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The African Development Bank Group on Tuesday urged financial institutions in Africa to use their investments and other business portfolios to deepen regional integration efforts for the economic transformation of the continent.
“We need you African bankers and African financial institutions to be actors of this regional development, to invest across borders, to finance trade and investments and make regional integration a reality,” Bank Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain said at this year’s African Banker Awards in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The Awards, held annually on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, have become the Oscars of African banking, celebrating excellence in banking and finance on the continent. The Bank is holding its 54th Annual Meeting in the central African country on the theme: ”Regional Integration for Africa’s economic prosperity.”
The two big awards of the night went to development finance institutions. The President of Trade and Development Bank (TDB), Ethiopia’s Admassu Tadesse, was adjudged ‘African Banker of the Year’, while Cairo-based Pan-African multilateral lender, Afreximbank, won ‘Bank of the Year’.
TDB has grown its portfolio five-fold since Tadesse took over as President, largely increasing its presence in East and Southern Africa. Afreximbank in the past 18 months has launched game changing products.
Top executives in banking and finance, business leaders and the Bank’s Governors and senior management attended the awards ceremony, organised by a consortium, led by the African Banker Magazine.
In his welcoming speech, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker, underscored the need for banks to ensure that capital investments are deployed effectively and more quickly to help create profitable African businesses and brands. “We need to speed up the dreams of millions of our entrepreneurs in order to achieve the transformation we desire.”Source: AfDB