East Africa’s largest Bank by assets, KCB Group, is planning on increasing its investments in South Sudan. The decision follows a return to normalcy in the country that has been rocked by political tension for the past five years.
KCB group moved into South Sudan in 2006. It established over 20 branches in the country and grew its customer base to 138,000 as of 2014. However, political war in Africa’s youngest nation led the bank to scale back its operations in the country. The lender shut down its branches in Malakal, Bentiu, and Bor in 2014 due to the prevailing war.
An agreement between South Sudan’s current President Salva Kiiir and his former deputy Riek Machar to end the political tension has seen normalcy slowly return to the oil rich country.
KCB Group is gearing up to open more branches and introduce mobile banking in the country so as to attract more customers. The lender aims to grow its customer base to 200,000 clients by the end of 2020.
Bloomberg quoted Roba Waqo Jaldesa, the Managing Director of KCB South Sudan, saying “We came to this country in 2006 as the first foreign bank and we have resiliently survived these challenges. We have enough capital to invest in the market, both in brick and mortar and also in terms of technology. This year we have opened one new branch and we are looking forward to opening the ones we had temporarily closed.”
KCB Group is focused on growing its network throughout the East African region. Besides expanding in Africa’s youngest nation, the bank also plans to establish operations in Ethiopia, one of the fastest growing economies in Sub Saharan Africa. KCB already has a representative office in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.