The African Banker Awards

The African Banker Awards

The most prestigious event in Africa’s banking and finance sector, The African Banker Awards, is held Under the High Patronage of the African Development Bank.


The annual event, which takes place during the annual meeting of the African Development Bank, highlights the achievements of companies and individuals that contribute to the transformation and development of Africa’s financial sector.

Recognising the 400 personalities and banks that are driving Africa’s rapidly transforming financial sector, the African Banker Awards bring together industry leaders from Africa and the world. They celebrate the achievements of those who are driving growth and development and creating new economic opportunities for citizens and communities all over the continent and inspire new generations of bankers who are shaping Africa’s future.

The Categories

Our categories highlight the achievements of companies and individuals that contribute to the transformation and development of Africa’s financial sector. They focus on areas important to the finance community and their stakeholders. We review our categories every year to ensure the Awards remain relevant and take into account the changing realities on the ground.

African Bank of the Year

This award goes to the bank in Africa that has demonstrated a high performance across various metrics. It will have 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

African Banker of the Year

Through their leadership and vision, the winner will have overseen strong financial performance within their organisation and will have successfully guided their institution to new heights in the industry.

Central Bank Governor of the Year

This award goes to the central bank governor who has successfully reformed and transformed the financial sector, through proper regulation and policies, as well as created a stable and predictable environment for investment and growth.

Investment Bank of the Year

The winner will have changed the landscape of investment banking and finance by encouraging and increasing deal and transaction flow in the continent, and by delivering pioneering solutions for investors and African clients alike.

Best Regional Bank in Africa

This award goes to a bank operating either across a specific region or in one country within a region (North, East, South, West or Central Africa). The winner will have excelled in the banking industry in its region 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 contributing to a stronger financial sector.

Best Retail Bank in Africa

The winner of this category will have expanded its retail services through new products, new facilities, and a wider consumer network, and improved access to financial services, particularly savings and checking accounts, mortgages, personal loans, and debit or credit cards. The bank’s application should demonstrate strong corporate governance and its wider corporate social policy impact on the community it serves.

Innovation in Banking

This award goes to the African bank that has demonstrated original and practical uses of technology to provide customer convenience, improved and more affordable services, and greater access to the financial services industry in Africa.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This award goes to an African banker who throughout his or her career has worked tirelessly to strengthen and promote banking as well as the role of the financial services sector on the African continent.

Finance Minister of the Year

This award goes to the African minister of finance who has carried through prudent macro economic policies and, through reforms and his or her actions, has shown skill and dexterity to create the conditions of an appealing investment climate.

African Banker Icon

The ‘Icon’ category is awarded to an individual or institution for their outstanding contribution in the field of business, banking and finance. They are chosen by the awards committee, who will have noted excellence in their area of expertise and for their work in helping to change the perception of Africa as well as contributing to the establishment of best global practice in the continent. This award in the past has been given to outstanding individuals such as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who needs no introduction, Adebayo Ogunlesi, one of Wall Street’s most eminent financiers, and Eleni Gabre-Madhin, founder of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange.

Infrastructure Deal of the Year

This will be awarded for the deal which has had the most significant impact. The committee will take into consideration the complexity of the deal, its size, its structure and the groundbreaking role it may have played (ie ‘replicability’). The deal may provide a template for such future transactions and will have highlighted new possibilities and new solutions within the sector or industry it relates to.

Deal of the Year – Debt

This winning deal may provide a template for such future transactions and will have highlighted new opportunities and raised country sector or regional investment profiles, or some other innovation in debt deal financing within Africa.

Deal of the Year – Equity

The winning deal will have highlighted new opportunities and raised sector or regional investment profiles. The judges will consider the size, complexity and impact in terms of changing perceptions of Africa as a place to do business.

Award for Financial Inclusion

This category has been widened to include more than just microfinance. The winner will have best succeeded in delivering financial products and services to wider parts of society, particularly to the most disadvantaged and low income segments, ultimately contributing to financial inclusion, development and growth.

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year


The panel of judges will be seeking concrete examples of projects and initiatives within the institutions that have had a sustainable impact on the communities they are geared towards. The award is aimed at companies that go beyond the philanthropic use of funds to use their overall knowledge, resources and reputation to improve the lives of the less advantaged in society.