Former Zambian Republican President Rupiah Banda has called for more Development Financing Institutions (DFI’s) to be established on the African continent in order to boost the industry and infrastructure.
Mr Banda noted that the projects funded by the bank do not only impact on national economies but also help improve household incomes, thereby addressing challenges such as poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and sanitation among others.
ZANIS reports that Mr Banda was speaking at the launch and rebranding of the Trade Development Bank (TDB) (formerly and commonly known as Preferential Trade Area PTA) in Ethiopia Addis Ababa in his capacity as an advisor on the panel.
This is according to a speech obtained by Press and Tourism Secretary at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia Naomi Nyawali.
The launch was also attended by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya and TDB president and CEO Admassu Tadesse at the Sheraton Hotel.
Mr. Banda praised TDB for the critical role it was playing to ensuring that Africa’s potential is unlocked but urged the bank to do more to close the huge financial gap that exists in the region.
“Certainly if anyone had any doubts about the Trade and Development Bank before, there is no need for further assurance that indeed the bank is playing a critical role in helping to unlock the potential of our region,” he said.
He further hailed the TDB president and his team for growing the bank from US$ one billion a few years ago to a US$ four billion tripling its balance sheet in five years.
The former President said the continent was living in an era where its financial institutions have grown and had been modernised to fulfill their mandates.
“I am therefore proud today to be associated with Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and I believe that our collective presence here is an indication of our support on this ambitious journey that TDB has embarked on today,” he said.
He noted that Africa’s population has grown from 550 million to 1.27 billion people with about half living in eastern and southern Africa since the bank founded.
Trade and Development Bank commonly known as PTA Bank is an African regional development financial institution established in 1985.
The Bank is an institution of the COMESA, and membership is open to Non-COMESA States, non-regional countries and institutional shareholders.