THE Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) has appointed Professor Oliver Saasa as chairman of the financial institution’s board of directors.
According to PTA bank news, Prof Saasa is succeeding Mr Sulleman Mwaronga Kamolleh.
In accepting the appointment, Prof Saasa said, “It is an honour for me to be voted by my colleagues as chair of the board of one of the fastest growing trade and development banks in Africa.
“With the combined dynamism of the bank’s president, Mr Admassu Tadesse, and the board of directors, both old and new, I am more than convinced that the process of repositioning the PTA Bank as the leading and preferred trade and development finance institution in the tripartite region that covers COMESA, SADC and EAC is slowly coming to fruition.”
Prof Saasa was appointed to the board in October 2013. He was elected by the board as its chairman on December 5, 2013 for a three-year term.
The board comprises representatives from member states and for the first time includes two women.
Prof Saasa joined the board a year into the bank’s current corporate plan that ends in 2017. Already, significant strides have been made. These include approving a US$100 million capital increase in September 2013.
By the end of 2103, the PTA Bank will have new shareholders from Europe as well as Africa.
Additionally, the African Development Bank, the bank’s AAA institutional shareholder, has taken up new Class B shares, making it the single largest shareholder.
Prof Saasa has played a significant role in the tripartite region promoting social and economic development.
In the past year, the bank secured two credit ratings upgrades (foreign currency) to BB+ by GCR and to BB by Fitch Ratings.
Its domestic currency rating in Kenya has also been upgraded from AA to AAA. The bank’s balance sheet has almost doubled in the past couple of years, surpassing the US$2 billion mark, and its non-performing loans have come down to its lowest level of 4 percent.
With respect to the bank’s achievements and potential, Prof Saasa said, “In my mind, there is no better time than now for the bank to contribute more directly towards regional integration and cooperation in the eastern and southern African region.”
Prof Saasa, who is the managing consultant and chief executive officer of Premier Consult Limited in Lusaka, has been involved with the PTA Bank for many years.
Prof Saasa started his career in academia where he rose through the ranks from a lecturer to a becoming a chancellor at both Copperstone and Mulungushi universities.
He has served on a number of boards, including Stanbic Bank (Zambia) and the Public Service Pensions Fund Board of Directors (Zambia).
SOURCE: Zambia Daily Mail