Ethiopia’s Awash International Bank (AIB) has big plans.  In this interview, President of AIB, Tsehay Shiferaw, sheds light on the bank’s ambition.  Excerpts:

What is Awash International Bank’s transformation strategy entitled “Transforming AIB: Vision 2025” all about?
The main objective of the strategy is to transform AIB’s business and operations, particularly focusing on human resources management, business processes and IT architecture. The study, is of course, aimed at improving the competitive edge of Awash International Bank locally and regionally with the objective of propelling the Bank to be one of the top 10 East African private banks by the year 2025.

What are the strategies towards achieving AIB’s goal of being among East Africa’s top 10 private banks?
We have conducted situation analysis that encompasses assessment of the macro-economic environment, the banking industry and the competitive landscape as well as review of business and operating models of AIB, among others. Based on our findings, we have devised a blueprint geared towards increasing the market share of AIB, improving our service excellence and leveraging technology-enabled operations towards high performance culture and effective risk management.

What features make Awash International Bank S.C unique?
A set of features distinguishes AIB from its competitors. AIB is the fastest-growing private bank, more than doubling its deposits, loans and advances as well as total assets within five years. Extensive branch network and strong capital base also sets us apart from others. AIB is also the first private bank to build its own headquarters.

Presently, Awash International Bank operates with a paid-up capital of over 2.2 billion Birr and plans to raise this to 3billion Birr in the next two years. How feasible is this?
Awash International Bank’s shareholders understand the importance of capital increase and are determined to increase their share by ploughing back their dividend. For instance, the paid-up capital of the Bank rose to Birr 2.2 billion by end of February 2016 from Birr 1.4 billion by end-June 2014. So, I am confident that this tall dream is feasible and attainable given the determination of our shareholders and the sustainable profit generation capacity of AIB.

To what extent would you say Awash International Bank has contributed to the national economy?
The contributions of Awash International Bank S.C to the national economy are multifaceted. The Bank has contributed to the economy through its role in deposit mobilization, provision of credit services and facilitation of the payment system.

Indeed, AIB has contributed to Ethiopia’s economic growth by encouraging savings among the society at large through extensive branch networks and use of the state-of-the-art technology and allocating these scarce resources to the most productive sectors of the economy.  AIB also enhances the attainment of national development policy objectives through employment creation, financing of government priority sectors and fulfilling the corporate social responsibility. More specifically, AIB has so far purchased the National Bank of Ethiopia treasury bills worth Birr 6.3 billion, which will be used to finance government’s mega projects.

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