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IFC AND CRDB BANK COMMIT TO SUPPORT SME AND AGRIBUSINESS SECTORS IN TANZANIA

Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group, speaks during a landmark $75 million loan agreement signing ceremony with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aimed at providing support to small businesses, particularly those owned by women, as well as to farmers and agribusiness in Tanzania held at the IFC headquarters in Washington DC on Friday April 11, 2014 in the sidelines of  the World Bank-IMF Spring Meeting.

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Friday April 11, 2014 signed a landmark $75 million loan agreement with the CRDB Bank that will help provide much needed support to small businesses, particularly those owned by women, as well as to farmers and agribusiness in Tanzania.

In Tanzania, there is a significant financing gap for SMEs, and women-owned businesses are particularly disadvantaged with only 15% reporting having access to a bank loan.

Access to finance is critical to helping them to grow their businesses and contribute to economic development. IFC and CRDB Bank will partner to focus on undeserved SME and retail market segments, as well as agribusiness producers and exporters.

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “IFC is committed to partner with CRDB Bank to reach out to undeserved communities in Tanzania. This is the beginning of IFC’s collaboration with CRDB Bank and we hope to work more closely to support economic development and promote job creation in the country.”

“Working with IFC, we intend to strengthen our reach to SMEs and further promote agri commodity export. As a market leader in Tanzania, we have a mandate to support these market segments and are grateful to launch the collaboration with IFC,” said Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group.

The investment will promote financing for women-owned businesses, as well for farmers, capitalizing on CRDB Bank’s position as a leader in financial inclusion in Tanzania.

IFC also plans to provide advisory services in the field of trade and warehouse financing to strengthen CRDB’s operations.

The signing ceremony took place in Washington DC during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meeting and was observed by the Finance Minister Hon. Saada Mkuya Salum, and other top officials from Tanzania's finance sector.

The comprehensive investment package consists of a $40 million loan targeting SMEs, particularly those owned by women, including $6 million through IFC’s Global SME Finance Facility; a $10 million trade line through IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program and $25 million through IFC’s Global Warehouse Finance Program to support the agricultural commodity business, including $10 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program’s (GAFSP) private sector window.

Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group (second left), and Mr. Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, signing the landmark $75 million loan agreement at the IFC headquarters in Washington DC on Friday April 11, 2014 witnessed by the Chairman of the board of Directors Mr Martin  J. Mmari (left) and IFC's  Principal Operations Officer, Ms. Wendy Teleki (second right), and the Head of Blended Finance Ms. Kruskaia Sierra Escalante.

Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group (second left), and Mr. Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, shake hands after signing the landmark $75 million loan agreement at the IFC headquarters in Washington DC on Friday April 11, 2014

Finance Minister Hon. Saada Mkuya Salum, speaks after the signing ceremony, flanked by  the Chairman of the board of Directors Mr Martin  J. Mmari (third left),  Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group (second right), IFC's Senior Investment Officer - Financial Markets, Mr Kariuki Thande (right) and CRDB's Deputy Managing Director  Mr. Saugata Bandyopadhyay (left)

Finance Minister Hon. Saada Mkuya Salum, the Chairman of the board of Directors Mr Martin  J. Mmari (third left),  listen to Dr. Charles Stephen Kimei, Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group (second right). Right is  IFC's Senior Investment Officer - Financial Markets, Mr Kariuki Thande (right) and CRDB's Deputy Managing Director  Mr. Saugata Bandyopadhyay (left)

Tanzania Government officials, CRDB top brass in a Group photo with IFC's officials after the signing ceremony.

SOURCE: FATHER KIDEVU ‘MROKI MROKI’

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