The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral bank, has confirmed its first new engagement in Tanzania after seven years by signing the support to female-led companies and blue economy firms in the country with EUR 270 million.
EIB explain that an estimated 75% of women-owned businesses in Tanzania do not have access to the finance they need due to challenges including lack of collateral or limited awareness of available financial products
The new EIB-backed business financing initiative includes targeted investment that will unlock EUR 170 million of new investment in companies owned by women.
And the dedicated support to the blue economy of EUR 100 million represents the largest EIB support for targeted blue economy business financing anywhere in the world.
The financing engagement was signed in the presence of H.E. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, during the second and last day of the EU-Tanzania Business Forum that was held in Dar es Salaam on 24th February 2023.
The loan agreements were signed by Thomas Östros, EIB Vice President, and the representative of three of the largest banks in Tanzania, namely by Abdulmajid Nsekela, Group CEO and Managing Director of CRDB Bank, Aziz Chacha, NMB Bank’s Treasurer, and Cosmas Kimario Managing Director KCB Bank Tanzania
At the signing ceremony, Thomas Östros said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to return to Tanzania and confirm our largest-ever support for targeted investment by entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. The new business financing cooperation between the EIB, CRDB, NMB and KCB will unlock EUR 540 million of new investment by Tanzanian businesses, including female-led companies and blue economy firms. The new business financing confirmed today in Dar es Salaam demonstrates the close cooperation between Tanzania and European partners to ensure that Tanzanian companies can expand, create skilled jobs and explore new business opportunities in the years ahead.”
For his part, Abdulmajid Nsekela said: “The EUR 150 million EIB loan to CRDB will enhance access to finance by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across Tanzania, and includes dedicated financing for women-led businesses and blue economy enterprises. The EIB-backed credit line will support business growth, contribute to gender equality and empowerment of women and enable blue economy companies to invest in a better future. It was an honour to enable Vice President Östros and his colleagues to see first hand how CRDB’s business clients are creating jobs and developing skills.”
Aziz Chacha added that “The new EUR 100 million EIB backing for NMB will allow businesses across Tanzania to grow. The dedicated focus on supporting women-owned businesses and advancing investment in the blue economy will harness Tanzania’s full potential and overcome long-standing barriers to investment and job creation.”
Finally, Cosmas Kimario added that “KCB Tanzania and the EIB share the same commitment to ensuring that Tanzanian companies can access finance and invest in a better future. This new EUR 20 million cooperation comes at the right time for businesses here in Tanzania and will enable women-owned businesses to become more efficient while helping the country to attain an inclusive economy. Also, this fund will boost innovation in harvesting blue economy opportunities for a more sustainable future.”
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Ambassador Manfredo Fanti, Head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and the East African Community, who stressed that “The European Union is committed to accelerating private sector development in Africa. The new cooperation between EIB Global, CRDB, NMB and KCB confirmed at the EU-Tanzania Business Forum in Dar es Salaam today will enable Tanzanian companies to invest and create jobs, ensure that companies led by women can expand and allow blue economy firms to create jobs and explore new markets in the years ahead.”