A record of world-class pan-African banking

Ecobank_global_presence_2011Ecobank’s global presence 2011. Notwithstanding its successes and achievements to date, Ecobank is not resting on its laurels

With an average growth rate of six per cent across the African continent predicted in 2012, the bank believes the outlook is bright.

The continent is rich in resources and those are not limited to oil and gas. There is a growing middle class that require increasingly sophisticated financial services and only 20 per cent of the African population still have access to a bank account.

Ecobank is focusing in particular on Middle Africa which is a fast growing and under banked region and, indeed, the bank sees itself as the gateway to Middle Africa for multinational corporations and global investors.

The bank’s overall objective is to contribute to the economic and financial integration and development of the African continent.

But how has it been possible to bring together the very different cultures of the Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone countries to create a sound, sustainable and growing banking group?

Firstly, Ecobank has a history of being successful at managing change and always aspiring to do better. In 2010, the bank launched “The Excellence Project”, focusing on four key areas for improvement: improving risk management, improving customer service, growing sales and improving cost discipline.

Staff training and development are high on the agenda and the bank seeks to harness the power of its human capital by ensuring that employees have skills that are applicable to the continued growth and success of the bank.

Indeed, training is integral to the corporate culture and is geared towards instilling a sense of professionalism and belonging. The employees are viewed as stakeholders, not just workers. Five per cent of the total payroll cost is earmarked for training and development.

Communication within the Group is in English, French and Portuguese and, somewhat still unusual for a business focused on Africa, there is pride in the gender balance with 41 per cent of the workforce being women.

Although three different languages are used in the Group, Ecobank operates as “One Bank” with common branding, standards, policies and processes to ensure a consistent and reliable service throughout the Group.

To read the rest of this article, please see the April 2012 edition of African Review

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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