CRDB Bank delivering on President Samia’s promise to open up economy – The Citizen
On her maiden state visit to Kenya soon after taking office in May 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan made a promise when she addressed the private sector.
“We are going to open up the country, in Kenya you have Uhuru which means freedom to do business; in Tanzania now we have Suluhu which means solutions to business obstacles, the ball is in your court,” President Samia said attracting applause from Kenyan and Tanzanian business communities.
In order for the private sector to work and deliver on growth, financing of utmost importance. Among many other obstacles facing the private sector in countries like Tanzania is where to get affordable loans to invest as capital.
The CRDB Bank delegation led by the bank’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela (centre), poses for a group photo with the senior leaders of Societe Generale Group led by the Head of Coverage and Investment Banking for Africa, Cathia Lawson (third left). The delegation of CRDB Bank is in France to meet with various stakeholders to develop relations and discuss investment opportunities in the country.
“Capital remains to be a critical factor hindering growth of businesses hence impacting on our ability to competitively produce and sell to East African Community countries such as Kenya,” said Tanzania Private Sector Foundation’s Chairperson, Angelina Ngalula.
The country’s financial sector has responded positively to President Samia’s business friendly reforms. “We as the financial sector, we are duty bound to support government’s efforts in growing the economy which means providing financing both to the public and private sectors,” says CRDB Bank’s Managing Director cum CEO, Abdulmajid Nsekela who is currently visiting the headquarters of Groupe Agence Francaise in Paris, France.
Mr Nsekela who is leading the bank’s delegation, has sought to strengthen the lender’s loan portifolio by boosing its volumes through forging partnerships with leading global financial institutions such as Proparco and several others.
CRDB Bank which first signed a collaboration agreement with Proparco, the French international development agency’s commercial lending arm, is seeking broader partnership with the Paris based institution.
In March this year, CRDB Bank and Proparco signed an over Tshs 182 billion agreement to boost its capacity to lend to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The amount that was in form of a credit line and two portfolio guarantees has since been channeled towards financing MSMEs in line with the country’s economic growth agenda, with a particular focus on women-led enterprises that are recovering from the COVID-19 disruptions.
CRDB Bank Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela (left) and Managing Director of Proparco East Africa, Jean Bendit-Du Chalard showing signed agreements of loan and guarantees with a total value of 182 billion shillings for empowering entrepreneurs in the country in an event held on March 29, 2022, at the CRDB Bank Headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
Proparco, an arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group), provides funding and support to both businesses and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. After making notable success with the initial funding, the bank has seen room for more opportunity.
Mr Nsekela said their discussions with Proparco’s CEO, Françoise Lombard were centered on boosting CRDB Bank’s capacity for private sector’s financing, with a particular interest on supporting businesses and SMEs recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, as well as bridging the financing gap to women entrepreneurs in Tanzania, and Burundi where the bank has a subsidiary.
“We are very happy to strengthen our cooperation with Proparco to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. We are ready to increase our collaboration and use our expertise to meet the ambitious agenda of supporting growth of our people and the economy at large,” Nsekela noted.
He revealed that after a few months of partnership with Proparco, they realized that there are numerous opportunities for the Bank to grow its business and the Tanzanian economy. He said his management is confident that broader collaboration will increase the CRDB Bank’s capital hence grow its liquidity for lending across the economy.
CRDB Bank Group CEO and Managing Director, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela (left) greets the CEO of SH Biaugeaud, Emmanuel Vallantin Dulac, during a meeting to discuss investment opportunities in Tanzania’s agricultural sector. The delegation of CRDB Bank is in France to meet with various stakeholders to develop relations and discuss investment opportunities in the country.
“I don’t find it surprising that investors want to take part in Tanzania’s economy, our President Samia Suluhu Hassan is doing a commendable job in opening up the country’s economy and hastening recovery,” the CRDB chief added.
Commenting on the two parties partnership, Proparco’s Lombard said: “Cooperation between financial institutions is key to supporting the development of the private sector and growth of economies. I’m delighted by the CRDB Bank’s willingness to enhance collaboration; it demonstrates their eagerness to support Tanzanian businesses and SMEs, which is in line with Proparco’s objective.”
