Letshego Holdings, a micro-lending behemoth has reiterated its plans of becoming a truly inclusive financial services group within the continent, the head of its local subsidiary has disclosed. Speaking on Tuesday night at a function for Botswana-Kenya businessmen and women, Letshego Botswana CEO, Frederick Mmelesi said their focus is clearly aligned at assisting low to middle income earners, who have been excluded by the financial system for years especially in Africa’s rural areas.
This is the plan that Chris Low and his executive committee will put much emphasis on going forward. “Through a broad-based financial services offering underpinned by innovation and an inclusive finance agenda, we work to deliver simple, appropriate and affordable solutions to empower fellow Africans who are typically underserved or unbanked,” Mmelesi told the event which was attended by business CEOs and diplomats from Botswana and Kenya respectively. The Letshego Botswana top executive, who has been with Letshego from day one, stated that one such example of financial inclusion is their low income housing finance offering.
The product is already a hit in Kenya, the biggest economy in Eastern Africa, where it has a portfolio of $20 million (P200million). The company has already started rolling the solution (low income finance product) to Botswana market and early signs show that demand will increase in the foreseeable future. Letshego Group Head of Corporate Affairs, Mythri Sambasivan-George said in an earlier engagement with BG Business. BSE listed Letshego, which has operations all over Africa, currently boasts a customer base of 300,000 borrowers and 100,000 savers. On another note, Mmelesi told the audience that, Letshego Kenya, which was opened some eight years ago, is the fastest growing subsidiary in Kenya providing credit services to small and micro-entrepreneurs, salaried employees, and civil servants. It was formally called Micro-Finance Africa.
Letshego, which will later this month (July) celebrate 18 years of existence, said its robust growth in Botswana and Kenya has been up-scaled by the healthy relations between the institution and governments of the two former British colonies. The Tuesday networking session also had speakers from Kenyan government. The function was done as part of a three-day visit to Botswana by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta this week. During his stay in Botswana, Kenyatta, the son of founding President Jomo Kenyatta and his counterpart President Ian Khama discussed pertinent issues surrounding their socio-economic relations that span decades. The Kenyan President left on Wednesday morning.