the diocese of Lilongwe buys a bank

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Archbishop Desmond Tambala, new Archbishop of Lilongwe/Facebook

News facts

In a press release published on October 18, a bank announces that the Archdiocese of Lilongwe has partnered with a Ugandan company to buy 100% of its shares.

In West Africa, several dioceses have ventured into finance, notably in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe ventures into finance. The Malawi Capital Diocese and Ugandan company Centenary Rural Development Group Limited have partnered to acquire 100% of the shares of Mybucks Banking Corporation Malawi.

The announcement was made in a press release issued Tuesday, October 18 and signed by Francis Pelekamoyo, President of Mybucks Malawi, Bishop George Tambala, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe, and John Ddumba Ssentamu, President of Centenary Rural Development Group Limited. . “Currently, the bank, the escrow manager for MyBucks SA and the consortium are in the process of seeking all necessary regulatory approvals to complete the acquisition which has been made by the two potential investors”the statement said.

MyBucks is a fintech company headquartered in Luxembourg. Through its African subsidiaries, it offers unsecured consumer loans, banking solutions and insurance products to customers, notably in Malawi where it started operations in 2015. But in April 2022, it was confirmed that MyBucks SA, the parent company, was placed in bankruptcy and placed under the management of a receiver, hence the search for a buyer for this subsidiary in south-east Africa.

Microfinance in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

With the acquisition of this bank, the diocese of Lilongwe is therefore embarking on the field of finance, like other dioceses in Africa which have entered it for years. This is the case of the diocese of Agboville, in the south-east of Côte d’Ivoire, which opened in 2018 the Diocesan Savings and Credit Cell of Agboville (Cdeca), a microfinance company for “fight against poverty and ensure better care for people with low incomes through the granting of credit for the development of their activities”.

To read: An Ivorian diocese creates microfinance and security companies

An activity that has been carried out since 2008 by the diocese of Yamoussoukro, the capital of the country, through the Community savings and credit fund (Fcec) created in May 2008, in the form of a mutual insurance company. Today, the diocese’s microfinance structure finances income-generating projects and activities for the benefit of local populations affected by financial difficulties. These are mainly traders and small entrepreneurs who, for the most part, cannot borrow from banks. A little over 100 projects are financed each year by the Fcec, and approximately 95% of loan applications are granted in the sectors of trade in goods, catering and livestock farming.

In Ghana, there is the Brong Ahafo Catholic Cooperative for Social Development (Baccsod), a very popular microfinance institution in the dioceses of Sunyani and Techiman. It was founded in 1974 by Bishop James Kwadwo Owusu, then Bishop of Sunyani Diocese, with the aim of addressing the poverty and development needs of the people of Sunyani and its surroundings. Today, microfinance has more than 16 branches in which it offers various savings and credit services.

Guy Aimé Eblotié

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