*Mr. Nestor Ankiba announced as Chairman of Equity BCDC Board
  *Mr. Celestin Mukeba Muntuabu, Equity Bank Congo MD to take reins as Managing Director at newly merged financial entity
  *Mr. Jean Claude Tshipama, former MD of Canal+ DRC named Deputy MD Equity BCDC

In Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Barely 24 hours after a colourful event launching the new brand of Equity BCDC which was presided over by the DRC Minister of Portfolio, with guests including the Ambassadors of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi to the DRC, the Belgian Ambassador to the DRC Jo Indeku, the Honorable Senator Bahati Lukwebo of the National Senate, international NGO partners including the IFC/World Bank, USAID, CARE and the United Nations all in attendance - the Board of Directors of Equity BCDC announced its inaugural leadership team to carry the organization into the future.

The Board named a new Chairman of the Board with the appointment of Mr. Nestor Ankiba, who has replaced the interim Chairman, Pierre Chevalier. Mr. Chevalier had been serving as interim Chairman of the Board since Equity's acquisition of the Bank in August 2020 and has stepped down. He will however continue to serve on the Board as a Director.

"I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to serve as the inaugural Chairman of the newly merged Equity BCDC," said Mr. Ankiba. "To be taking the reins of the Board of Directors at a time when Equity BCDC will be working to deliver on its ambitious development plans for the DRC which will see the bank reach out to a population that is largely financially excluded in an effort to support the transformation of lives and livelihoods in the DRC is an extraordinary moment. I am proud to be able to standby Equity as they strive to support the Congolese people to achieve their highest potential aspirations."

Mr. Ankiba brings to the role a unique set of experiences from both the private and philanthropic sectors, perfectly aligning him to steer Equity's twin engine business model of both social and economic initiatives in the DRC. An economist by background, Mr. Ankiba holds an MBA in Marketing Communications from the UK. Mr. Ankiba has held various positions at ExxonMobil and in international development, supervising projects with international NGOs. He has previously been a long serving Managing Director with ExxonMobil in Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Togo and the DRC. Prior to entering the private sector, he was an assistant lecturer at the University of Kinshasa. Mr. Ankiba's extensive humanitarian and philanthropic work includes working with Population Services International (PSI) where he oversaw the delivery and distribution of 60 million mosquito nets across the DRC and the successful implementation of grants and donor funds from partners such as the Global Fund, UKaid and KfW.

Finalizing the new Board structure, the Board has named Mr. Auguste Kanku to be its Company Secretary. Mr. Kanku had been serving as the General Counsel and Deputy Managing Director of the former Equity Bank Congo since its acquisition as Procredit by Equity Group Holdings in 2015 and he brings many years of legal experience in the Congolese market to the new Board.
With the naming of a new Board Chairman of Equity BCDC and Company Secretary, the Board also appointed a new Managing Director, and new Deputy Managing Director for Equity BCDC.
Mr. Celestin Mukeba Muntuabu, an experience banker, industry veteran and former Managing Director of Equity Bank Congo prior to the merger, has been chosen by the Board of Directors as the new Managing Director of Equity BCDC. Mr. Mukeba Muntuabu, who was appointed in 2015 as the MD of EBC previously served as the CEO of Procredit, the German microfinance institution which Equity Group Holdings acquired in the same year.  During his 5 years in his term of EBC Mr. Mukeba Muntuabu steered the Bank to move from position 8 in the marketplace to be the 4th largest bank in the country, growing its customer base nearly five-times from 136,000 customers to 650,000, while increasing the asset base 6-fold from USD 150 million to over USD 900 million and earning the bank the reputation of the fastest growing and most innovative bank in the DRC.

In making the announcement, Equity BCDC's Chairman of the Board, Mr. Nestor Ankiba stated, "Mr. Mukeba Muntuabu is extraordinarily equipped to build on the legacy of 112 years of corporate banking success of BCDC and has spent the last five years building a new heritage financial institution in Equity Bank Congo. With Mr. Mukeba Muntuabu's experience, skills and track record, the newly combined Bank, Equity BCDC, will be in good hands as the organization works to support the transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the citizens of DRC, and to fulfill the dreams of its clients across all spectrums of society while helping to develop and transform the DRC."

Mr. Mukeba Muntuabu is also President of the DRC UN Global Compact Network and is one of the few Congolese ranked in the top 100 African leaders of Club Choiseul. He is a graduate of the Protestant University of Congo and is a professional accountant by training.

