Saturday, September 23, 2023

Meet Esther Kariuki, the 2023 African Banker of the Year

During the African Banker of the Year 2023 at the 58th Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank that was held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, Esther Kariuki was named the 2023 African Banker of the Year.

Ms Kariuki is the head of the agriculture business at Co-operative Bank.  She was named the African Banker of the Year for her role in advancing agriculture as a critical sector for Co-op Bank.

“I am delighted to have been declared the winner of the African Banker of the Year! This one goes to The greatest Bank on earth Co-operative Bank of Kenya!” said Ms Kariuki.

“Thank you our Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gideon Muriuki for being the greatest leader and urging us to get up and do good every day, especially to the great farmers of our country. Am blessed to be part of the Cooperative Movement!”

According to the awards committee, Ms Kariuki was responsible for considerably increasing lending to the agricultural sector and oversaw the roll-out of the platform Co-op Bank Soko.

This is a digital marketplace that connects the agriculture value chain and ensures, among other things, that smallholder farmers receive a higher price for their produce.

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“This is perhaps the most coveted, rewarding the deserving recipient’s leadership and vision that has led to strong financial performance within their organisation.  She has successfully grown Co-op Bank’s agricultural division since she first joined the bank six years ago,” the awards committee said.

This award was perhaps not so far-fetched for Ms Kariuki. She has been in the banking industry since 2009.

She started off in May 2009 at Stanbic Bank where she worked for two years and eleven months as a corporate banking service consultant. In 2013, she moved up the ladder to the position of Relationship Manager, Agriculture, a role she held until January 2017.

In February 2017, she broke the glass ceiling again and moved up to Co-operative Bank in the position of Business Development Manager, Agriculture.

In this role, she was tasked with growing the Agricultural offering, especially leveraging on the great focus of the country’s growth of value chains within this important sector.

In November 2018, Ms Kariuki achieved another milestone after being promoted to head the agribusiness docket at Co-op Bank.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications (Sociology and Communication) from the University of Nairobi and is a certified investment and financial analyst with the Kenya Account and Secretarial National Examinations Board.

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