The name Mizinga Melu is not new to the Zambian financial sector. It is synonymous with excellence, achievement and above all success. Mizinga is a seasoned banker with vast experience. She was once Chief Executive Officer for Standard Chartered Bank Zambia before taking up the role of Managing Director of National Bank of Commerce Limited (NBC) in Tanzania, after which she was appointed Chief Executive Officer for Barclays Africa Regional Management. But hey guess whose back? Mrs Mizinga Melu! This time as Chief Executive Officer for Barclays Bank Zambia Plc.
Mrs. Melu in her speech tied the 59% financial inclusion levels as an opportunity for Barclays to tap into the 41% unbanked in the rural areas. This she said would be through smart strategic partnerships with mobile service providers.
“The Bank is driving a digital agenda because it is the way to go if we are to reach more customers. We want to reach the customers in Mporokoso through the digital platform,” she said at a client cocktail were Mrs. Melu was unleashed into the Zambian Market.
Mrs. Melu also embraced the capital optimization theory of striking a balance between having to invest in physical presence versus leveraging off technology platforms. This would keep operational unit costs lower.
“At the same time digitalization reduces costs incurred through development of brick and mortar the more we digitize the more we reduce the cost of doing business,” she said.
Mrs. Melu in her speech also committed to supporting the agriculture sector. This especially at the level of small scale farmers who depend on farming for livelihood. The government in the 2016/2017 budget committed $45million to a cashew nut project earmarked for the Western Province as the governmemt diversifies away from mining entirely.
“We embrace the challenge on how best we can support women and not so long ago the Vice President Honorable Inonge Wina talked about fostering agriculture for women growing cashew nuts and it is something we are going to continue doing. It’s not just about agriculture but more of how we can bring women to do more,” she said.
More articles on Barclays Commitmemt to financial inclusion and agriculture finance.