The Tanzanian government has reiterated support to banks in provision of broad based financial services to under-served populations in rural areas.
Speaking at a dinner gala hosted by Letshego Bank in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening, the country’s Minister for Home Affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba said the government valued efforts to broaden financial inclusion in the country as they complement government development agenda to the people.
“It pleases me greatly to see Letshego being committed to offering broad based financial services and helping rural and unbanked customers outside the district capitals in Tanzania. I encourage other organisations, even beyond the financial services sector, to do the same,” he said.
He expressed the government’s pleasure at noticing how Letshego also shares its core principle by coming up with financial solutions that aims at stimulating a number of sectors that includes agriculture, health, housing, education, micro-and-small-enterprises and social investment.
The Letshego Holdings Limited Group Managing Director, Mr Chris Low, said the financial institution (which Letshego Bank (T) Limited is its subsidiary) has a vision to be Africa’s leading inclusive finance group.
“We have developed a strong business platform that will enable us to deliver on this intent. Success will come through our people and teamwork, it will require continued growth, embracing diversity and a commitment to improving lives,” said Mr Chris.
He said Letshego’s footprint in Tanzania can be traced through Faidika, here they are represented in all regions of the country, and its 110 outlets cover a presence in at least 95 per cent of all districts.
“In 2015, and with the support and approval of the Central Bank of Tanzania we concluded the acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Advans Bank Tanzania, a commercial Bank with five (5) branches, focused on micro, small and medium enterprises.
“With our existing business, Faidika and now the bank, we already serve over 70,000 customers and we have ambitions to take a central role in furthering the financial inclusion agenda that the Government of Tanzania fosters,” the MD said.
Mr Chris said Letshego family represents 20 nationalities across its ten countries, mentioning that, “We have subsidiaries in Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Uganda as well as Faidika and Letshego Bank here in Tanzania.”
“For our customers we have continued to diversify our solutions and accessibility, further we are providing for our customers’ financial needs including through development of strategic partnerships.
“We now can offer savings, borrowings, payments and insurance at a micro level across a number of our operations.
“Specifically in Tanzania, we are pleased to mention that our Education Loan, ‘Mtaji Elimu,’ has had a warm response from schools in its pilot phase – this provides schools with a loan facility that matches repayments to the school fees cycle and we have already seen over 20 schools take it up with almost 2bn/- being disbursed in less than six months – this must be a sure sign that further diversification in the Tanzanian market will be welcomed by customers seeking appropriate productive financing,” Mr Chris said.
Letshego Holding Board member Mr Hannington Karuhanga said their institution looks forward to the next ten years of growth, diversity and improving life, working with the Tanzania government and their partners.
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