NMB Bank Plc, has announced its commitment to provide robust and comprehensive financing solutions to Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to grab opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The revelation was made by the NMB Bank Head of Transaction Banking Linda Teggisa during a panel discussion under the theme ‘Addressing the gender gap in trade financing’ held in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the sidelines of the AfCFTA Conference on Women in Trade.
Speaking during the event, Teggisa said the financing by the bank will be in the form of working capital loans and asset finance loans, with the aim of positioning the businesses for growth and success in the evolving African business landscape.
She said her bank riding on its strong performance and balance sheet will provide financing to eligible MSMEs as part of its commitment to facilitate intra-trade on the African continent.
“We have delivered very strong financials this year that has elevated us to be the third most profitable bank in East Africa this year and the number one bank with regard to market capitalization. Our services are geared towards a cross section of client segments both retail and wholesale,” Teggisa said.
Commenting on the topic ‘Women In Trade’, Teggisa said most women in Africa are trading within the MSMEs who have to build and establish the foundation of their businesses.
“As a result, they require partners like NMB Bank to essentially support them through the journey. As a bank, we have focused on a women’s proposition dubbed ‘Jasiri’ as part of our efforts to ensure sustainability of women-owned businesses,” she added.
Teggisa noted that has also leveraged on technology to deliver digital payment solutions to its customers across the country as part of its ambitious strategy to accelerate financial inclusion.
“We have a digital solution which is accessible through our mobile app and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). We also have a micro lending solution called ‘Mshiko Fasta’ that provided instant loans of up to 500,000/- . Further up the scale, we provide solutions for supply chain financing for SMEs,” she stressed.
“These can come in the shape of discounting of invoices, LPO financing and short-term loans to distributors so that they can essentially scale-up their sales and this is usually paid to the anchors they deal with,” she added.
Teggisa during the event urged women to collaborate and form partnerships that will give them upper hand in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) adding that women entrepreneurs can move up the value chain to higher-value sectors.
“This will help to pass on the risk factor,” she added.
The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area bringing together the 55 countries of the African Union (AU) and eight (8) Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
The overall mandate of the AfCFTA is to create a single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately $ 3.4 trillion.
The AfCFTA entered into force on May 30, 2019, after 24 Member States deposited their Instruments of Ratification following a series of continuous continental engagements spanning since 2012.