Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the country’s largest lender by revenue, has signed a deal for International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to build a platform to deliver electronic banking services, as it aims to employ new technology to expand its business.
The state-owned lender plans to increase the number of its branches by 500, from 372 at present, over five years and to boost account holders by 25 percent a year, from 2 million now, the Addis Ababa-based bank said in an e-mailed statement today. The statement was released jointly with New York-based IBM.
There’s growing demand for banking services in Ethiopia, whose annual economic growth rate of 8 percent last year was the fifth fastest in sub-Saharan Africa, after the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria, according to an International Monetary Fund report in April.
The $3 million agreement aims to develop a platform, operational by August, that will enable the bank to introduce new mobile and Internet banking programs, the companies said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at firstname.lastname@example.org