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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) through its private sector window has approved a USD 120-million line of credit (LOC) to CRDB Bank Plc (“CRDB”) in Tanzania.
CRDB, the largest commercial bank in Tanzania, was established in 1969 and listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in 2002. CRDB has a wide geographical coverage of the Tanzanian market where it operates over 120 branches across the country and an additional 3 branches in Burundi. It supports various sectors such as power, manufacturing, agriculture and SMEs over the past years. In 2008, the AfDB provided a risk-sharing facility to promote SMEs in the agriculture sector, through which more than 270 SMEs have benefited.
Since 2008, CRDB has expanded its SME loan portfolio and has partnered with more than 2,125 agents or non-banking intermediaries to widen its reach. The agency banking has enabled CRDB to provide services in far-flung areas where establishing branches may be uneconomical hence efficiently allowing the financially excluded to access banking services.
The LOC will help finance infrastructure and SME projects in Tanzania. It will support infrastructure development which is a major constraint for Tanzania’s economic growth. By leveraging CRDB’s branch network and agents, it will also scale up lending to SMEs and women enterprises in both urban and rural areas to create more jobs and to promote inclusive growth for Tanzania’s economy. The LOC will spur regional trade and promote regional integration through expanding capacity of the country’s port and airport, which will also stimulate tourism and government revenues.