Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday night inaugurated the new headquarters of the bank ABSA-Mozambique in the Rani Towers, a hotel complex in downtown Maputo.
ABSA is the rebranded Barclays-Mozambique, and is part of the South Africa ABSA group. It formally changed its name at the same time as the inauguration ceremony.
Nyusi challenged the bank to offer special financial packages to the agricultural sector. "In this challenge, I guarantee you will have the support of our government, since agriculture is one of the four areas we have chosen as catalysts for our development, along with tourism, energy and infrastructures", he said.
He was aware that in some quarters agriculture is regarded as a high risk activity, but he believed such an attitude is "thinking small, because the world lives from agriculture".
"With investment that can transform our agriculture from subsistence farming to mechanised agriculture, it is possible to minimise the risks", he argued.
The President urged ABSA to step up financial inclusion, focused on the modernisation of its services. "The success of financial inclusion has the potential for rapid formalisation of the national economy", he declared.
He expected that by 2022 about 60 per cent of young Mozambicans will have a bank account. "We would like to move faster towards achieving our target", said Nyusi.
He stressed that, under the government's initiative of "one district, one bank", launched in 2016, the number of districts that have at least one bank has risen from 55 per cent of the total in 2015 to 85 per cent in June 2019.
The chairperson of ABSA-Mozambique, former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, said the bank proposes to bring innovative services to the Mozambican financial market. "In adopting the name ABSA, we shall preserve our African leadership", she said, "and promote relevant initiatives that seek to unblock still further the potential of Mozambique and support its accelerated growth".
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