Mr. Jean-Claude Tshipama has been named the new Deputy Managing Director and Commercial Officer of Equity BCDC, overseeing Commercial, Operations and IT. Mr. Tshipama has extensive experience in Distribution (especially in rural areas), Business Development, Strategic Sales Planning, Relationship Management gained in Telecommunications, Pay Tv and Satellite Industries across the world mainly in Africa but in the Caraibes, in the Americas and Europe. Mr. Tshipama has built his reputation in a strong career in telecommunications, most notably while as the first Managing Director of Pay TV provider CANAL+ in the DRC, and in his current role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Broadband Unit of  EUTELSAT in France. Through the "Konnect Initiative", he is working to provide high speed Internet access to more than 40 countries across Africa including 100% of the DRC.

Mr. Allan Waititu, who has 17 years of experience working with Equity Bank Kenya (EBK), Equity Group Holdings Kenya Subsidiary since 2004 was appointed as the new Operations and IT director. A veteran passionate banker and ICT practitioner, Mr. Waititu has 33 years of experience in banking and information technology. He has held various roles within Equity Bank Kenya providing team leadership and strategic direction in ICT and operational strategic transformation and his current role within the Bank is as Director of Operations for EBK's 180 branches and the Head Office Central Operations and Group Processing Centre where he transitioned EBK's operations to IT as part of Equity Group's transformation. Mr. Waititu is a valued member of the community and he serves as a member of the Humanitarian System of the Future on the Global Future Council (GFC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and his special projects work in the humanitarian space in five countries in East Africa was recognized with a Resilience Award by the RESCON conference in 2017. He is a 2011 CIO 100 Honouree in Excellence and IT Deployment.
Yet to be named among the new management team within Equity BCDC will be a newly created Director of Social Impact Investments who will serve to champion the Bank's social initiatives within the DRC to include work in Health, Education and Leadership Development, Energy and the Environment, Enterprise Development and Financial Inclusion, Food and Agriculture and Social Protections.

Recognizing the role of Government in the Equity BCDC transaction, Equity BCDC's Board Chairman, Mr. Ankiba said, "I want to thank the Central Bank of Congo for their support and the timely approvals for the EBC-BCDC merger, that has enabled this seamless transition through a change of ownership, a migration of the core IT banking platforms and eventually the merging of the two subsidiaries of Equity - BCDC and Equity Bank Congo to form Equity BCDC. We are grateful to have worked closely with the Ministry of Portfolio in order to represent the interests of the Government and those of Equity BCDC. We wish to thank the Government for their support throughout the process."
"The 112-year-old bank is in safe hands and the legacy of its founders is well and firmly secured by the highly innovative Equity Group Holdings who are renowned for their operational excellence and social impact and investment in the markets they operate in. It is my hope that Equity BCDC and its extraordinary staff will transform the banking landscape in DRC for all of its citizens and democratize financial access in the country by giving millions of people a chance to participate in the economic success of the economy," concluded Mr. Ankiba.

About Equity BCDC:


Equity BCDC is a subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings Plc (EGH) following the acquisition of majority shareholding of BCDC by EGH from the family of George Forrest in July 2020. Equity BCDC is the second largest bank in Democratic Bank of Congo with a balance sheet of USD 2.7 billion and a nationwide footprint of 74 branches, 214 ATMs, 13 local dedicated desks, 3055 agents, and a customer base of nearly one million.

Equity Group has an asset base of over USD 10 billion. With over 14.2 million customers, the Group is one of the biggest banks by customer base in the Africa. The Group has a footprint of 335 branches, 52,742 Agents and 35,386 Merchants and 720 ATMs. The Group is the largest bank in market capitalization in East and Central Africa.

The Banker Top 1000 World Banks 2020 ranked Equity Bank 754 overall in its global ranking, 62nd in soundness (Capital Assets to Assets ratio), 55th in terms of Profits on Capital and 20th on Return on Assets. In 2020, Equity was ranked position 7 in the list of top 10 banks in Africa in The Banker's Top 100 African becoming the 1st bank in Eastern and Central Africa to achieve this milestone paving way for EastAfrican banks to play in the league of big banks with South Africa, North Africa and West Africa. The bank was ranked 5th on soundness, 9th on growth performance, 8th in return on risk, and 6th on profitability. In the same year, Moody's gave the Bank a global rating of B2 with a negative outlook same as the sovereign rating of the Kenyan government due to the Bank's strong brand recognition, solid liquidity buffers and resilient funding profile, established domestic franchise and extensive adoption of digital and alternative distribution channels. Equity Group Holdings Plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.