Dr Shein invites CRDB to invest in Isles agriculture, infrastructure,

14Feb 2020
The Guardian
Dr Shein invites CRDB to invest in Isles agriculture, infrastructure,

ZANZIBAR has plenty of room to accommodate massive investments in commercial faming and industrialization, President Ali Mohamed Shein said when he welcomed a delegation of CRDB Bank Plc to the Spice Islands this week. 

CRDB Bank Plc’s new head offices in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Shein said investments in agriculture and manufacturing has the potential to turn around Zanzibar into a vibrant middle income and semi industrialised economy capable of serving East Africa and the entire region.

"Commercial bank’s like CRDB are our trusted partners in achieving the Zanzibar Development Vision 2020 Agenda because 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," President Shein said.

He said CRDB and other banks have capacity and financial muscles to assist his government, the private sector and individuals unleash the Spice Islands potential as a tourism hub with well established infrastructure and a financially included public.

Dr Shein further noted that CRDB and other financial institutions have an obligation to ensure that the majority of rural folks are incorporated into mainstream banking services if industrialization and middle income status are to be achieved.

He said the Isles government will continue establishing a conducive business environment that will allow the private sector including financial institutions to grow their footprint and reach more people in Zanzibar.

“As a government, we will continue to put in place various measures for financial institutions and the private sector thrive. My call is for banks to be more innovative to meet market demands because there is a big room for growth, especially in financing agriculture, fishing, tourism, industries, manufacturing and trade,” he noted.

Briefing Dr Shein on products and services that CRDB can provide, Managing Director Abdulmajid Nsekela expressed commitment to continue working closely with the government of Zanzibar in supporting economic growth and general development of the country.

“We are committed to deepen financial inclusion and broaden access to the people of Zanzibar. Our footprint of branches, CRDB wakalas, ATMs and merchant points of sale have pushed our servicer even closer to the public,” Nsekela said.

He pointed out that CRDB is also capable of providing funding to government infrastructure projects and also private sector investments in industries through a number of friendly products and services.

“We are keen on increasing our financing provision in areas of tourism, agriculture, transportation, light industries and SMEs. By the end of 2019, we had disbursed loans to more than 400 customers in Zanzibar and Pemba valued at over 30bn/-“ the CRDB chief added.

Out of the 30bn/-, 3.7bn/- were consumer loans, 6.7bn/- SME loans and 26.3bn/- corporate loans. “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 through Vision 2020, which is now in its final stages," Nsekela noted. The Dar es Salaam lender’s delegation was led by Board Chairman, Ally Laay.