Lombard added that, in addition to financial assistance, they have discussed providing technical assistance to CRDB Bank in order to improve the Bank’s lending practices, and support product innovation, thereby increasing the impact of Proparco’s and CRDB Bank’s investments in local development.
CRDB Bank Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela (left) speaks with Laure Elsaesser, Head of the Department of Agri and Food Technologies at BusinessFrance during his visit to France. The delegation of CRDB Bank is in France to meet with various stakeholders to develop relations and discuss investment opportunities in the country.
Tanzania, according to Lombard, has a huge potential to grow economically because of its strategic geographical location and abundance of economic activities. “The growth is only possible if financial institutions are willing to the finance sectors of the economy. CRDB Bank has shown a genuine desire to be a part of Tanzania’s transformational story.”
In France, the CRDB Bank delegation also met with France’s government institutions, banks, and businesses to discuss various investment opportunities in the country. Some of the institutions are; Business France responsible for supporting the international development of the French economy; Bpifrance a Public Investment Bank; and SH Biaugeaud an industrial agro engineering company, specializing in the processing of fruits and vegetables.
CRDB Bank has, this year alone, entered into credit line and portfolio guarantee agreements of over Sh 500 billion with Proparco, USAID and DFC, IFC, AfDB, and AGF to support business and SMEs in the country.
In June this year, the Dar es Salaam based lender and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC) signed a deal to facilitate Sh 100 billion in loans.
The partnership was aimed to assist the Bank to expand access to finance for women and youth borrowers, especially in education and health sectors, which dominate the informal sector throughout Tanzania.
CRDB Bank also sealed agreements with African Development Bank and the African Guarantee Fund for a U$110 million to boost access to finance by women SMEs mid this year.
The AfDB’s Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo said during the signing ceremony that the bouquet of financing will enable CRDB to significantly impact the socio-economic growth of the region by empowering SMEs, especially women, and unleashing their full potential.
In July the Bank also secured new investment from World Bank Group’s commercial lending arm, the increase access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Tanzania and Burundi.
Under the deal, IFC provided a U$100 million loan to CRDB Bank, half of which will be in local currency, and a U$5 million loan to CRDB Bank Burundi to support lending to smaller businesses in both countries, especially to women-owned businesses. Up to 25 percent of the loan in Tanzania will be dedicated to women-owned businesses.
CRDB Bank Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela (left) and the American Ambassador in Tanzania, Dr. Donald Wright, exchanging agreements for empowerment loans worth 100 billion between the CRDB Bank and USAID and DFC for empowering entrepreneurs, at an event held on June 30, 2022, at the CRDB Bank Headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
In addition this year also, the country’s largest Bank successfully raise U$130m syndicated loan from Investec Bank and Intesa Sanpaolo. The capital raised will be used to unlock working capital for the corporate and SME sector in the country including project and infrastructure finance linked to the commodity trading.
In 2019, CRDB Bank became the first private commercial bank to be accredited by UN GCF as a financial intermediary in green financing in Sub Saharan Africa. With this endorsement, CRDB Bank is now able to finance various green projects worth up to USD 250 million per single project funding proposal.
Last year the Bank unveiled a USD 200 million facility to finance climate-resilient and adaptation projects in the country through its green financing program dubbed Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Program (TACADTP). GCF approved USD 100 million to support the project, while CRDB Bank also allocated the same amount.
“As a leading Bank in Tanzania, CRDB Bank continues to explore business opportunities in strategic sectors that will bring the much needed development to boost the country’s economy. These collaborations will help us boost our lending activities and further strengthen our leadership position,” Mr Nsekela stated.
CRDB Bank is Tanzania’s largest bank, with a strong balance sheet worth more than Sh 10 trillion. According to its half-year financial results, the bank is the leading financier of Tanzania’s economy, with over Sh 6 trillion in loans.
The Bank is the first bank in Tanzania to be rated among the top ten stable and safer institutions to invest in Africa by Moody`s Investors Services. Moody’s rated CRDB Bank with a “B1 stable outlook” which is the highest rating to have been acquired by financial institutions in Sub Saharan Africa. This has attracted many international financial institutions to partner with CRDB Bank.