Botswana based financial services company, Letshego Holdings Group, formerly Micro Provident Botswana, last month put smiles on its shareholders faces as it established another of its subsidiaries in Namibia as it moves to be a big micro lending player in the SADC region.
In an e-mailed statement, Letshego chairman, Moses Lekaukau, stated that the opening of the Namibia office is part of the company’s pan African plan to ensure the organisation’s growth and geographic diversification.
“Letshego is proud to be an integral part of various governments’ efforts in Africa to alleviate poverty by enabling ordinary citizens to have access to finance to help them make a meaningful role in their economic development and that of their countries,” said the chairman.
The opening of a subsidiary in Namibia brings to six the number of subsidiaries adding to others in Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania.
Letshego’s Sodom in Namibia started last October when it acquired Edu Loan Namibia.
The transaction involved the purchasing of all shares of Edu Loan, South Africa, for a total investment commitment of N$55 million.
“This is a demonstration of a commitment to trade across SADC borders which is the hallmark vision of the founding fathers of the Southern Africa Development Community,” added Lekaukau.
“Letshego has always embraced the fundamental principle of empowerment in its African expansion programme,” he said.
A deal was concluded with local partners, Kumwe Investments (Pty) Ltd, who purchased 15 percent of the company’s stake.
“This is a clear demonstration of the confidence and commitment they have in our investment in Letshego Namibia”.
Letshego Namibia currently boasts about 23,000 clients with an average loan of N$ 6,000.00 and the average term is 26 months. The loan book has grown to N$ 110,000,000.00.
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed micro lenders’ main activity is to extend short to medium term, personal, unsecured loans to formally employed individuals.
The company’s customers are individuals that are formally employed by government, para-statals and the private sector.
Formed in 1998, Micro Provident has been very successful, growing its loan book from P20.9 million in October 1999 to about P326 million (about 38,000 loans) in the 2005 financial year ÔÇô an increase of 53 percent over the previous year.
The company was listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in September 2002 and started rolling out its business model to other parts of Africa after it was accredited with the Botswana IFSC in 2006.