When it comes to expanding a business to a new region, there are many challenges to overcome, but one company is taking on those challenges head-on. Centenary Group, a leader in financial and digital inclusion, has announced its expansion into a new region, Malawi, with plans to bring its innovative solutions to underserved communities.
The move comes after years of successful growth in its home market, Uganda, and extensive research into the needs of Malawi’s population.
At a colorful event on March 22, 2023, in Lilongwe, Centenary Bank Limited was officially unveiled to the Malawi market. Centenary Bank Limited in Malawi is now the second banking subsidiary and forth company owned by Centenary Group.
According to the Centenary Group Executive Chairman, Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu, In Malawi, they will ensure that they empower people with the financial and digital tools they need to succeed, no matter where they live.
“We believe that everyone deserves access to these critical resources, and we are excited to be expanding our reach to a new region,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Reserve Bank of Malawi for the recent award of a banking license to our institution, Centenary Bank Limited. We are delighted to have been granted this opportunity to contribute to the financial sector and serve the community,” Prof. Ddumba Ssentamu added.
Commenting at the launch event, Mr. William Matambo, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of Malawi, said the achievement is a testament to Centenary Group dedication to excellence, their commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance, and their unwavering focus on meeting the needs of your customers.
He revealed that Centenary group application was thorough; well- researched, and presented a clear case for why they are uniquely qualified to start operations as a bank, now named Centenary Bank Limited.
“We are confident that you will continue to demonstrate the same level of professionalism, innovation, and service excellence as you begin this exciting new chapter in your organization history. As a licensed bank, you will have the opportunity to provide valuable financial services to individuals and businesses alike, helping to spur economic growth and create new opportunities for your customers,” said Mr. Matambo.
Centenary Bank Limited’s Managing Director, Zandile Shaba, in her remarks appreciated Centenary Group and the Lilongwe Archdiocese of the Catholic Church for their support and investment in the bank.
“In our new family, the Centenary family, we believe that the key to becoming the best digital bank is not just about implementing the latest technology, but also about creating a culture of innovation and customer-centricity. It's about truly understanding our customers’ needs and delivering personalized experiences that exceed their expectations,” Zandile concluded.
Centenary Group owns Centenary Rural Development Bank; the Bank with the largest customer base in Uganda. Centenary Bank has over 2.6 million customers including 12,000 SACCOS and over 46,000 Village Saving and Lending Associations (VSLA) based in rural areas.
The Group also owns Centenary Technology Services Limited (Cente-Tech), the Group technology company, with a combined professional ICT experience of over 90years. As the group technology company, Centenary Technology Services provides technology leadership to the group subsidiaries to enable them grow and provide meaningful services to the rural poor.
Another company owned by Centenary Group is known as Centenary Foundation. The Foundation works with social investors and partners with a common social development purpose as Centenary Group and focuses on implementing programmes that improve the social welfare of its beneficiaries. The Foundation’s focus areas are: Education, Environment, Financial Literacy, Health and the Social Mission of the Catholic Church.
By expanding its reach into Malawi, Centenary Group hopes to make a positive impact on the financial health of individuals and communities and contribute to the economic growth and development of Malawi.
The newly launched company, Centenary Bank Limited, will offer financial inclusion solutions which include affordable loans, savings accounts, and financial education programs, while its digital inclusion solutions focus on providing access to bespoke products that speak to one’s lifestyle and digital literacy training.
With its innovative solutions and commitment to local partnerships, Centenary Bank Limited is poised for success. The company’s dedication to financial and digital inclusion is not only good for business, but it also good for the communities it serves.