Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo has praised Letshego Holdings Limited’s financial inclusion strategy which he said has contributed towards the stimulation of a number of sectors including agriculture, health, housing, education, micro-and-small-enterprises and social investment. Matambo was speaking on Thursday during a gala dinner hosted by Letshego to celebrate its 18th anniversary. He congratulated Letshego on being the first African private sector organisation, and the fifth globally, to be recently granted Alliance for Financial Inclusion partnership status, joining existing global partners BBVA, GSMA, Mastercard, and Visa. “This recognition by AFI, a global platform of national financial regulators furthering financial inclusion, underscores Letshego’s readiness and intent to support Governmental socio-economic development agenda,” said Matambo. Letshego which is now one of the leading companies in Botswana and across the continent has been commended for its introduced Financial Literacy Programmes, which Matambo said is aligned with the government Citizen Economic Empowerment Policy. “This is one of the programmes that private sector partners and Government can work towards enhancing,” he said.
Matambo said Letshego’s continued efforts to uphold responsible and accessible financial lending practices in their service delivery, have contributed significantly to the economy of Botswana and to the upliftment of under-served fellow Batswana. With presence in ten Africa countries Matambo said: “Letshego stands as a shining example of a truly pan-African organisation that embodies the vision we hold in high regard in our bi-lateral trade relations within the Southern African Development Community and across Africa,” he said adding that Letshego's presence in those countries put Botswana on the map as a formidable place for business and a hub of stellar corporate talent. Letshego group Managing Director, Chris low said as they celebrate 18th anniversary, they celebrate growth, diversity and improving life. “Through our stakeholders’ and customers’ support, we grew from a small, 30 strong team in Gaborone, to an employer of over 2,300 proud Letshego team members, spanning Southern, East and West Africa. Over 700 of our team members comprise a commission-based sales force bringing financial solutions to our customers,” Lowe said on their growth achievement.
He said Letshego grew from a humble company to Botswana’s largest and most profitable indigenous group listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of 6 billion Pula, ranking amongst the top 40 listed companies across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. “As of 2015, and through a consistent focus on solving our customers’ needs in the simplest, most appropriate and accessible way, we have grown to provide finance to 300,000 borrowers and savings capability to over 100,000 depositors across Africa.” Low said they have over the last years diversified the company portfolio which has seen Letshego expand across the continent and introducing new products to the market. “In Botswana, we are pleased to find that our affordable housing product, which we piloted with previously excluded workers in the mining sector, have seen over 500 loans being disbursed, standing at a total portfolio of one hundred and thirty one million Pula in less than nine months – a sure sign that further diversification in our home market will be welcomed by customers seeking appropriate productive financing.”
When giving welcome remarks, Letshego group board chairman John Burbidge said though business of delivering the numbers, it is also a business built on a solid foundation, excellent customer experience and strong partnerships. “This is why our aspirational brand promise “Let’s Improve Life,” sums up our essence, as it is through the work that we do, the services we offer, and the investments we make in our communities, that we strive to make a real difference,” he said.