CRDB Bank delegation assures Zanzibar Finance Minister to deliver on projects - MTAA KWA MTAA BLOG

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

CRDB Bank delegation assures Zanzibar Finance Minister to deliver on projects

 

Zanzibar - Tuesday, February 9, 2020 – As we are approaching 100 days of the 8 th phase of Zanzibar administration, CRDB Bank Plc has assured Zanzibar Government that it is ready and committed to bankroll the Isles strategic development projects as per the vision of President Dr Hussein Mwinyi.

Briefing Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Jamal Kassim Ali earlier today, CRDB Bank’s Chief Commercial Officer Dr. Joseph Witts said the bank has resources and expertise to help speed up implementation of the strategic projects which Hon. President Mwinyi mention in November, 2020 during a meeting between the two parties.

“One of the areas which the president mentioned is to invest and unleash potential in the blue economy and coastal farming activities which includes seaweed cultivation, areas which we have already agreed on how to develop them,” Dr. Witts said.

Dr. Witts hinted that within the 100 days CRDB Bank has developed asset financing solution to allow fishermen access loan for purchase of fishing equipments including modern boats. He said the product is in the final stage before rolling out in the market and that it will be offered at competitive interest for all customers to afford. Smallholder farmers have also been educated and encourage to leverage on opportunities offered through FahariKilimo to modernize the farming and boost production.

Following the success, that digitization of tourist visa fee collection system which the bank designed sometimes back, the two parties also discussed issues of how best can CRDB Bank deploy similar technology in other government agencies and institutions to improve efficiency in revenue collection.

“During the period the Bank synchronized it's payment system with five institutions; Ministry of Health, ZECO, ZAWA, ZSSF, ZIC and ZCTV and soon citizens will be able to pay their bills, fees and other payments through branches, CRDB Wakala, SimBanking and Internet banking,” Dr. Witts informed the Minister.

He said the Bank is also working with private tour operators to help with coming up with a digital payment solution for the services rendered to tourists as the group seeks to digitize its revenue collection system to align with regulators. So far, more than 50 tour operators in the isle subscribed to the system. Moreover, the Bank injected more than USD 1 Million in the tourism and hospitality to boost sector.

Dr. Witts also mentioned about the Bank’s ongoing engagements in the isle’s strategic projects implemented by the President Mwinyi’s Government. The Bank is also geared towards providing financial support to local contractors and companies to enable them participate well in ongoing projects including construction of Mangapwani port, expansion of Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, construction of factories, health facilities, energy production, and modern markets.

During the meeting Hon. Ali hailed CRDB Bank for commitment to work with Zanzibar’s government saying the blue economy and coastal agriculture have huge potential which remains unexploited.

“Let us fast track issuing loans to smallholder farmer and artisanal fishermen so that we can realize maximum benefits from these resources to help boost government revenue,” Minister Ali noted.

He also requested CRDB Bank to help Zanzibar access Green Climate Fund resources to finance conservation and mitigation measures against degradation cause by human activities which contributes global warming hence threatening the Isles’ future.

Minister Ali further pointed out that Zanzibar which is heavily dependent of tourism needs GCF funds to finance eco-friendly tourism projects that will ensure that the main foreign currency sector is sustainable.

“Going forward, we need to focus our development on environmental conservation for sustainability which is why I think CRDB Bank should help us with both technical and financial expertise because of its GCF affiliation,” he emphasized.

In November 2019, CRDB was named the first bank in East and Central Africa to be accredited by South Korean based GCF. The UN’s GCF accredited entities carryout a range of activities that usually include the development of funding proposals and the management and monitoring of projects and programmes relating to environmentally friendly projects. CRDB Bank becomes the financial intermediary for the implementation of green financing in the country.

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