Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya says Small and Medium Entrepreneurs are engines of growth, especially in emerging and developing economies.
Dr Kalyalya says the Central Bank is happy that banks such as Eco bank Zambia are supporting the growth of SMEs through provision of credit.
The Central Bank Governor was speaking in Lusaka Thursday evening when he officiated at celebrations to mark Eco Bank Zambia’s 10th anniversary at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel.
Dr Kalyalya has since urged Eco Bank Zambia to continue supporting the SME sector as it has the potential to generate the much needed employment and is a good driver for non-traditional exports.
He said over the last ten years, Eco Bank Zambia has expanded its branch network to 7 and is represented in two provinces.
Dr Kalyalya says the Bank of Zambia expects Eco Bank to continue growing and more than double the number of branches as well as spread its presence to other parts of the country.
“We are aware of the banks’ global vision, which is anchored on achieving financial inclusion for pan Africa as a whole and your goal to reach 100 million customers in Zambia and across Africa.At the core of this vision, is the importance of understanding and satisfying customer needs. In this context we appreciate and commend Eco Bank for rolling out 7,000 Xpress points through its partnership with Kazang here in Zambia,” he said.
Dr Kalyalya said these Xpress points have brought financial services closer to the people in line with Bank of Zambia and Government Financial inclusion agenda.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the advent of technology and its progression has made it possible to provide financial services to remotest places and in a more efficient way. Eco bank’s introduction of digital platforms in order to serve its customers more efficiently and to reach out to the unbanked through products such as Ecobank Pay and Ecobank Omni is another commendable effort,” Dr Kalyalya said.
And Ecobank Zambia Managing Director Kola Adeleke said Ecobank Zambia’s main objective is assisting in the economic development of Zambia and fostering financial integration in Africa.
“We aim to be the bank of choice in Zambia for consumers, businesses, corporates and the government. Indeed, today, we are one of the fastest growing banks in Zambia. As you know, Ecobank is the globally acclaimed Pan -African brand with banking operations in 33 countries in Africa and presence in China, United Arab Emirate, United Kingdom, Ethiopia and South Africa,” Mr Adeleke said.
“We also have a banking license in France. Being a member of the biggest Pan-African group in Africa, Ecobank Zambia utilizes the Group synergies to harness economic development through various trade instruments and digital solutions. We are thankful for the patronage of our various customers and affirm our commitment to continue to support critical sectors of the economy. We will also continue to leverage on the power of our digital platforms to deliver services to our customers and government in a convenient, accessible and reliable manner.”
Mr Adeleke said the Bank’s strategy is to be the Digital Bank of choice for all Zambians which is in line with Bank of Zambia’s objective of creating a cashless economy.
“To ensure that we serve you better, recently successfully Application, FlexcubeWith the , our processes and services are more robust aimed at ensuring that we meet varied customer needs efficiently. Indeed, we will continue to ensure that best in class banking experience.”
He said, “Our recent partnership with Kazang means that our customers can transact from 200 Kazang locations. From the end of this month, the number of transacting Kazang Agents where our customers can carry out some banking transactions will increase to 7,000 Xpress Points.”
Meanwhile, Ecobank Zambia Board Chairman Chileshe Kapwepwe In her closing remarks said thanked Customers, the Zambian Government, the Bank of Zambia and the staff for their continued support over the years.
She added, “Ecobank Zambia is a bank of the people, for the people, and this comes with corporate and social responsibilities that we take very seriously. As we focus on transforming the Zambian banking landscape, and servicing our customers with convenient, reliable, accessible and affordable financial products, we also care deeply about our local communities.”
She also announced that the bank will construct a shelter for care givers at the Cancer Diseases Hospital at the cost of K220,000 to mark the 2019 Ecobank Day.
“The objective is to raise awareness and help prevent Non-Communicable diseases which so tragically kill tens of thousands of Zambians every year,” Mrs Kapwepwe said.