Thursday, May 23, 2024

Barclays chief says bank seeks to unite Africa

At the core of Barclays Bank’s One Africa Strategy is a vision to unite the continent, the Barclays Africa Chief Executive and Africa Head of Strategy, Kennedy Bungane, has said.

He added the bank has a vision to unite Africa through finance and business.

His statement comes on the back of an announcement in August to combine the operations of Barclays Africa and Absa, in which Barclays PLC holds a majority stake.

“We have a vision for One Africa, uniting the continent through finance and business, and we are making good progress in this regard as witnessed by the relocation of our Barclays Africa Regional Office to Johannesburg,” Bugane said over the weekend when officiating at the inaugural Barclays Bank of Botswana National Choir Festival, which was held at Maitisong. “The combination of these businesses will create opportunities for further growth. More importantly, it will link countries across the continent, from Kenya all the way down to South Africa.”

He said the One Africa strategy will allow Barclays Bank to leverage its expertise to provide a better and broader range of products and services to its customers.

He noted that just as a choir brings together a group of people with varying talents, personalities and backgrounds to create a sound that brands them as an entity and distinguish them from other groups, in the same way Barclays Africa and Absa are creating a choir.

“We are trying to create harmony in our Africa operations, across nationalities, religions, races and genders, to make one bank. This competition allows us to both share our vision and to use it positively in our community. We all come from different backgrounds; we have different personalities but music transcends all that,” he pointed out.

Bungane explained that the choir festival is an initiative meant to inspire local communities to strive for the best, personally and professionally.

“We want to continue to bring positive and sustainable change in our communities, particularly within the arts. We have seen in other countries the potential of the arts to empower people through education and employment creation,” he said.

The Interim Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Botswana, Aupa Monyatsi, said that though the continued global economic downturn has made it difficult for many businesses, including banks, to survive, Barclays has continued to prosper due to the trust that its customers have shown in it. He said it is because of the customers’ continued support that the bank is able to give back to the community in various ways.

“Barclays Bank strives to provide seamless services and support that make a difference in society. Our innovation and drive are not only outward looking, but as demonstrated by this choir festival, it is something within us, within our team, within our greatest asset ÔÇô our human resources,” Monyatsi said.

He indicated that Barclays’ strategy for the coming years is about consolidation.

“We are striving to be one bank, to continue to grow in Africa but to also grow Africa,” he said.
On a night in which 11 choirs from all over the country battled it out, the winner was the Barclays Park Choir, while second and third positions went to Broadhurst cluster and Gaborone Industrial cluster.

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