Juba, South Sudan,
June 30, 2021 – Ecobank Group has been named bank of the year 2021 for Small and Medium Enterprises. The award was received by Ecobank management at the institution’s headquarters in the Togolese capital Lomé.
In a statement distributed by Nyamilepedia content partner APO, Ecobank says it beat a number of competitors in the African Banker Awards 2021 to take home the SME Award in 2020, the year it described as tumultuous due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bank says the award was a result of the contributions made by the bank to support the development of Small Medium Enterprises amid the ravaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Among other criteria, the African SME Bank of the Year award 2021 recognizes the bank which has significantly contributed to the development of the SME sector, thus helping them to build the economic backbone of the continent,” Ecobank said in a statement.
“Part of the entry criteria required that the winning bank has significantly catalyzed funding into the private sector in Africa and promoted enterprise development by facilitating credit and access to finance for SMEs,” the statement added.
Ecobank which also has a branch in the South Sudanese capital Juba says since the onset of Covid-19, the Ecobank Group has considerably ramped up investments in programs targeting SMEs by expanding SME-focused lines of credit, providing technical assistance to SME development institutions, and building SMEs’ capacity via linkage programs in partnership with its strategic partners.
The Group says it has also been at the forefront of promoting gender inclusion and closing the gender finance gap through innovative initiatives such as ‘Ellevate by Ecobank’ that targets women-led and women-focused businesses across the continent.
In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, Ecobank Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Josephine Ankomah, said last year was rough for the Pan African adding that the management needed to rethink sustainable model to pull through the pandemic.
“2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. It required resilience and innovation. We needed to rethink our business and provide innovative ways to assist our SME customers to help them to survive the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. We are truly honored to receive this recognition. Our immense gratitude goes to our staff, customers, and partners who have made this possible.”