The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)

28 July 2009

Tanzania: Women's Bank All Set for Launch

The much-awaited women's bank opens its door to the public today in Dar es Salaam, the Government announced in Parliament yesterday.

The minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Mrs Margaret Sitta, tabled a government statement in the house to reveal that the bank would finally be trading after more than five years o f planning.

The women's bank becomes the 28th to open its doors to the public and operate in Tanzania.

Terming it a momentous occasion, she said the bank was a commitment by the Government and a promise by the ruling party, CCM.

She said the bank will start with one branch in Dar es Salaam and later expand to other regions in the country. "It is a bank of its kind and for all," said the minister in reference to what would be its motto.

The minister said women would not only be empowered through the bank, but it will be open to all people interested in the commercial activities offered like those of any other bank.

She said all preparations to offer services were ready and its first managing director whose name she did not immediately reveal was "a woman of high integrity and capable in financial matters."

The minister said the bank would continue to sell its shares to more people to raise capital and ensure it was owned by a majority of Tanzanians.

However, she did not reveal how much money had been raised by the bank or people who have obtained shares. The Government, she revealed, offered Sh2 billion to enable the bank start its activities.

Ukerewe MP Gertrude Mongella hailed the achievement and immediately said it would bring "a true revolution in our country."

She said it was also an honour for Tanzanian women who have struggled over the years to see their dream come true.

She particularly mentioned minister Sofia Simba and the late Salome Mbatia as among women leaders who played a big role to have the bank open its doors to the public.

Banks which operate in Tanzania are: Access Bank, Akiba Commercial Bank, Azania Bank, BancABC, Bank M, Bank of Africa, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Barclays Bank, CF Union Bank, Citibank, Commercial Bank of Africa, CRDB Bank, Dar es Salaam Community Bank and Diamond Trust Bank.

Others include Exim Bank, FBME Bank, Habib African Bank, International Commercial Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank of Commerce Ltd - Tanzania, National Microfinance Bank, Peoples Bank of Zanzibar, Savings & Finance Commercial Bank, Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank for Africa.

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