Esther Kariuki Becomes the Second Woman to Win African Banker of the Year Award

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Group photo of the winners of the African Banker Awards 2023 (Source: African Banker)

The African Banker of the Year prize was awarded to Esther Kariuki, Head of Agriculture Business at the Co-op Bank of Kenya.

The African Banker Awards 2023 Gala Ceremony, the most prestigious event in the African banking calendar, took place recently at the Rixos Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings. The ceremony was attended by over 300 of the continent’s leading bankers, regulators, and policymakers.

Now in its 17th edition, the African Banker Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and institutions that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of Africa’s banking sector over the past year.

Perhaps one of the most coveted prizes, the African Banker of the Year prize was awarded to Esther Kariuki, Head of Agriculture Business at the Co-op Bank of Kenya. Ms Kariuki has been a central figure in advancing agriculture as a key asset class for her institution. Not only a leader and role model, she was also responsible for considerably increasing lending to the agriculture sector and oversaw the roll-out of the platform Co-op Bank Soko, a digital marketplace that connects the agriculture value chain and ensures, among other things, that small-holder farmers receive a higher price for their produce.

“This year’s award ceremony is a testament not only to the vibrancy and dynamism of Africa’s banking industry but also its increasing diversity,” said Omar Ben Yedder, Committee Chairman and Group Publisher at IC Publications, publishers of African Banker. “The financial services industry continues to demonstrate excellence, innovation and impact in their respective markets and regions.

FinTech, Climate Finance, Cross-Border payments are all being shaped by the leaders we are recognising.”

The ceremony is organised by African Banker magazine with the African Development Bank as its High Patron. This year’s AfDB Meetings focused on mobilising private sector finance towards green growth. The 2023 edition was sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund, the Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and Tanzania’s CRDB Bank.