Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — CRDB Bank, one of the leading financial institutions in Tanzania has spent a considerable capital investment to the tune of $10m as its initial investment to starts operations in Burundi.
Besides, capital investment, the bank will also make considerable investments towards supporting education and boost sports sector as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
To start with, the bank said they will contribute $20,000 to support construction of 'Chibitoke' international stadium; on top of that, it said during the official launch in Burundi recently that the bank's team will join President Pierre Nkurunziza at the stadium to participate in construction activities.
"We have spent a considerable capital investment to the tune of $10m as our initial investment to start operations there (Burundi)," the bank's Managing Director, Dr Charles Kimei told East African Business Week last week.
"We intend to grow our portfolio in the coming years based on the service uptake in line with our expansion strategy, Dr Kimei said, adding that CRDB is keen on providing excellent services to their customers.
He added that CRDB regards Burundi as a key player in the economic well being of this region and "we believe it portends great prosperity for its people, as evidenced by the resplendence in the businesses within the city of Bujumbura."
"Our role here (Burundi) as a corporate citizen will be to play a part in the building of a robust economy through providing financial services to both small and large scale business enterprises," Kimei added.
As we all know, he added, "the Burundi economy is hinged on Agriculture, which accounts higher on the Gross Domestic product (GDP) and if well harnessed, it could spearhead a sustained economic growth for many years to come."
He commended the Central Bank of Burundi and the Finance Ministry for providing a conducive environment for both foreign and local business. As a bank, he said, "we feel encouraged by the prevailing conditions and the ease of doing business in this country."
The CRDB subsidiary will offer a comprehensive range of corporate and retail banking services including forex, savings and business accounts, electronic banking services, loans facilities, withdrawals, guarantees and treasury and microfinance services to all business people in Bujumbura.
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunzinza lauded the move saying Burundi is at a critical time towards economic self sufficiency and banking institutions have an important role to play in as far as this growth is concerned.
"We need banks that will go to the people and address their needs for us to achieve the economic self-sufficiency that we desire," President Nkrunzinza said.
"Your customers here (Burundi) will benefit from your flexible corporate, SMEs and microfinance loans alongside mortgage facilities that you have tailored for this market," President Nkurunziza said.
CRDB Bank remains committed to advancing the best international practices in banking as it has consistently done in Tanzania.