Centenary Group expands to Malawi

Officials attend the launch of Centenary Bank in Lilongwe, Malawi, on March 22, 2023. Photo/Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Centenary Group says they will ensure that they empower people with the financial and digital tools they need to succeed. 

A local bank in Uganda has expanded its branches to Malawi.
In a statement issued out yesterday, Centenary Group said the move came after years of successful growth in its local market.
At an event yesterday afternoon in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, the bank was unveiled officially to the Malawian market.

“In Malawi, we will ensure that we empower people with the financial and digital tools they need to succeed, no matter where they live. We believe that everyone deserves access to the critical resources, and we are excited to be expanding our reach to a new region,” Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu, the Centenary Group executive chairperson, said.

Adding: “I would like to thank the reserve bank of Malawi for the recent award of a banking licence to our institution, Centenary Bank Ltd. We are delighted to have been granted this opportunity to contribute to the financial sector and serve the community.”
Centenary Bank Limited’s managing director Zandile Shaba in her remarks applauded Centenary Group and the Lilongwe Archdiocese of the Catholic Church for their support in having the bank invest in their country.

“In our new family, the Centenary family, we believe that the key to becoming the best digital bank is not just about implementing the latest technology, but also about creating a culture of innovation and customer-centricity. It’s about truly understanding our customers’ needs and delivering personalised experiences that exceed their expectations,” Zandile said.
Ms Sarah Arapta, the chairperson of the Uganda Bankers Association, in a telephone interview last evening, said Centenary Bank is the first bank they know to have had such a milestone. 

“That’s the one we are aware of, it’s true. It’s the first local bank to expand its presence in the region,” Ms Arapta said. She said it is a good gesture that banks with Ugandan origin are now expanding across the continent.
By press time, Bank of Uganda had not responded to our inquiry of what it means for one of the local banks to expand its operations across the continent.

Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu, Centenary Group executive chairperson

About Centenary bank
Centenary Rural Development Bank has more than 2.6 million customers, including 12,000 Saccos and more than 46,000 Village Saving & Lending Associations based in rural areas.  
It is also Uganda’s second largest bank, grossing an annual revenue of Shs211.5b as of December 2022. 
The Centenary Group also owns Centenary Technology Services Limited (Cente-Tech), a technology company, with a combined professional ICT experience of more than 90 years.
As the group technology company, Centenary Technology Services provides technology leadership to the group subsidiaries to enable them grow and provide meaningful services to the rural poor. 
Centenary Group also owns Centenary Foundation, which works with 89 investors and partners with a common social development purpose and focuses on implementing programmes that improve the social welfare of its beneficiaries. 

The Foundation’s focus areas are: education, environment, financial literacy, health and the social mission of the Catholic Church.
By expanding its reach into Malawi, Centenary Group hopes to make a positive impact on the financial health of individuals and communities and contribute to the economic growth and development of Malawi. 

The newly launched company, Centenary Bank Limited, will offer financial inclusion solutions, which include affordable loans, savings accounts, and financial education programmes, while its digital inclusion solutions focus on providing access to bespoke products that speak to one’s lifestyle and digital literacy training.