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December 09, 2018

Message from the President


I would like to first express my pleasure in joining the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia as President. Assuming this position in the oldest and leading bank is a big responsibility and opportunity. However, with the usual cooperation and long-term friendship forged, I am confident that my time in the bank will be pleasant and fruitful.

CBE is a bank with a strong and solid foundation. This has helped us to maintain our leadership position in the domestic industry during the past 75 years. FY 2018 marks the 75th year of CBE since it was opened for services. Being a milestone in the bank’s history, the 75th anniversary has thus been colorfully celebrated through series of events and activities since December 2017. Given the rapid growth and transformation it has achieved, CBE has indeed every reason to celebrate. I believe the next 25 years will be even more resounding. I also strongly believe that the generation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the bank will have more and strong reasons to do so as the foundations are firmly in place for CBE to be a qualitatively different bank at par with world class banks.

There are sufficient reasons that back the above assertion. In the past decade alone, CBE has registered impressive growth. When the implementation of the first Five-Year Corporate Business Strategy started in 2010, the bank’s total deposit position was barely Birr 56.1 billion. As of June 2018, it stood at Birr 451.8 billion, which is about 64 percent of the total deposit mobilized by the banking sector in Ethiopia. The bank’s total asset as well grew from Birr 74.2 billion in 2010 to Birr 565.5 billion as of June 30, 2018. Moreover, its capital and reserve was raised at different times; and by 2017/18 FY, it reached Birr 43.1 billion.

Branch-based banking has continued to be the major direction of the bank in availing services for the public throughout the country. Ten years back, CBE branches were not more than 200, but jumped to 1,288 by 2018. CBE is also leading the industry in providing technology-based modern payment systems, which in due course fully modernize the local payment system. Currently, CBE has 1,708 ATMs and 11,796 POS terminals deployed at commercial centers and customer-friendly places, and the transaction volume of these channels is growing steadily year after year.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia is one of the largest employers in the country. Currently, it has more than fifty two thousand employees. To make the staff fit to ‘service excellence’ which the bank upholds as its central motto, CBE has developed a comprehensive human resource development (HRD) strategy. Of the HRD development strategy packages, “Learning and Development” that largely relies on-the-job training is conducted extensively and on a continuous basis at a dedicated training center of the bank.

It should be noted that our vision is to become a World Class Bank by 2025. I am confident that we will achieve this, given the success scored in the past. But I have to stress that the realization of our vision demands extra commitment and dedication, among other things.

Right now we are three years into the implementation of the second Five Years Corporate Business Strategy (2015/16-2019/20). Through a quick review and updating of the strategy during August-September, 2018, we will be speeding up our journey to our vision in the next two years.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Ato Bekalu Zeleke, who has led the bank as a president for the last ten years, and his team. His contribution as a catalyst for the transformative performance deserves special admiration. I am more than confident that the dedication of the entire team will continue to shine during my stay in office, too.

The bank’s new organizational structure, the implementation of which started recently, will play a prominent role in the fulfillment of CBE’s strategy. The new organizational structure has taken the financial and non-financial future growth of the bank into consideration. The new organizational structure, with some amendments, is expected to alleviate the constraints in the existing structure and accommodate the huge expansion strategy of the bank.

As in the past, CBE focuses largely on creating convenience for the bank’s customers. Expanding access and contributing to the national financial literacy program will continue to be our task that will be performed with enhanced robustness and courtesy. Moreover, CBE will continue its exemplary duties in carrying out Corporate Social Responsibilities.

Finally, I would like to note that CBE’s accomplishments so far would not have been possible without the loyalty, commitments and unified efforts of all stakeholders, mainly our customers, dedicated staff, and the leadership. I am very confident that all these will continue to be our major sources of inspiration and strength in further transforming the bank through the coming years. Thus, I call upon all the stakeholders involved in the execution of the bank’s strategy to dedicate all their resources and energy towards the realization of CBE’s vision and strategic goals.Bacha Gina President/CEO

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