Nsekela: Why CRDB will do well in DRC

Tuesday May 24 2022
Nsekela pic

CRDB Bank’s CEO Abdulmajid Nseleka

By The Citizen Reporter

Arusha. CRDB Bank Plc has assured its shareholders that its entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market will yield good returns, banking the bullish picture on its history and the good reputation of its partners.

Chief executive officer Abdulmajid Nsekela told the bank’s 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) last weekend that the lender was armed with $30 million (about Sh70 billion) in capital and had the support of by Norway’s Norfund Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) as partners.

“These two partners have the same thinking as that of CRDB Bank Plc especially in areas of innovation, climate change strategies and gender equality….They will also bring in their expertise on cross-border business and capacity building,” he said.

Each of the two investors has 22.5 percent stake in CRDB Bank’s DRC subsidiary.

CRDB Bank Plc has a 55 percent stake, Mr Nsekela informed shareholders.

“Ours is basically a greenfield investment type of entry…We have partners who are keen on supporting our growth ambition in line with our core purpose of transforming lives,” he said.

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According to the CRDB Bank Plc director of corporate affairs and public relations, Ms Tully Esther Mwambapa, the bank would finally open its first branch at Lubumbashi in Katanga Province of the DRC in October this year.

This comes after almost ten years since the lender expanded outside Tanzania by opening a subsidiary in Burundi in 2012.

The CRDB Bank Plc chief finance officer, Mr Frederick Nshekanabo told the AGM that the Burundi subsidiary has been performing well during the past years, recording a net profit of Sh12.8 billion in 2021.

According to the bank’s board chairman, Dr Ally Laay, the board of directors and management team for the DRC subsidiary has already been appointed, naming Ms Jessica Nyachiro, who used to work as head of strategy and investor relations at the CRDB Bank Plc headquarters, as managing director for Congo operations. He said CRDB Bank Plc has an ambitious regional expansion strategy across East and Central Africa.

“The success of our Burundi subsidiary especially in bolstering bilateral trade continues to influence our immediate frontiers in terms of expansion,” Dr Laay said.

Currently, there were a total of 16 commercial banks in the DRC and that CRDB Bank will be the 17th player in the market.