The New Times Kigali Triphomus Muyagu
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Bank of Africa Group has officially inaugurated its subsidiary in Rwanda, pledging to support the country’s development efforts. The Group acquired a controlling stake of 90 per cent in Agaseke Bank in October last year and started operating as Bank of Africa Rwanda. Previously, insurance group, SORAS, was the majority shareholder in Agaseke, but now has a 10 per cent shareholding in the commercial bank. Agaseke’s total assets were valued at $14 million in 2014.

Amine Bouabid, the Group chief executive officer, said the firm was transformed into a commercial bank after acquiring a controlling stake and getting approvals from the central bank. It has also provided the required minimum deposit with the National Bank of Rwanda, Bouabid added. Bouabid said the lender was attracted to Rwanda because of its stability and supportive policies and government, as well as conducive business environment. “We want to bring new technology and innovations… we want to train employees so they are suited to serve anywhere in the Group branches on the continent. When King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited Rwanda recently, we signed a lot of bilateral pacts, we are ready to support the country’s development efforts,” Bouabid said on Friday while addressing reporters at Champion Investment Corporation Complex (CHIC) in Kigali.

“Developing human resources will improve service delivery and enable the bank become a major commercial bank in the Rwandan market,” Bouabid said.

Abderrahmane Belbachir, the Bank of Africa Group Rwanda managing director, said the lender is designing new products to serve all market segments, including individual, small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and corporate customers. Belbachir added that the bank has installed a new core banking system and reviewed all internal procedures to improve services and safety.

The lender has a network of 13 branches with over 5,000 clients and about 100 staff.

Bank of Africa is a multinational pan-African banking conglomerate with banking operations in 18 African countries, and a representative office in Paris, France Bank of Africa maintains its headquarters in Bamako the capital city of Mali.

Bank of Africa Group is owned by BMCE Bank, the third-largest bank in Morocco, which provides solid strategic and operational support to the Group as well as direct access to international markets.