The Absa Group has expressed its commitment to unlock the immense potential that Africa has through innovative people-centred product and services.
“Gone are the days of viewing Africa through a narrow lens of limitations; this bank recognises the rich tapestry of stories, aspirations, and untapped opportunities that lie within its diverse communities. By shifting the focus from banking transactions to human narratives, Absa is now attempting to rewrite the rules and reshape the perception of what a bank can truly achieve,” the Chief Executive Officer, Absa Group, Arrie Rautenbach, said at the Group’s recent leaders’ forum in South Africa.
The conference, held in South Africa at the Johannesburg Sandton Convention Centre, was attended by more than 300 leaders from Absa Group’s 12 operating countries.
Dubbed ‘Ijayo,’ a Kiswahili word symbolising the future, the programme was dedicated to forging Absa’s new brand purpose, a daring declaration crafted to steer the bank’s strategic trajectory in the years to come.
Speaking at the programme, Mr Rautenbach said the new strategy of the Absa Group was to gradually empower Africa to help it overcome its numerous socio-economic challenges.
“Empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together…one story at a time might sound like a lofty ideal, but it serves as a rallying cry for change in an industry often criticised for its rigidity and conservatism,” he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer said the Group’s mantra of ‘empowering Africa tomorrow, one at a time’ signified a bold departure from traditional banking norms, and embraced a progressive, exciting, and community-centric approach.
“While some may raise their eyebrows at this departure from the tried and tested, Absa’s counterintuitive approach opens doors to new possibilities. It challenges the notion that banks should solely focus on financial transactions, highlighting the importance of human connection and empowerment. By embracing unconventional practices, Absa is signalling to the financial world that it’s time to think outside the box,” Mr Rautenbach stated.
The Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana, Ms Abena Osei-Poku, in her remarks, said Absa Bank Ghana’s constant culture of reinvention, fortified by a century-old heritage, had set it apart in impacting and supporting real sector growth.
She said Absa Ghana recently unveiled an unprecedented initiative to empower SMEs—offering loans of up to GH¢1 million at a remarkably low rate of 10 per cent per annum without collateral, at a period where borrowing rates had soared above 30 per cent.
“One of the beautiful things about having a purpose is that it actually keeps you very focused and delivers direction. In empowering our customers and stakeholders, we are giving them a new lease of life to empower their families, households and build businesses that will stand the test of time and support real sector growth,” Ms Osei-Poku stated.
BY TIMES REPORTER