ZANZIBAR President, Dr Ally Mohamed Shein, has urged banks to push the financial inclusion agenda by bringing more people to formal financial sector, as CRDB dished out 30bn/-for businesses last year.
The advice came at a time when the bank services penetrations in the country is still low at around 20 per cent.
President Shein revealed the same while speaking to CRDB Bank delegation led by the lender's Board chairman Dr Ally Laay, CEO Abdulmajid Nsekela, and other officials who visited his office in Zanzibar on Thursday.
"Commercial Bank's like CRDB are our trusted partners in achieving the Zanzibar development vision 2020 agenda. "Apart from providing a financial cushion necessary for empowering individuals and businesses, they also play a key role in financing government infrastructural projects that are crucial in fostering business transactions," said President Shein.
President Shein also assured of the governments' support in establishing a conducive business environment that will consent financial institutions to grow their footprints and reach more people, specifically in the rural areas.
"As a government, we will continue to put in place various measures for financial institutions to thrive. My call is for the banks to be more innovative to meet the market demands. There is a big room for growth, especially in financing agriculture, fishing, tourism, industries, manufacturing, and trade," he said.
On his part, CRDB Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela said apart from planning to continue working closely with Zanzibar in pushing the economic development agenda, last year they have dished out over 30bn/-to businesses.
"We had advanced loans to 455 customers in Unguja and Pemba to corporate organization and as well as to SMEs," Mr Nsekela said.
The bank said out of the loan, 3.7bn/-were consumer, 6.7bn/- SME, and 26.3bn/- for corporate.
"We believe that through these initiatives, we will be able to improve both public and private sector financing and significantly contribute towards the achievement of Zanzibar economic blueprint vision 2020, which is now in its final stages," he said.
The largest lender said it was committed to deepen financial inclusion and broaden access to the people of Zanzibar.
"We are keen on increasing our financing appetite in areas tourism, agriculture, transportation, light industries, and SME sectors," Mr Nsekela said.