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Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank and Export Development Bank, Afreximbank

Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, honored at Africa Economy Builders Awards Forum

Mrs. Kanayo Awani

Jean Arsene Yerima receiving the Award on the behalf of Mrs. Kanayo Awani on 27 April 2023 in Abidjan
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)’s Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, who doubles as Acting Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, has been honored with the African Economic Integration Champion Award at the 13th Africa Economy Builders Forum and Awards held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 27 April 2023.The award, according to the organizers, recognizes Mrs. Awani’s unwavering commitment to the realization of the aspirations of the African Union (AU)’s Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want, and her exceptional professional performance reflected in her significant contributions to Afreximbank’s role in promoting economic growth and structural transformation across the continent. Mrs. Awani has been instrumental in spearheading Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, establishing a focused, purpose-driven Intra-African Trade Bank, and supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) through the introduction of several critical instruments, including the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) and the multi-billion-dollar AfCFTA Adjustment Facility. The award also recognizes her role in introducing and organizing the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which has facilitated trade and investment deals valued at over US$70 billion.

The prestigious Africa Economy Builders Forum and Awards was established in 2006 to celebrate men, women, and entities dedicated to the prosperity of the African continent. It acknowledges the contributions of African entrepreneurial and managerial elites, successful economic institutions, international investors, the African diaspora, and multinationals who stand out for their investments in the progress of Africa.

In November 2022, Mrs. Awani received the AFIS “Woman Leader” award at the annual Africa Financial Industry Summit (AFIS) in Lomé, Togo, in recognition of her contributions to the African banking and financial industry and for being a front-runner in supporting the achievement of the AfCFTA in her capacity as Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, a division of Afreximbank.

In addition, in 2020, Mrs. Awani was named among the Top 100 most influential persons of African Descent by the Most Influential People of African Decent (MIPAD) and as one of the 100 Leading Nigerian Women by Gender Perspective in Development, acknowledging her distinguished career and contribution to societal development. More recently, in February 2023, she was also named one of the 50 most influential African women by Forbes Afrique.

Accepting the award, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, commented: “I am deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award which reflects Afreximbank’s unwavering commitment to promoting economic growth in Africa and advancing intra-African trade. As we continue to support the implementation of the AfCFTA, we seek to address key challenges facing intra-African trade by providing trade facilitation as well as financial and advisory services to support African businesses in accessing new markets and expanding their operations. I’m grateful to the Afreximbank President, Prof. Benedict Oramah, for his leadership and support. I also commend the dedication of other Afreximbankers whose commitment to the African project ensures the relevance of our institution, and I welcome the support of all our partners, stakeholders, and member countries, without whom our achievements would not have been possible. We remain committed to driving economic development across Africa and creating a more prosperous future for all.”

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