President Edgar Lungu has said that his government will continue to support initiatives aimed at contributing to the development of the rural areas.
The President was speaking when he officially opened ABSA bank Petauke branch in Eastern Province.
He also says in the last 3 years , ABSA plc has been a regular partner in the farmer input support programme (FISP) ,impacting over 200,000 small holder farmers and 50 agro dealers with total transactions channeled through the bank amounting to K130 million .
President Lungu notes that the launch of a ‘New brick and mortar’ branch in Petauke, is indeed an affirmation that the bank is here to stay and the bank’s commitment to its continued operations in Zambia.
“This development is a demonstration of what my government stands for – not leaving anyone behind. There is, therefore, urgent need for us to ensure that our motto – not leaving anyone behind – is actualized. Development needs to be equally spread throughout the country,’’ He said.
Mr Lungu further said the bank has made great strides in living up to being a worthy and reliable partner in our country’s development agenda through the provision of financial support in key sectors of the economy such as mining, energy, agriculture and the public sector.
“I’m informed that the bank has arranged financing in the country of over $7 billion in the last 10 years and this has facilitated expansion of operations leading to among other things, increased export earnings and employment for our people,” President Lungu Stated .
The Head of State further said in the energy sector, the bank has facilitated investment to increase power supply to reduce the power deficit.
President Lungu explained that the vision for financial inclusion in Zambia is to have universal access to the usage of a broad range of quality and affordable financial products and services.
“In achieving this vision, it is expected that all Zambians will reap the full benefits of financial inclusion: that is, individuals will be able to use appropriate savings, credit, payment, insurance, and investment services to manage risks, plan for the future, and achieve their goals,” Mr Lungu said.
He stressed that firms will be able to access affordable financing to facilitate innovation and growth to create employment.
President Lugu said significant disparities in financial inclusion still remain in rural and urban areas, men and women, youth and adults, and small and medium enterprises (SMES).
President Lungu stated that Zambia has faced serious economic headwinds in recent times exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
“This has caused serious financial challenges on the majority of the population,” resident Lungu lamented.
The President however, said Zambians should draw inspiration from ABSA’s newly coined phrase of ‘Africanacity’, the distinct African way to always find a way to get things done despite all odds.
ABSA Zambia plc, previously known as Barclays bank has stayed the course in Zambia for over 102 years.