Amana Bank has announced plans to open seven new branches in various regions during the next seven years as Tanzania’s first fully-Sharia compliant financial entity seeks to cement its presence in the country.

“Our plan is to go to Morogoro, Mtwara, Iringa, Mbeya as well as Pemba and Unguja. The target is to cover the whole country in future. Under our five-year strategic plan, the number of bank branches would increase to 13 from the current six,” Amana Bank Managing Director, Idris Rashidi said.

Four of its current branches are in Dar es Salaam while Mwanza and Arusha have one each.

During the years, Amana Bank has increased its customers’ deposits to Tshs 96 billion and issued loans totaling Tshs 67 billion. “We hope to expand our products to cover housing loans as well as supporting small-scale agriculture,” he said.

The plan is to reach a breakeven point and start making profits by June next year.

Among the bank’s plans are to improve service delivery through internet banking and introducing mobile applications that would help a customer to open an account without physically visiting the bank, provided that he/she has the required documents.

“With the national identity cards in place, a customer can use mobile apps to open and interact with the bank in doing transactions,” he added, expressing hope that the apps would enable the bank to increase the number of customers.

Currently Amana Bank has over 16,000 customers. In a bid to bring service close to its customers, Dr. Rashidi said Amana Bank is exploring possibilities of partnering with banking agents in various place in Dar es Salaam to provide services on behalf of the bank.