UBA seeks more private, public partnerships

August 17, 2012
He announced that they plan to set up an energy desk in their Kenyan office that focuses on structuring energy, oil and gas transactions/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The United Bank for Africa (UBA) is seeking to explore areas of collaboration with the government and the private sector in an effort to support Kenya’s development by improving revenue collection efficiency.

UBA Group Managing Director Philips Oduoza said they intend to do this through the implementation of an electronic revenue collection platform, supporting market integration of the East African Community and supporting the growth sector of Kenya’s economy.

He announced that they plan to set up an energy desk in their Kenyan office that focuses on structuring energy, oil and gas transactions.

“We’re going to bring our expertise and we’re also going to train people in Kenya so that they can appreciate the finances of oil and gas and all the structures and transactions associated with oil and gas,” he said.

UBA Africa CEO Gabriel Edgal said that one of the ways that integration can happen faster is through UBA’s financial integration model.

“We’re moving capital from areas of surplus to areas of deficit and empowering people while building the economic infrastructure,” he said.

“You will be able to sit and do trade with your African entities without having to go outside of Africa. So integration for us is a passion and we will very willingly partner with the government,” he added.

Oduoza underscored the importance of integrating African trade through financial services.

“For two African countries to trade, a letter of credit has to be issued through a corresponding bank in Europe or Asia, this is not only costly but also time consuming,” he explained.

“Having UBA present in the two countries ensures a fast and less costly transaction,” he added at a meeting in Nairobi.

He highlighted the key projects that UBA has funded in other African countries, key among them being crude oil financing in Senegal worth over Sh24.86 billion (€ 240 million) and noted that UBA is in a consolidation phase and is currently focusing on growing its subsidiaries by investing in e-banking and increasing its branch network.

The meeting was followed by signing of partnership agreements between UBA Kenya Bank, Airtel, Africa Air Rescue and Rapid Communications that will see UBA roll out products that target the retail segment through innovative platforms.

UBA has over eight million customers’ accounts, over 800 branches and a balance sheet size of over Sh2.09 trillion ($25 billion).

The bank has consistently grown its Internet and mobile banking customer base and it remains an industry leader in wholesale and retail banking across Africa with 19 African countries of operation and presence in New York, Paris and London.

UBA is financing various projects under Kenya’s Vision 2030 including the upcoming Konza ICT City Project and they are providing free eduportal and online school software for institutions that are UBA customers.

Oduoza is in Kenya for a one day official visit which will see him meet with top government officials and other banking industry stakeholders, as part of a tour of the East African region where UBA has subsidiaries and other investments.

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