Access Bank PLC, Nigeria’s biggest lending bank, has announced that it is seeking to invest in eight African nations including Ethiopia. The bank’s investment expansion plans are part of its efforts to take advantage of the conducive economic conditions created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which was launched on January 1st after months of delays.
According to Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe, the bank plans on expanding into high-potential markets in order to leverage the aim of the AfCFTA to create a more connected and integrated African economic block.
Access Bank already runs operations in 12 countries across the African continent making it an ideal operator within the new parameters being established by the AfCFTA.
The markets that are of interests to the bank’s expansion plans include Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Ivory Coast, Namibia, and Senegal. The bank already operates in Ethiopia’s neighbor, Kenya. These nations are just the tip of the iceberg of Access Bank’s expansion plans, however, as it plans to eventually operate in 22 new markets.
These countries are also expected to benefit immensely from the bank’s expertise and capital injection into their economies. In addition to lending services, the bank is also in the process of starting insurance brokerage, consumer lending, and agency banking services.