Archive for the 'Women' Category

Women scoop African Banker Awards 2014

African Banker Awards 2014 (credit IC Publications)

African Banker Awards 2014 (credit IC Publications)

Women triumphed at this year’s African Banker Awards 2014: Vivienne Yeda, Director General of the East African Development Bank, scooped the award for African Banker of the Year; Linah Mohohlo of the Bank of Botswana was named Central Bank Governor of the Year; and Elizabeth Mary Oleko, chairperson of the Kenya Women Finance Trust, scored the Lifetime Achievement Award.

President of Rwanda HE Paul Kagame received a Special Recognition Award for his leadership and vision. He thanked Rwandans who have sacrificed a much to put Rwanda where it is today: “Rwandans have made me the kind of leader that I am and they have given me the strength that has added up to taking our country forward.” Bob is back, as Bob Diamond the former CEO of Barclays Bank who quit after the bank faced global scandals and fines, was in the deal that was awarded equity deal of the year. Andrew Alli of the African Finance Corporation won African Banker Icon.

This year the judges – I was again privileged to be a judge for some categories – again awarded Nigeria’s GT Bank as African bank of the year. South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank is investment bank of the year and South Africa’s Nedbank won both an award for innovation in banking and the socially-responsible bank of the year. Mastercard won a well-deserved award for financial inclusion.

Investec Asset Management won fund of the year and State Bank of Mauritius won retail bank of the year. Banque Islamique de Mauritanie won best Islamic finance initiative.

The awards also recognized smaller financial institutions and those pioneering in challenging environments. Trust Merchant Bank, an independent commercial bank operating in DR Congo, won Best Bank in Central Africa. Ecobank Mali won Best Bank in West Africa after Mali successfully transitioned back to its historic democracy after a 2012 coup that crippled the economy. Stanbic Zimbabwe beat tough competition from bigger banks to become Best Bank in Southern Africa, despite challenging economic conditions. Bank of Kigali scored in East Africa and Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire in North Africa.

Two landmark deals were rewarded. Citigroup Global Markets won equity deal of the year for helping Bob Diamond, previously of Barclays Bank, in the $325m initial public offer (IPO) of his new investment vehicle, Atlas Mara Co-Nvest. Standard Chartered Bank won debt deal of the year for the $3.3bn finance facility for Dangote Group petrochemical plan, building the continent’s largest refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer plant.

The winners of the 8th African Banker magazine’s African Banker Awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony on 21 May at the Kigali Serena Hotel, linked to the African Development Bank summit. Among the guests were HE Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and many ministers of finance and bank CEOs were also present.

Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker and IC Publications, commended the achievement by banks: “Here in Kigali.. we have witnessed the transformation of a country. Since we have launched the awards we have witnessed the transformation of an industry. There is no room for complacency because there is much room for growth and development to achieve the transformation we all desire and work towards. But seeing local African banks finance and structure international deals is a step forward and unimaginable a decade back. And I am delighted to see three women pick up three coveted individual awards. Congratulations to them all!”

The African Banker Awards are organized by African Banker magazine and BusinessinAfrica Events (BIAE). It is a landmark event that celebrates excellence and best practices in African banking and finance.

Winners
Special Recognition Award: HE President Paul Kagame

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elizabeth Mary Okelo

African Bank of the Year: GTBank

African Banker of the Year: Vivienne Yeda, Director General, East African Development Bank

African Banker Icon: Andrew Alli, CEO, Africa Finance Corporation

Central Bank Governor of the Year: HE Linah Mohohlo, Botswana

Finance Minister of the Year: Hon Armando Manuel, Angola

Investment Bank of the Year: Rand Merchant Bank

Award for Innovation in Banking: Nedbank

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year: Nedbank

Award for Financial Inclusion: MasterCard

Deal of the Year – Equity: Atlas Mara Co-Nvest, Citigroup Global Markets
Deal of the Year – Debt: Financing Facility, Dangote Group Petrochemical Plant, Standard Chartered Bank

Fund of the Year: Investec Asset Management

Best Retail Bank in Africa: State Bank Mauritius

Best Islamic Finance Initiative: Banque Islamique de Mauritanie

Best Bank in North Africa: Banque Centrale Populaire
Best Bank in Southern Africa: Stanbic Zimbabwe
Best Bank in East Africa: Bank of Kigali
Best Bank in West Africa: Ecobank Mali
Best Bank in Central Africa: Trust Merchant Bank

Mortgage Bank of the Year: Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company

“Dear Kwame..” an email from 2063 by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission

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What will Africa look like in 2063? The Confederation of African States will have been established in 2051, with integration driven by the African youth. Inter-African trade could grow to nearly 50% by 2045 (from 12% in 2013) and business be dominated by Pan-African commercial giants in finance, mining, food and beverages, tourism, pharmaceuticals, fisheries and ICT.

