Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Annual Meetings 2024: Centenary Rural and Development Bank named Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative’s “AFAWA Bank of the Year” at African Banker Awards


A Kampala-based commercial bank with a “mission critical focus” to provide financial services to vulnerable women entrepreneurs has been named the “AFAWA Bank of the Year” at the African Banker Awards.

Centenary Rural and Development Bank picked up the honor named after African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) ( initiative at the awards ceremony held during the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings underway in Nairobi, Kenya. The African Banker Awards celebrate excellence and best practices in African banking and finance. The AFAWA Bank of the Year accolade recognizes the commitment of Centenary Rural and Development Bank – popularly known as Centenary Bank – to advancing women access to finance, like its “Cente Supawoman” financial product that offers loans up to $1,300 without collateral.

“Our Supawoman product is about that underprivileged woman who is struggling to grow that business. The roadside seller, the hawkers, the retailers, market vendors,” said Michael JJingo, the Bank’s General Manager for Commercial Services, said after receiving the trophy.

“If given an opportunity for financial inclusion and financial services accessibility, this woman can do miracles,” JJingo added.

The AFAWA Bank of the Year award recognizes financial institutions contributing to bridging the $49 billion gender financing gap in Africa, particularly through the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth facility. AFAWA, with its Guarantee for Growth facility as its cornerstone, seeks to unlock $5 billion in access to finance for 30,000 women-owned and led businesses through financial institutions.

“For the second consecutive year, the AFAWA Bank of the Year Award honor goes to the bank that has impactfully incorporated the development and growth of women-led small and medium enterprises as part of [its small and medium enterprise] strategy”, said Dr. Beth Dunford, African Development Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

When announcing the AFAWA Bank of the Year award, Dr. Dunford also said aside from Centenary Rural and Development Bank’s “Cente SupaWoman” financial services tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs, the Bank had also experienced a 23 percent growth in women-owned and led businesses in its portfolios from 2020 to 2023. Centenary Rural and Development Bank joined the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program as a partner financial institution at the program’s onset.

AFAWA is supported by various development partners including the G7 countries (France, Canada, Italy, Germany and the European Commission), the Netherlands, Sweden, and the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi) of the World Bank Group. 

The awards ceremony is organised by African Banker magazine with the African Development Bank as its High Patron. The African Banker Awards are part of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings official program, which this year is held under the theme: “Africa’s Transformation, the African Development Bank Group and the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact:
Alphonso Van Marsh
Principal Digital Content and Events Officer

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information:


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