African Development Bank to Provide $110M to Finance Tanzania Women’s SMEs

The African Development Bank signed a $60 million financial package comprising $50 million subordinated debt to support CRDB Bank’s regional expansion efforts and a senior loan of $10 million to accelerate access to finance for small businesses managed and owned by women in Tanzania. The facility is coupled with a $175,000 technical assistance grant from the African Development Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Initiative (AFAWA) with support from the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative to strengthen CRDB’s capacity to support women entrepreneurs in Tanzania to become more bankable. Similarly, the African Guarantee Fund has signed a guarantee line to CRDB Bank worth $50 million. The line includes the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth component to minimize risk in investing in women-led businesses and further support their growth.

The agreement was signed by Nnenna Nwabufo, the African Development Bank’s Director General for East Africa; Jules Ngankam, Group Chief Executive Officer of the African Guarantee Fund; and Abdulmajid Nsekela, Chief Executive Officer of CRDB Bank PLC. The bouquet of financing will enable CRDB to significantly impact the socio-economic growth of the region by empowering small businesses, especially women, and unleashing their full potential. Ngankam acknowledged the longstanding relationship between his Fund and CRDB Bank, supporting small and medium enterprises across various sectors. “This tripartite partnership is a game changer, particularly to bridge the financing gap for women entrepreneurs,” Ngankam said.

The African Development Bank’s Nnenna Nwabufo stated that the partnership would, as CRDB expands, enable SMEs to access finance in the region. More importantly, it adds to Tanzania’s efforts to close the gap in access to finance for women entrepreneurs, which is estimated at $1.6 billion. “We are very excited to have closed this agreement. The subordinated loan facility will improve the CRDB’s overall capitalization and support future growth and regional expansion without jeopardizing capital ratios. I’d like to thank our long-term partners, the African Development Bank and the African Guarantee Fund for their ongoing support,” said Abdulmajid Nsekela, CEO and Managing Director of CRDB Bank Group. The bank is currently finalizing its move to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while also considering expanding into other East and Central African countries.

Nsekela said the agreement with the Bank and the African Guarantee Fund will support CRDB’s commitment to assisting women-owned SMEs in building resilience and closing the working capital gap. “The $10 million credit line and $50 million guarantee will strengthen our ability to support many women-owned businesses through our Women Access to Finance Initiative, which is run by CRDB Malkia.”

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Written by Mercy ANURIKA

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