Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), one of the privately-owned banks in Kenya, has officially kicked off its banking activities in Rwanda after it successfully acquired Crane Bank Rwanda Ltd, now re-launched as CBA Rwanda Limited.
The expansion aims at boldening the CBA’s presence in the continent, which is now in five countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Kenya where the bank has its headquarters.
“Rwanda stands out amongst its peers in East Africa for its impressive economic growth and sustenance from 2000 to 2017, with a GDP growth rate averaging 7.2 percent annually. The country is today considered a “digitally-ready” country, as the Rwandan consumer is quite tech-savvy, and the regulatory environment is conducive for investment and amongst the most progressive in Africa,” said Desterio Oyatsi, CBA Group Chairman, during the CBA Rwanda launch.
“We have taken a long-term positive view in our decision to invest in Rwanda. The strategy was to leverage technology to drive financial inclusion by banking the unbanked and financially empowering people and businesses in the real economy. We aim to reach as many people as possible thereby boosting financial inclusion in each country where we do business,” he added.
The journey to the country’s financial market began in February 2017, when the bank partnered with MTN Rwanda to launch “MoKash,” a pioneering mobile banking and credit product like M-Shwari in Kenya. Currently, the product has 700,000 customers, in Rwanda, which has a population of 12 million people.
The projection by CBA is that the investment will grow while supporting the country’s economic growth, while at the same time providing customers with innovative and differentiated services.
CBA’s investment in Rwanda aligns itself with its ongoing 5-year strategic vision aimed at being a reputable and a significant financial service business partner in Africa.
According to Mr. Oyatsi, CBA is positioning itself to be the intermediator and facilitator of regional business growth by supporting business venturing across borders in the coming years.
CBA is supported by a Group Balance sheet of 2.5 billion dollars as at December 2017. It also boasts more than 33 million customers across the five countries it operates in, owing to the banks corporate, personal and ground-breaking mobile-based savings & credit propositions in the respective countries.
In Rwanda, CBA bank will initially operate three branches, the head office will be located at Kigali Heights, and 2 other branches located at Labonne Address and Downtown Kigali respectively.