The rise of entrepreneurs

This interview was originally published in the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea book

Alberto Doria Lajay, Deputy Director General of CCEI Bank GE

CCEI Bank GE was setup in 1994 as a subsidiary of the Cameroonian-banking group Afriland First Bank, before the major oil and gas developments of the 1990s and 2000s. The philosophy of the banking group is that meaningful economic progress can come to Africa through cooperation within Africa, and through finding solutions that mirror societies and cultures on the continent.

What is CCEI Bank’s role in the Equatoguinean economy?

Since its establishment, CCEI Bank GE has been dedicated to supporting the Equatoguinean government, and has played a significant role in financing projects that have made a difference to the country’s economic and infrastructural development.

Over the years, the bank has supported the economy of Equatorial Guinea by financing various governmental projects, with its support being most visible in the majority of the construction projects. CCEI represents 70 percent of the total financing of the local market.

While the bank continues to invest in the economic development of the country, it is also growing as an institution, having built two new offices in Bata recently. Our major objectives include promoting wider financial inclusion through increasing the accessibility of financial services to more of the nations citizens.

How does CCEI plan to achieve this goal?

Since inception, the bank has been driven by the idea of empowering Africans to take responsibility of their future. Through this determination, CCEI Bank has been dedicated to empowering its customers to create and maintain successful businesses.

By increasing access to finance and playing its part in economic development, the bank focuses on the development of small businesses, emerging industries and sectors that hold the potential to create opportunities.

Through paying particular attention to small to medium sized companies and small to medium sized basic industries, CCEI Bank assists in their development, with many of the emerging businesses being set up as sub-contractors to the large international groups that began arriving in Equatorial Guinea in the 1990s to develop the newly discovered hydrocarbon reserves. Since then the bank has continued its work with entrepreneurs.

Other sectors the bank believes hold potential to further benefit the country include the agricultural, fishing and services sectors.

What is your outlook for the energy sector?

With the gradual rise of the oil price and the country’s economic diversification, CCEI Bank believes that this will create new prospects for the country and along with this, the bank’s business in the energy sector will grow.

The low crude oil price of recent years had immediate and serious impacts on state financial resources. This may signal some delays on some of the goals set by the Horizon 2020 economic diversification plan. Despite this, CCEI remains one of the favored banks in Equatorial Guinea, having counted international oil and gas groups such as Marathon Oil, Chevron, Schlumberger and Total among our past and present clients.

With the country working towards a more prosperous future, CCEI Bank GE hopes to be an integral part of this work, as it has been in the past. Over the last twenty years, Equatorial Guinea has laid the right foundations for infrastructural development, having built roads and freeways, hospitals, telecoms infrastructure and the like. Going forward, the country is open to communicating with potential investors. Equatorial Guinea already has all the elements and foundations in place to accommodate investment in any sector.

This interview was originally published in the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea book

Alberto Doria Lajay, Deputy Director General of CCEI Bank GE