Half of Tanzanians to access banking services by 2015

The government has allowed the Board of Directors of the Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) to turn the bank into a public company, to enable it improve its services and raise capital through the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

President Jakaya Kikwete said in Dar es Salaam that the move would facilitate re-capitalisation of the institution which is currently a public corporation.

The president noted that the move was also part of the government’s strategy to boost financial institutions and enable 50 per cent of Tanzanians access banking services by the year 2015. He said at present banks and financial institutions reached only 14 per cent of the population, mostly in urban centres.

“Banking services are essential to promote economic growth and it is important for the services to reach as many people as possible,” Dr Kikwete said while launching the ‘TPB Popote’ programme (TPB everywhere).

The TPB Popote is the mobile banking service which enables one to know and to get various information about his or her account anywhere, anytime through a mobile phone. 

One can also pay for various services such as airtime, LUKU, DAWASCO, DStv, Deposit and Withdraw cash from an account at any agent by using a mobile phone as well as transferring funds from one TPB account to another.

He said efforts should be made to enhance the people’s access to banking services from the current 14 per cent, pointing out that the continent’s average stood at 23 per cent. Dr Kikwete said banks should also focus on rural communities as well, particularly millions of farmers who need to access various services, including loans.

The TPB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sabasaba Moshingi, said the bank introduced TPB Popote programme after receiving a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation following a proposal by the bank. 

“Our proposal was one of the proposals which won the fund to expand banking service to rural areas,” he said.

The Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Dr William Mgimwa, said the bank has expanded its service to rural areas thanks to co-operation with the Tanzania Posts Corporation, saying the bank has opened up many branches countrywide.

“The government will continue helping TPB to improve its services, hence reaching out many people in the country,” he said. The TPB Board of Directors Chairperson, Prof Leticia Rutashobya, said the bank has 600,000 customers.
Source: The Daily News, reported  by Ludovick Kazoka from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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