DAR ES SALAAM: CRDB Bank Plc has channelled some 3.4tri/- to SMEs in the last three years, a move aligned with World Bank this year’s theme that focuses on sustainably eradicating poverty.
The lender, one of the leading banks in the country, is attending the WB annual gathering in Marrakech, Morocco, also said the Bretton Wood Institution’s motto centred on navigating global challenges through innovative solutions, closely aligning with their core principles.
CRDB Group CEO and Managing Director Abdulmajid Nsekela said through a release on Wednesday that the fund was channelled to over 50,000 SMEs as the bank recognise the sector’s pivotal role in the nation’s economic landscape.
“To truly boost the economy and eradicate poverty, one must invest in the spine of our nation – SMEs,” he said noting that “SMEs stand as the lifeblood, driving growth, generating employment, and fostering resilience.”
The sector comprises an impressive 3.2 million businesses, contributes a substantial 27 per cent to the national GDP, and supports the livelihoods of over five million people.
Additionally, through the overarching theme of this year’s WB gathering, CRDB as a prominent participant actively contributed to discussions aimed at strengthening job creation, fortifying digital infrastructure, and addressing climate action in developing nations.
Mr Nsekela, in discussions regarding the pivotal role of the financial sector in poverty eradication and tackling global challenges, emphasised the bank’s strategic dedication to empowering SMEs in the country.
Mr Nsekela led the bank’s delegation in seeking business partnerships and collaborations with global financial institutions during sideline meetings with the sole objective of driving financial inclusion and boosting its capital to invest in the strategic sectors of the economy.
The governor of the Bank of Tanzania Emmanuel Tutuba, commended CRDB for its proactive approach in forging strategic alliances, recognising its pivotal role in the country’s development agenda through public-private partnerships.
In tandem with its substantial commitment, CRDB has also fostered strategic partnerships with international organisations such as Proparco, USAID, DFC, and IFC, raising over 500bn/- to support SME sector in the country and other foreign markets where it operates—Burundi and DRC.
Mr Nsekela also highlighted the contribution of the newly established CRDB Bank Foundation in empowering the youth and women of Tanzania through its programme dubbed IMBEJU. The Bank set aside 5.0bn/- as the initial funds for the programme to reach more than 100,000 youth and women by December.
Additionally, on climate action, CRDB’s pioneering efforts in green projects financing and collaboration with the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) to launch a 200 million US dollars Tanzania Agriculture Climate Adaptation Technology Deployment Programme (TACATDP) during the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) meeting in Dar es Salaam.
The bank also issued the first-ever green bond in the country and the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa “Kijani Bond” for sustainability projects.