Speaking in Nairobi last Friday, CRDB Bank Plc Managing Director, Dr Charles Kimei said several more major infrastructure and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) loan requests which have been pending, will also get honoured.
“We are happy to have received this loan at this time and we believe this will contribute to our economy’s growth. It is encouraging to note that CRDB Bank is increasingly being trusted by multinational institutions such as the AfDB,” Dr Kimei said in a statement.
He pointed out that the loan facility presents a unique opportunity for the country and its entrepreneurs cum industrialists who badly need long-term loans to grow their business.
“We have been receiving a huge number of loan applications but most of them have not been honoured due to scarcity of funds that can be availed for long term lending. But today, we are happy to announce that all requests will now be honoured since we have these funds,” the CRDB bank Plc Managing Director, stressed.
Speaking after the loan’s signing ceremony in Nairobi, AfDB Director General for Eastern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, Gabriel Negatu said poor infrastructure has been a major constraint for the region’s rapid growth.
Negatu said the facility is also intended for onward lending to SMEs and women who have in the past been excluded from formal financial services saying the loan is in line with AfDB’s Hi-5 Priorities and 10-Year Strategy of deepening the financial markets and promoting inclusive growth.
“The SME sector is also key to create more jobs and this project will support a wide range of SMEs across agriculture, construction, manufacturing, education and services in order to promote inclusive growth in the country,” Negatu said.
The loan is expected to spur regional trade and promote integration through expanding capacity of Tanzania’s ports and airports, which will also stimulate tourism in the region.
“Tanzania plays a key role in regional trade in terms of opening different countries to the world. This calls for faster development of its ports and airport to make East Africa more competitive in doing business,” noted Negatu.
CRDB Bank is Tanzania’s largest commercial bank with 260 branches in the country and a footprint in Burundi. It supports various sectors including power, manufacturing, agriculture and SMEs.
In 2008, AfDB provided a risk-sharing facility to CRDB Bank aimed at promoting SMEs in the agriculture sector, through which more than 270 SMEs have benefited. Since then, CRDB Bank has expanded its SME loan portfolio and has partnered with more than 2,125 agents or non-banking intermediaries to widen its reach.