COMMUNIQUE ON BURUNDI
Many will be aware of the news reports on the situation in Burundi involving public protests, an attempted coup d’etat, and related unrest in the past weeks. Given the queries and concerns expressed by some stakeholders, we wish to inform all concerned that PTA Bank, which operates on a decentralized basis, is for all intents and purposes unaffected by the unfortunate situation in Burundi.
At the outset, we wish to clarify that the Bank’s loan and investment assets in Burundi represent under 1% of the Bank’s total loan and investment assets. This is to a large extent due to the relatively small size of Burundi’s economy relative to the economies of the other eastern and southern African economies where the Bank operates and where there have been many viable projects and trade finance applications that meet the Bank’s lending policies, which are matched to international best practice (the Bank does not have any loan or investment assets in Comoros, Eritrea or Somalia). The Bank is a USD currency based multilateral bank, with its liquidity and bank accounts based in highly rated banks in major global financial centres.
It is the case that the Bank has for many years now been operating on a decentralized model, with the bank’s operations spread across its regional offices including Nairobi, Kenya, Harare, Zimbabwe and Port Louis, Mauritius, complementing the Bank’s administrative hub and headquarters located in Bujumbura, Burundi. The decentralization policy has enabled the Bank to be closer to the various markets and clients that the Bank serves and also to be more accessible to funders and other partners. The Bank’s primary electronic and data systems are domiciled in Nairobi with secondary and support systems in Bujumbura and Port Louis.
We also wish to inform that the Bank, for business continuity and safety reasons, has temporarily evacuated its international staff out of Burundi, as have many other entities with international staff. The Bank’s Management and most of its operational staff are operating smoothly from the Bank’s regional offices in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritius. We also wish to note that all Members of the Board of Directors are currently in the various other African countries where they are from and where they normally reside.
Nonetheless, the refurbishment works and upgrading of the Bank’s HQ buildings in Bujumbura continue, and the premises remain open. The Bank is monitoring the situation and the evacuated international staff will return to Bujumbura once conditions normalize.
In closing, we clarify that the Bank’s operations are essentially unaffected by the Burundi crisis.