CRDB Bank is at the forefront of educating and increasing financial service awareness in Burundi, a move that received an accolade from Bujumbura’s head of state, Evariste Ndayishimiye.
The lender, operating a subsidiary in Bujumbura with four branches, is celebrating a weeklong of its 10 anniversary in Burundi. CRDB Burundi holds the third position out of 13 banks market.
The CRDB Group delegation led by its chairman over the weekend met with Burundi’s President Ndayishimiye who congratulated the CRDB Burundi for its excellence services registered in the last 10 years in Bujumbura while extending open arms saying: “We are proud of the lender’s presence in our country.”
“We are thankful for your efforts to provide financial education to the Burundians that enables them to understand a better way of money management and investment….” Mr President said while throwing a fresh challenge on how the bank could cooperate with the government to empower youths and women.
Tanzania and Burundi have a long history of cooperation in all fronts despite having colonial borders.
In the last 25 years, Tanzania to Burundi exports has increased at an annual rate of 10.1per cent, from 6.35million US dollars in 1995 to 69.7million US dollars in 2020. In 2020, Bujumbura exported 8.55million US dollars to Dar es Salaam, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC world) data.
“We are grateful that Tanzania participated to a great extent in finding peace in Burundi and now for economic cooperation for the benefit of our East African Community,” said President Ndayishimiye, who is the chair of EAC.
CRDB Group CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela, thanked Bujumbura for cooperating with CRDB Burundi warranting the subsidiary to register success in just 10 years.
“I commend you [Mr President] for your commitment to make the private sectors in Tanzania and Burundi cooperate,” Mr Nsekela told President Ndayishimiye adding: “I promise you that CRDB Group will continue to support Burundi’s effort to develop its economy for benefit of Bujumbura, Dar es Salaam and EAC in totality.”
The CEO said they are now focused further on using digital technology to include more Burundians in the official financial system. To start with, the bank has over 600 bank agents in Burundi and plans to increase their number.
CRDB recently entered into agreements with several international financiers—such as IFC, PROPARCO and INTESA—and received 5.0million US Dollars to be channelled to small and medium businesses in Burundi.
CRDB Group Chair, Dr Ally Laay, conveyed the bank’s gratitude to President Ndayishimiye and his government for cooperation which contributed significantly to the success of the bank in Burundi market.
“It was a hard decision to open our business in Burundi since it was the first time we go beyond our borders…but looking back we realised we made the right decision.
Also, CRDB is set to enter the DR Congo market soon to intensify its presence in the great lakes region.