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ACCION Invests in Tanzania’s Akiba Commercial Bank

Investments, a for-profit company providing equity for microfinance institutions, and ACCION International, a leading nonprofit microfinance organization, today announced that they will invest in, and provide technical assistance to, Tanzania's Akiba Commercial Bank. The move is designed to help Akiba expand its operations and financial services, particularly in microfinance.

ACCION Investments will take a 20 percent share in the bank, investing up to $2.5 million as part of a new capitalization program. Existing shareholders, including international investors such as Incofin, FMO, Stichting Hivos-Triodos Fonds and Stichting Triodos-Doen, and Tanzanian investors such as InterConsult Ltd., Parastatal Pensions Fund and almost 70 private Tanzanian individuals, have invested a total of $2.7 million in the capitalization. At the same time, Akiba has contracted ACCION International to provide the bank with a senior management team, as well as short-term technical assistance in order to expand the bank's portfolio and outreach to thousands of Tanzanian microentrepreneurs.

John Lwande will serve as Akiba's new managing director, under contract with ACCION. Lwande brings more than 19 years of leadership, management skills and product expertise to the post, having directed operations for microfinance institutions and commercial banks in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.

Akiba's goal is to grow substantially beyond its current footprint of six branches, presently centered in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi. The bank has just over 98,000 depositors and a total deposit base of TZS 36.3 billion. Among these depositors, it has 16,000 microcredit customers, and a total loan portfolio of TZS 25 billion.

"Our investment demonstrates our belief in, and commitment to, Akiba and the Tanzanian microenterprise market," said Enrique Ferraro, managing director of ACCION Investments. "The bank has shown great recent progress, has an excellent record as a deposit-taking institution, and a solid group of international and Tanzanian shareholders," he continued. "We're proud to be even more deeply involved with Akiba."
ACCION's relationship with Akiba began in early 2002 through an institutional assessment exercise. ACCION subsequently provided technical assistance to the bank’s microfinance operations, in training, product design and marketing, and eventually provided full-time advisors. Its increased participation in the bank reflects not only its faith in Akiba, but also a rapidly expanding engagement in African microfinance overall; ACCION recently launched a rapidly-growing microfinance bank in Nigeria, and has also recently announced the launch of microfinance operations in Ghana through a partnership with Ecobank.

Via: (ACCION International)

Written by John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism.
In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

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