KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
STANDARD Chartered Bank has ranked Zambia among the top five markets in Africa that has been included as a beneficiary of the bank’s global US$1.5 billion digital investment programme.
The rating is due to Zambia’s resilience to economic shocks and the current economic indicators that point towards a positive trajectory.
Bank managing director Herman Kasekende is optimistic that Zambia’s long-term economic prospects remain bright despite the few challenges experienced in the recent past.
“We have seen exchange rate stabilisation, inflation down to single digits, positive measures taken by Government to address the power deficit, and large-scale infrastructure development including roads, rail, and air capacity is being modernised to support an increasingly urbanised society.
“With these positive indicators, Zambia continues to be of strategic importance to the Stanchart Group, and it is in the top five of our African markets. That is why we continue to invest in the country, which is earmarked to benefit from the bank’s US$1.5 billion investment into digital banking capabilities,” he said in an interview recently.
He said the bank is committed to financing various sectors of the Zambian economy in support for the national agenda.
“The bank has been a lead arranger and financier of over US$3 billion worth of investment into mining. In the energy sector, we announced a US$60 million facility to increase the capacity to transmit power to more households and industry.
“This support is already yielding positive results, with some 15,000 new connections having been achieved through the rural electrification programme. The bank has also financed over US$70 million in mobile towers,” Mr Kasekende said.