This vision is outlined by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, in an “an email from the future”, written to a fictional Kwame. She shared it on Sun 26 Jan, during the ministerial retreat of the AU Executive Committee in Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar. The attached gives a few extracts, and the full email gives some food for thought and is attached.

“Date: 24 January 2063
To: Kwame@iamafrican.com
From: Nkosazana@cas.gov
Subject: African Unity

My dear friend Kwame,

Greetings to the family and friends, and good health and best wishes for 2063.

I write to you from the beautiful Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar.. as we finalize preparations for the centenary celebrations of the Organisation of African Unity.. Yes, who would have thought that the dream of Kwame Nkrumah and his generations, when they called in 1963 on Africans to unite or perish, would one day become a reality? And what a grand reality.

At the beginning of the 21st century, we used to get irritated with foreigners when they treated Africa as one country…! But, the advancing global trend towards regional blocs, reminded us that integration and unity is the only way for Africa to leverage its competitive advantage.

In fact, if Africa was one country in 2006, we would have been the tenth largest economy in the world! However, instead of acting as one, with virtually every resource in the world (land, oceans, minerals, energy) and over 1 billion people, we acted as 55 small and fragmented individual countries. The bigger countries that should have been the locomotives of African integration failed to play their role at that time, and that is part of the reasons it took us so long. We did not realize our power, but instead relied on donors, that we euphemistically called “partners”.

That was the case in 2013, but reality finally dawned and we had long debates about the form that our unity should take: confederation, a united states, a federation or a union. As you can see, my friend, those debates are over and the Confederation of African States is now 12 years old, launched in 2051.

What was interesting was the role played by successive generations of African youth… We were a youthful continent at the start of the 21st century, but as our youth bulge grew, young men and women became even more active, creative, impatient and assertive, often telling us oldies that they are the future, and that they (together with women) form the largest part of the electorates in all our countries!

Of course this was but one of the drivers towards unity. The accelerated implementation of the Abuja Treaty and the creation of the African Economic Community by 2034 saw economic integration moved to unexpected levels.

Economic integration, coupled with infrastructure development, saw intra-Africa trade mushrooming, from less than 12% in 2013 to approaching 50% by 2045… Even more significant than this, was the growth of regional manufacturing hubs, around the beneficiation of our minerals and natural resources, such as in the Eastern Congo, north-eastern Angola and Zambia’s copper belt and at major Silicon valleys in Kigali, Alexandria, Brazzaville, Maseru, Lagos and Mombasa, to mention but a few such hubs.

My friend, Africa has indeed transformed herself from an exporter of raw materials with a declining manufacturing sector in 2013, to become a major food exporter, a global manufacturing hub, a knowledge centre, beneficiating our natural resources and agricultural products as drivers to industrialization.

Pan African companies, from mining to finance, food and beverages, hospitality and tourism, pharmaceuticals, fashion, fisheries and ICT are driving integration, and are amongst the global leaders in their sectors.

We are now the third largest economy in the world… we did this by finding the balance between market forces and strong and accountable developmental states and regional economic communities to drive infrastructure, the provision of social services, industrialization and economic integration.


We refused to bear the brunt of climate change and aggressively moved to promote the Green economy and to claim the Blue economy as ours. We lit up Africa, the formerly dark continent, using hydro, solar, wind, geo-thermal energy, in addition to fossil fuels.


If I have to single out one issue that made peace happened, it was our commitment to invest in our people, especially the empowerment of young people and women. By 2013 we said Africa needed a skills revolution and that we must change our education systems to produce young people that are innovative and entrepreneurial and with strong Pan African values.

From early childhood education, to primary, secondary, technical, vocational and higher education – we experienced a true renaissance, through the investments we made, as governments and the private sector in education and in technology, science, research and innovation.

… the African Express Rail now connects all the capitals of our former states.. it is not only a high speed-train, with adjacent highways, but also contains pipelines for gas, oil and water, as well as ICT broadband cables: African ownership, integrated planning and execution at its best!

The continental rail and road network that now crisscross Africa, along with our vibrant airlines, our spectacular landscapes and seductive sunsets, the cultural vibes of our cities, make tourism one of our largest economic sectors.

…KiSwahili is now a major African working language, and a global language taught at most faculties across the world. Our grand-children still find it very funny how we used to struggle at AU meetings with English, French and Portuguese interpretations, how we used to fight the English version not in line with the French or Arabic. Now we have a lingua franca, and multi-lingualism is the order of the day.


How things have changed. The Confederation last year celebrated 20 years since we took our seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and we are a major force for global stability, peace, human rights, progress, tolerance and justice.

Till we meet again, Nkosazana.”

The email was published by the AU’s Directorate of Information and Communication, www.au.int.

It is part of the Agenda2063 visioning exercise which has its own website agenda2063.au.int/ – there is even a form “Have Your Say” where you can add your own visions for the future – go on, have your say!

