June 14, 2024

Leading Voices in African Banking at the Africa CEO Forum

Leading Voices in African Banking at the Africa CEO Forum

The Africa CEO Forum, Africa’s largest annual private sector event, is underway in Kigali, Rwanda. Over 2,000 participants, including CEOs, government officials, and media representatives from across Africa and beyond, are convening to discuss critical issues and shape the continent’s future business landscape.

The forum fosters public-private dialogue through B2G meetings, high-level sessions, and participation from heads of state. It also offers a program with inspiring talks, industry roundtables, and insights from leading business figures and upcoming disruptors.

High on the agenda for this year’s Africa CEO Forum are discussions around the future of African banking. Financial leaders like Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Joshua Oigara, CEO of Stanbic Bank Kenya, are expected to be part of these crucial conversations.

These banking bigwigs will be joined by a host of other industry leaders to explore topics like financial inclusion, navigating the digital banking revolution, and how African banks can best support the continent’s economic growth.

They include:

Makhtar DIOP

Managing Director, IFC

The Africa CEO Forum welcomes Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to its prestigious gathering. Diop, a seasoned economist with extensive experience in Africa, brings a wealth of knowledge to the forum.

Prior to leading the IFC, Diop served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure and Africa, spearheading critical infrastructure projects and overseeing record-breaking investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. His earlier career included roles in banking, the IMF, and as Senegal’s Minister of Economy and Finance.


Chairman, Access Holdings

Banking and investment leader Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of Access Holdings, is among the high-profile attendees at the Africa CEO Forum. Aig-Imoukhuede’s presence adds valuable insight to discussions on mobilizing capital and driving growth across Africa.

Aig-Imoukhuede’s experience spans both the public and private sectors. He is known for his leadership roles in Access Bank and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as well as his philanthropic work through the Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation.


Group CEO, KCB Group PLC

The Africa CEO Forum welcomes Paul Russo, Group CEO of KCB Group PLC, East Africa’s leading banking group. Russo’s participation brings a wealth of experience to the table, particularly relevant for discussions on financial inclusion, digital banking, and regional expansion.

As head of a bank serving over 30 million customers across seven countries, Russo is well-positioned to address the challenges and opportunities facing African finance. His focus on digital transformation and customer service aligns with the forum’s emphasis on leveraging innovation for inclusive growth.

Kanayo AWANI

Executive Vice President – Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank

Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank’s IATB, is a key figure in boosting African trade and development. With a banking background and public administration expertise, she’s driven Afreximbank’s support for the AfCFTA.

Awani’s leadership secured the AfCFTA’s signing and championed initiatives like industrial park expansion and the Africa Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme. She also spearheaded the $1 billion Creative Africa Nexus program. Recognizing Africa-Caribbean potential, she has promoted trade and investment flows between the two regions.

Awani’s tenure at Afreximbank has coincided with impressive growth, with the bank’s total assets rising from US$1.4 billion to $30 billion since 2009.


CEO / MD, Access Bank Rwanda

Faustin Rukundo Byishimo has been steering Access Bank (Rwanda) Plc as its CEO and Managing Director since April 2021. Byishimo brings over two decades of experience in the banking sector, having held various senior leadership positions.


Group CEO, Bank of Kigali Group

Béata Habyarimana leads BK Group, Rwanda’s financial giant, with a strong background in economics and finance. A champion for women’s empowerment, she excels in business, finance, and policy.

Habyarimana’s expertise lies in economics and finance, honed over two decades of experience at leading institutions like BMCE Bank of Africa Rwanda, Agaseke Bank, and Banque Populaire du Rwanda. Recognized as a trailblazer for women, she champions financial empowerment for them. Her commitment is evident through her involvement in organizations like New Faces New Voices Rwanda and RUGORI Investment Network.


CEO, Bank of Kigali

Dr. Diane Karusisi, a prominent Rwandan economist and leader, holds the reins at Bank of Kigali, the nation’s largest commercial bank. Her tenure has been marked by a focus on digital transformation and strategic expansion.

Dr. Karusisi spearheaded a digital revolution at Bank of Kigali, making banking services more accessible and efficient for Rwandans. This modernization, coupled with her vision, led to the bank’s expansion into new domains – General Insurance, Investment Banking, and Technology.

This diversification under her leadership solidified BK Group’s position as Rwanda’s leading financial powerhouse, catering to a broader client base and fostering economic growth.


Group President & Managing Director, Trade & Development Bank

Mr. Admassu Tadesse, Trade and Development Bank Group President and Managing Director since 2022, has led PTA Bank’s evolution into TDB. Under his leadership, TDB has expanded into new markets, achieved investment-grade ratings, and exceeded USD 10 billion in assets by 2023. He is the recipient of numerous awards and holds degrees from prestigious institutions.

Jeremy Awori


Jeremy Awori is the new Group CEO of Ecobank. He brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the banking industry, including nearly ten years as Managing Director of Absa Bank Kenya Plc. Prior to joining Absa, he held senior positions at Standard Chartered Bank in the Middle East and Africa. His extensive expertise, skills and industry know-how make him a valuable asset to the Ecobank Group.