The Business Year

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Kihara Maina

Managing Director, Barclays Bank Tanzania Limited

Barclays has been connected with Tanzania since 1925. The country offered us the opportunity to expand into a market with relatively low penetration and to connect many of our international clients to it. Initially, we focused on corporate banking, which was starting to open up, but we also began our retail bank offering on a more limited scale. Our approach has been to examine the corporate value chain in its entirety and expand our banking services through tapping into existing customers’ extensive networks, allowing a more seamless connection between all aspects of business. We have seen progress in opening up the markets over the past 20 years or so and I believe this is commendable, particularly given the country’s history of nationalization. We are also encouraged by the constructive dialogue taking place between the banking sector and government, and are committed to working together to bring in reform aimed at boosting investment.

Paul Omara

CEO, Stanbic Bank Tanzania

Stanbic is now among the leading banks in Tanzania. Our strategy is clear: to be dominant in corporate and investment banking, our leading business unit. We are also looking at key corporate business, and over five years have gained a broad market share. In the personal market, we have tended to look broadly at some HNW individuals and key strategic decision makers, either in corporate entities, governments, or embassies. Ultimately, we want to be the leading bank in the commercial banking sector—among those of $20 million annual turnover—so we are focusing on a very succinct target: the major corporations, IGOs, the commercial banking sector, and HNW individuals. The key challenge in Tanzania is inclusion. Tanzania has about 44 million people, and our estimate is that only 4 million are banked. Half of those 44 million are under 15 years old. If you don’t include that half, you still have a comfortable 10-15 million people to bank.

Joseph Carasso Jr.

Managing Director, Joseph Carasso Jr.

We acted as the central bank in Liberia in the early 20th century, and opened our first African branch in Egypt in the 1950s. We now have 15 points of presence, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, as well as other large markets like South Africa and Nigeria. Tanzania rapidly became the location for one of the most important franchises in Africa. Few countries boast the kind of consistent economic growth that Tanzania has—an average of 7% annually. Citibank offers the full palette of services to corporate clients. Market-related products include foreign exchange transactions, swaps, and investment products. Where the client sees the difference is that Citibank has always leveraged its institutional banking arm and global platforms. The advantage of not being limited to local offerings is that we enjoy a much bigger budget for developing these products. Our success is a mix of our product offerings and our being able to put together a syndicate of banks and multilateral and bilateral agencies like export credit agencies, along with clients and sponsors.

Enoch Osei-Safo

Managing Director, Ecobank

Although Africa is our strategy, we prioritize the countries we enter based upon perceived opportunities, business outlook, strategic synergies with the Group’s existing network, and the ease of doing business. Tanzania is a perfect choice thanks to its sustained political stability, 48 million plus population, low banking penetration, fertile agriculture, natural resources (gas, gold, etc.) and deep-water port, affording strategic access to eight land-locked countries in the EAC and southern parts of Africa. Today, the Tanzanian government is keen to expand credit access to SMEs. The central bank has licensed Credit Reference Bureaus to deter willful defaulters, while reducing the aversion of banks to lend. Meanwhile, Tanzania has about 52 banks, yet only 15% of the population is banked. Ecobank Tanzania is a champion of “Financial Inclusion”, and consequently, mobile money is critical to our strategy as a more cost effective way of serving Tanzanians in remote locations without brick and mortar branches. This plays well to our strengths as we leverage our experience of doing this successfully in other African countries.



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