Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tanzania hailed for good use of financial aid

Sweden has commended Tanzania’s efforts towards making sure that financial services spread far and wide nationwide, especially in rural areas. Financial services provided by CRDB, Fahari Huduma, which is scattered in all villages, makes Tanzania a leader in the East African region in terms of access to financial services. The praise was issued by the Chairman of the Swedish Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kenneth Forslund, who led a tour of legislators to inspect various development activities funded by the government of Sweden.  Forslund complemented Tanzania for good use of development assistance funded by Sweden in fulfilling its intended objectives.  One of the institutions funded by Sweden is Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) which supports CRDB bank with its Fahari Huduma product. Samson Keenja, CRDB Microfinance Services Company Ltd Operations Manager, said that CRDB realised that availability of banking services in Tanzania reach only a few people in urban areas. The bank thus saw the need to establish a banking agency in collaboration with the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) through Fahari Huduma to roll out financial services to reach people living in rural areas, thus bringing financial services closer to villages. FSDT Executive Director, Sostenes Kewe said the fund aims to broaden access to financial services to reach more people, especially in rural areas by collaborating with CRDB bank in the supply of these services. He said financial services are important for the survival and thriving country’s economy and promotion of small and medium businesses growth, creating employment and poverty reduction. Mainda Mwakalinga and Frank Mwakalinga are entrepreneurs operating as agents of Fahari Huduma service at Kibamba.  They have thanked CRDB bank for bringing financial services closer to their door step.  They point out that before introduction of the services, they had to walk long distances to access financial services at Mbezi or Kibaha, but now the services are available just around the corner. Janet Tomaslisha, another entrepreneur who operates a small business, thanked CRDB for bringing financial services closer to the people, and providing microcredit without collateral.  She said that although the loans are small but they help her earn money and put food on the table. She, however, opined that she would the like bank to offer small businesses bigger loans to help them grow into big businesses. Chief of Cooperation and Development Division in the Swedish Embassy, Maria Van Berlekom, said in fluent Kiswahili that the lawmakers were in the country to get a first hand glimpse of how development aid is spent. CRDB Microfinance Services Company Ltd is a subsidiary of CRDB Bank Plc offering wholesale microfinance services throughout Tanzania with central regional offices countrywide. It provides tailor made products and services that address financial needs in different communities in Tanzania. The Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) was incorporated in Tanzania on 1 July 2004 with an overall aim to develop a deeper financial system that can provide greater access to finance to more Tanzanians.

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