The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group has said that it intends to have presence in at least 25 countries in the near to medium term, starting from the UMOA (Union monétaire ouest-africaine) and CEMAC (Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale (CEMAC) zones. This was disclosed at the bank’s first ever Senior Leadership Forum which was convened by the Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu and held in Lagos on Tuesday.
The three-day forum focused on the critical issues and drivers for success across the continent. Seminars were held on Corporate Governance, Corporate Institutionalisation, Board Effectiveness, Compliance, Accountability and more.
The forum reflected on the strategic importance and growth potential of UBA’s pan-African business as well as to to review the impressive growth that the bank’s African network had made over the past 11 years.
Bringing together 90 participants, including the entire Board of UBA, all Chairmen and all CEOs of UBA subsidiaries across Africa and the United Kingdom, the session coincided with UBA’s 54th Annual General Meeting and Group Board Meeting.
Speaking as he opened the forum, Elumelu said: “We are one bank, the United Bank for Africa. Bringing together our senior leadership talent from across the continent and the distinguished leaders who chair our subsidiary businesses, is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to forge one bank for Africa.
“As long-term investors and, may I say, pioneers in pan-African commercial and investment banking, we are deeply committed to the markets in which we operate and to harnessing the potential represented by the wider African economy. Our intention is to be the leader in African financial services, and our recent transactions show this. We see clearly the potential of Africa” he said.
The management of the bank also approved additional injection of capital into its East African subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Commenting on the importance of consolidating pan-African financial expertise and exporting the successful Nigerian model, incoming Group MD/CEO and previous head of UBA Africa, Kennedy Uzoka said: “I have experienced the potential of our pan-African businesses. I know that we can and I commit to ensuring our leadership across Africa. The Senior Leadership Forum reaffirms UBA’s ambition to be the leading pan-African Bank across key indices – brand equity, human capital, customer service and profitability.”
For Chairman of UBA Senegal, Fogan Sossah, the bank has already done a lot but is just beginning to reap the rewards of the network and potential. He said: “We are a truly pan-African institution and after this period of consolidation, we know that the continuing expansion of our Africa footprint is a key goal. We must ensure that we have presence in at least 25 countries in the near to medium term, starting from the UMOA and CEMAC zones.”
Speaking at the Forum’s individual sessions, Chairman of UBA Democratic Republic of Congo, Mrs. Gisele Mudiay, said that the organisation’s aspiration for the next five years is to pool knowledge of its individual operating environments and leverage that knowledge to help its customers realize their business goals.
Chairman UBA Cameroon, Ekoto Mukete, noted that the bank is currently operating challenging business environments hence it benchmarks itself against global standards. “This forum has ensured that we are an army of one, working in each corner of Africa and driving toward one common goal.”
United Bank for Africa (UBA) is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions, with operations in 19 African countries and three global financial centres: London, Paris and New York. UBA now contribute more than 25 per cent to Group operating revenue.
From a single country operation in Nigeria, UBA has evolved into a pan-African provider of banking and related financial services, to more than 11 million customers, through diverse channels globally.