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Women hedge fund managers outperform men

For the second year running, women hedge-fund managers outperform men on average, according to a Reuters report of a study by professional services firm Rothstein Kass. It quotes Meredith Jones, a director at Rothstein Kass, who said it could feed speculation that women are better investors: “There have been studies that show that testosterone can make men less sensitive to risk-reward signals, and that comes through in this study.”

The firm has its own Women in Alternative Investments Index which includes 80 of roughly 125 hedge funds worldwide run by women. It said that, over the period 1 Jan – 30 Nov 2013, the hedge funds run by women and tracked by the index returned 9.8%, compared to only 6.13% gain in the HFRX Global Hedge Fund index. Over 6 years from Jan 2007 to June 2013, hedge funds run by women returned 6%, compared with a 1.1% loss at the HFRX Global Fund Index.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained 4.2 percent during the same time.

Although the hedge fund industry manages $2.5 trillion, hedge funds run by women manage only a tiny fraction. Although some institutional investors such as Connecticut’s pension fund have programs designed to make allocations to firms run by women and minorities, the small size and number of women-run funds has been its own barrier to large investments.

Jones said that an Oct 2013 survey of 440 senior women, including fund managers, investors, and service providers, showed growing optimism about the role of women in an industry historically dominated by men.

Ready, steady Ngozi – for World Bank president

My favourite read, the Economist gives a rounding editorial here on why the world should back Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for next President of the World Bank (www.worldbank.org). “May the best woman win!”

Africa investor investment climate summit and awards for business and economy leaders

The 2010 Africa investor (Ai – www.africa-investor.com) Investment and Business Leader Awards will take place in Washington DC tomorrow (8 October), as part of the Africa activities planned for the World Bank Annual Meeting. The reception, which will recognize leaders at the forefront of improving Africa’s investment climate, will be in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Ai describes itself as “a leading international investment research and communications group”.
Earlier Ai will hold its annual Africa investor Investment Climate Summit held in partnership with the World Bank Group. Summit partners and sponsors include: The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa; Interbrand Sampson; Thomson Reuters; Harith; Databank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC); First Bank of Nigeria Plc, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); Corporate Council for Africa; Canada African Business Council; The NEPAD Business Group, Emerging Markets Private Equity Association; Afrika Verein Der Deutschen Wirtschaft; The China Africa Business Council, Bunengi Holdings and the Whitaker Group, says Ai.
The awards categories include: i) Best Initiative in Support of SMEs and the MDGs; ii) Investment Climate Initiative of the Year; iii) Bank of the Year; iv) Carbon Finance Initiative of the Year; v) Venture Capital/Private Equity Deal of the Year; vi) Employer and Human Capital Investor of the Year; vii) Institutional Investor of the Year; viii) Investment Promotion Agency of the Year; ix) Leadership in Sustainable Investment in Africa; x) Africa’s Innovation Leader of the Year; xi) Africa’s Leading Woman in Business; xii) International Business Leader of the Year; xiii) Up-and-Coming Future Leader of the Year and xiv) African Finance Minister of the Year.
Hubert Danso, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Africa investor, said in a press release: “We feel it is critically important to showcase Africa’s investment successes with the same vigour we responsibly advise on potential investment risks. These Africa investor Awards, the longest-standing international awards of their kind, go a long way to ensuring that Africa’s investment achievements are publicized internationally and serve as inspiration to future African leaders.”

Zimbabwe US$25 million women investment fund launched

Top Zimbabwean Government women leaders on 30 September launched a US$1 million Zimbabwe Women Investment Fund, aimed at mobilising resources to enhance women’s participation in the mainstream economy. They aim to grow the fund to US$25 million within 3 years, according to a report in The Herald newspaper (www.herald.co.zw).
The fund was reportedly initiated by Minister of Regional Integration and International Co-operation Mrs Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga. It will be administered by Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. The initial capital is to be raised by issuing 100,000 shares at US$10 each.
The “private equity” fund would invest in short- and medium-term projects to provide both income returns and capital growth for members, and its investments could include listed and unlisted companies. Emphasis would also be on ensuring that women at “grassroot” levels benefit.
The trustees are Mrs Misihairambwi-Mushonga, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Dr Olivia Muchena, and the co-Minister of Home Affairs Mrs Theresa Makone.
Officially launching the fund, Vice President Joice Mujuru said the initiative was a demonstration that the time for Zimbabwean women to occupy their rightful space in the economy had come: “No non-oil exporting country has ever made the transition from developing country to developed country without the significant empowerment of women. It is quite apparent that the women of Zimbabwe are having a new economic empowerment vision, which can best be facilitated by women accessing financial and other resources.
“The establishment of this fund will facilitate the participation of Zimbabwean women in Africa’s growth, the establishment of a robust financial system and our progression from a developing nation to a global competitive society.”