Tanzania Banking Supported by AccessBank Growth

AccessBank Tanzania Limited opened its third branch in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, thus not only continuing to expand its own operations in the country, but also helping to support, strengthen and further develop the Tanzania banking sector as a whole in the midst of the growing global financial crisis.

By avoiding recruiting new staff from existing banks and relying, instead, on the recruitment of qualified graduates from local Universities and Colleges of Further Education, AccessBank has helped to create over 150 new jobs for the banking sector in Tanzania.

“We are real proud because there are others who are struggling to cut down staff due to the global financial crisis [and] AccessBank is still going strong,” said the bank’s CEO, David James, at the opening of the bank’s newest location in Dar es Salaam along Lumumba Street.

AccessBank Tanzania was established in August 2007 as a commercial bank, however, it currently specializes in microfinance and, as such, provides specially tailored products and services that have been designed to meet the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

According to Mr. James, since the bank first began its operations in Tanzania, the company has successfully opened over 10,000 new client accounts and distributed over 3,000 loans of varying amounts to MSMEs in the country, thus supplying area businesses with over Tsh 5 billion in funds to support their individual expansion projects.

Current investors in the bank include AccessHolding of Germany, which has a proven record of establishing and managing microfinance banks in many different countries, as well as other international financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the German Development Bank (KfW), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Belgian Investment Development Bank (BIO).

Since the establishment of AccessBank Tanzania, its shareholders have been supportive of the bank’s strategy to develop a solid central base which includes extensive coverage in Dar es Salaam before it embarks on existing plans to expand its banking operations to other regions in the country.

Now, with a fourth branch of the bank having recently opened in Manzese, AccessBank is on its way toward developing a significant standing in the inner-city and in the surrounding suburban areas of Dar es Salaam and expects to continue with this ambitious growth program over the next few months and years.

“So far there are three branches all based in Dar es Salaam, our plan is to extend services to some other regions,” said Mr. James, at the opening ceremony for the Lumumba branch.

The goal of the Tanzania-Access Group in opening additional branches in Dar es Salaam and the surrounding regions is to bring financial assistance closer to the people who are currently without access to these services, including those living in the surrounding rural areas.