Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

20 May 2012

Ethiopia: Awash Upgrades Old Core Banking

Awash International Bank (AIB) is to upgrade its centralised, online, real-time, electronic (CORE) banking system in a 3.5 million-dollar agreement it is to sign with the UK-based software company, Misys International Banking Systems, tomorrow, May 21, 2012, at the Sheraton Addis Hotel.

AIB's bid, floated in August 2011 had attracted the Swiss IT vendor, Temenos Group, which is currently upgrading the CORE banking system of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE); Oracle Flex, a US IT vendor, which has similar experience with Dashen, Zemen, United, and Abay banks; the India-based Infosys; and Misys, which had previously provided banking solutions to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Construction and Business Bank (CCB), CBE and Awash's existing CORE banking system. AIB had decided to stick with Misys, it announced in March 2012. Among these, CBE has hired Temenos Group to replace the old system it has had. The National Bank also floated tender to replace the previous Bank master of Misys.

The upgrade is meant to enable AIB to provide services to its half million customers in credit packages, finance packages, human resources packages, and Islamic banking. The technology also includes anti-money laundering software.

AIB, the first private bank to build its own headquarters, at a cost of 215 million Br, was also the first bank in Ethiopia to adopt CORE banking solutions, back in 2001.

AIB's bid committee visited Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Dubai, and India before it selected its technology provider.

"We conducted a technical evaluation in the past nine months, and we have selected Misys's Bank Fusion 2.0, the 2011 version of its CORE banking technology," Tsehay Shiferaw, President of AIB told Fortune. "Our longstanding relationship with Misys and its better project execution capacity pushed us to choose the company."

The installation will be finalised after nine months, according to Elias Negassi, deputy manager of management information systems of the Bank.

Of the 17 banks in Ethiopia, only five are still in the process of acquiring CORE banking solutions. These are the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and Construction and Business Bank (CBB), both state owned, as well as Bunna International Bank (BIB), Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CBO), and Bank of Abyssinia (BoA).

Currently, AIB has 80 branches in the country, including 43 in Addis Abeba. Its net profit for 2010/11 was 360.6 million Br, up 45.6pc from the previous year. It has 2,977 shareholders. Misys was established in 1979 in UK and has 1, 200 banking customers in 120 countries, and also it has 4,000 employs in its branches.

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