Access Bank unveils ambitious growth strategy in landmark merger


Access Bank, a rising star in African finance, isn’t just setting its sights on regional dominance, it’s aiming to revolutionise trade and empower the continent’s beating heart, its SMEs. 

In a landmark corporate assembly last evening, Access Bank Zambia, following its acquisition of Atlas Mara Zambia, unfolded an ambitious growth strategy aimed at positioning the bank as a key player in Africa’s financial landscape.

Through the merger, Access Bank aim will be catapulting into the top 5 of the nation’s banking sector. But this is just one step in a grander vision.

Acctes Bank executive director for African Subsidiaries Seyi Kumapayi laid out the company’s vision which was to unlock Africa’s potential by facilitating intra-continental trade and supporting the continent’s entrepreneurial backbone which are the Small Medium Enterprises.

“We want to create the ability for growth in Africa,” Kumapayi declared.

Kumapayi highlighted the stark reality that despite SMEs comprising 90% of businesses in Africa,  their contribution to GDP remains low due to lack of access to finance. 

“We don’t lend them money,” he admits, “because they don’t have security.” This is where Access Bank steps in, determined to break down barriers.

Their strategy is multifaceted, building a pan-African network by establishing subsidiaries across the continent.

With this Access Bank aims to create a seamless trade route, allowing customers to transact in foreign currencies without leaving their ecosystem. 

This vision extends beyond borders, with plans to create a trade route connecting Africa to the East.

Kumapayi also disclosed that SMEs are the engine of growth, and Access Bank recognises their potential and need for support.

He explained that Access Bank was committed to providing financial support and resources, tailored to the unique needs of these businesses.

Zambia, deemed a key market, holds paramount importance in Access Bank’s vision with Kumapayi projecting that by 2027, Access Bank would secure the top position in Zambia, drawing parallels with the bank’s success story in Nigeria where strategic mergers resulted in substantial growth.

Contrary to misconceptions, Kumapayi clarified, “Access Bank is a Zambian Bank that is part of a global bank whose headquarters are in Nigeria, it’s not a Nigerian Bank.” 

Access Bank managing director Lishala Situmbeko said the acquisition of Atlas Mara Zambia is a pivotal moment, symbolizing Access Bank’s unwavering commitment. 

Situmbeko emphasised that their  focus was on enhanced customer service, while Nchima Nchito, chairperson of Atlas Mara Zambia, highlighted the combined teams’ dedication to a customer-centric approach.

Their ambition doesn’t stop at Zambia. Anne Sampa, a key figure in the event called for unity and emphasised the strategic importance of the merger especially amidst economic challenges. 

Atlas Mara acting managing director Bobbline Cheembela, reiterated the ultimate goal: to be the World’s most respected African Bank”

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba 25, 2024


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here