Tanzania: Cultural Fund to Issue Loans to Artists Through CRDB Bank

Low interest rate loans to local artists from the Culture and Arts Fund will continue but this time around they will be obtained through CRDB Bank.

The Fund under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports signed an agreement with CRDB Bank in Dar es Salaam over the weekend to provide the loans at 9.0 per cent interest rate.

The fund has so far dished out 1.077bn/- loans to artists since it opened the loan window last December.

The loans were for 45 projects–29 owned by males and 12 by women while one is under a group scheme.

The Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr Pindi Chana, said the agreement came after loan demands from artists increased and they thought they would better tap CRDB Bank’s expertise to provide the loans using its vast network across the country.

“CRDB has branches all over the country, which will enable the fund to cut down the loan costs. We want these loans to reach artists where they are to develop their talents,” Dr Chana said during a ceremony to ink the agreement.

She said society has seen the profit generated from the culture and arts while many parents were now willing to let their children show and enter the artistic world.

Dr Chana said apart from giving them loans they also embarked on a campaign to participate in global concerts to increase their revenues and networks.

“The loan interest is only 9.0 per cent. This is one of the lowest rates in the market because the government partially footed the interest bill,” Dr Chana said.

Out of the 1.077bn/- loans in six months disbursed male artists received 737m/- while 275m/- went to females. One group that came borrowed 10bn/-. Also, some firms lent 55m/-.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees Chairman, Mr Abdulmajid Nsekela, who is also the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of CRDB Bank, said that their main task is to raise the quality of cultural and artistic works to enable artists to operate commercially through loans and training.

“The loan return rate is satisfactory at 88 per cent. The aim is to reach 95 per cent of loan repayment,” Mr Nsekela said.

The Chairman said to make sure that the loans were used for intended purposes, the Fund trained 7,216 beneficiaries from Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, Tanga and Coast.