Renaissance Group, Bank of Industry, Ecobank, 3i InfoTech and Virgin Nigeria. Confirmed guests include a number of Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Bank directors and CEOs as well as distinguished businessmen and personalities from across all of Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA.