Mtwara. The Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) yesterday opened a new branch in Mtwara.
That brings to 21 the total number of DTB branches in Tanzania. Three of them are in the Southern part of the country: one in Iringa, the second in Mbeya and the third in Mtwara. DTB board chairman Abdul Samji inaugurated the Mtwara branch.
Under its expansion programme, DTB opened 17 new branches in seven years.
“We had only four branches in 2007 but now we have 21…The opening of the DTB branch in Mtwara is the fulfilment of a long-held aspiration to be part of the growing economy of South Tanzania,” Mr Samji said, adding that two more branches would be opened in the near future.
Mtwara has eight commercial banks. DTB has been providing banking support to several commodity procurement and logistics management companies who have been active in Mtwara. “We believe our physical presence in Mtwara will considerably enhance banking convenience for our existing connections and get new clients,” he said.
DTB is an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, the arm of the Aga Khan Development Network. According to Mr Samji, the bank’s expansion programme is part of a wider integrated programme by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) to improve financial inclusion, farming, livelihoods, education and health in Mtwara and Lindi regions.
“We believe that the opening of the DTB branch in Mtwara will boost AKF’s development programme, which aims at improving the livelihoods of the rural communities in the area.” Within this programme, AKF has mobilised 148,000 members in more than 7,500 community-based savings groups, commonly known as ‘Boresha maisha’ groups, in Southern Tanzania with the aim of developing a savings culture towards improving livelihoods.