Improving banking services: Seychelles' President meets Absa Group officials
The chief executive of Absa Africa Regional Operations, Saviour Chibiya met with President Ramkalawan on Thursday. (Seychelles Nation)
Fostering economic growth and development in Seychelles, as well as further digitalisation of the economy were areas discussed by President Wavel Ramkalawan and top Absa Group representatives on Thursday.
During the discussion, Ramkalawan said that the role of Absa Bank Seychelles as a banking institution is crucial for the country and that continuous dialogues should take place between the bank, the Central Bank of Seychelles and the finance ministry.
“This is very important. The partnership between the government and Absa Bank is good and the services that you offer are very easy. I wish to also commend Absa for recruiting young Seychellois that are slowly developing themselves in this sector,” said Ramkalawan.
This was echoed by the chief executive of Absa Africa Regional Operations, Saviour Chibiya, who told reporters that to grow any economy, human capital is of great importance.
He said Absa does that by "partnering with the countries that we operate in terms of how we invest in the skills of not just bankers but even young people across the economy to develop that human capital so that we have the skills and expertise, and have innovation driving, productivity-increasing to drive the economic growth."
Chibiya added that as a leading bank in Seychelles and a leading Pan-African bank "we are looking at ways in which we can work together to support our customers."
He said that this can be done through the bank's digital agenda - digitalising banking and the economy - and ensuring that there is more productivity and accessibility to banking as well as more affordable banking services.
Affordable funding for businesses and individuals and the continuous improvement of existing products were also touched upon during the meeting with the President.
Talking about Absa's plans to improve its services in Seychelles, the managing director for Absa Bank Seychelles, Nazim Mahmood, shared that the institution is looking narrowly at self-serve channels that will provide clients with faster services.
"A lot of emphasis has gone into developing digital channels so far. I think the adoption of digital channels is the next piece of the puzzle that we need to solve. We need to strengthen some of those digital channels, for example, can we apply for a loan on the app? Currently, that is a very paper-oriented process. Can we move some of our straight-up services?" he added.
On the overall agenda of the bank group, Mahmood said that it is critical, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue to grow the businesses in Seychelles and further strengthen the role of the local Seychellois in entrepreneurship.
"As a bank that is significant in size in Seychelles, it is our responsibility to be able to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youngsters and that is some of the growth agendas that we are going to talk about," said Mahmood.