Home » Bank linked to Tanzanian billionaire brothers partners with IFC for financial inclusion in East Africa

Bank linked to Tanzanian billionaire brothers partners with IFC for financial inclusion in East Africa

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Aunali Rajabali

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and CRDB Bank, the largest commercial bank in Tanzania, have announced a partnership to promote financial inclusion in Tanzania and beyond. 

The partnership, which will focus on six specific areas of cooperation, was agreed upon by the two institutions’ top executives at a meeting in Washington on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa summit.

CRDB Bank, which is headquartered in Dar es Salaam and has a significant operational presence in Burundi, is owned in part by Aunali and Sajjad Rajabali, two of the wealthiest men in Tanzania.

The Rajabali brothers own a combined 2.6-percent stake in the bank, which is valued at Tsh25.8 billion ($11.03 million) and consists of 66,921,350 ordinary shares. This makes them among the top investors on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

The IFC has supported CRDB Bank’s strategy since 2014, and the two institutions have now agreed to work together on issues related to financing for women and youth, infrastructure financing in Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and cross-border business expansion in East and Southern Africa. 

They will also cooperate on funding for environmental projects, capacity building, and agribusiness.

CRDB Bank, which has a balance sheet of Tsh10.9 trillion ($4.67 billion) and a capital of Tsh1.4 trillion ($600 million), has expanded its alternative delivery channels and invested in the right people to provide financial services to all customers and support economic transformation.

The bank’s shares have increased by 37 percent since the start of the year, leading to a rise in the market value of the Rajabali brothers’ stake from Tsh18.74 billion ($8.14 million) to Tsh25.8 billion ($11.03 million).

This represents a gain of $2.9 million for the billionaire brothers, who derive the majority of their wealth from their portfolio investments.

The IFC’s director and global head of financial institutions group, Tomasz Telma, said he was optimistic that the partnership would open up new opportunities for further cooperation between the two institutions.

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