Bank of Africa - History


The maiden bank of the BOA Group, BOA Mali, was established in late 1982, in Bamako, Mali, by local businesspeople. It was formed to address the scarcity of banking services for local businesses and individuals, which was prevalent not only in Mali at that time, but across most of Francophone West Africa. This initial effort was without any external financial backing.

The success of BAO Mali, led to the establishment of African Financial Holdings (AFH), as the holding company for BOA Mali in 1988. The objective of AFH was (a) to promote the establishment of banking subsidiaries across Africa, with local capital participation as a key component and (b) BOA would offer both management, technical support as well as equity participation in these new banking subsidiaries.

Starting in 1990 with BOA Benin, the group started opening subsidiaries across the continent, initially in Francophone countries but eventually in Anglophone Africa, starting with BOA Kenya in 2004. To increase their capital base, AFH took on new investors including the PROPARCO, a division of the French Development Agency, Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Natexis (now Natixis) of France.

In 2008, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) took a 35% shareholding interest in AFH, which had rebranded to Bank of Africa Group, bringing much needed financial capital and banking expertise to the group.

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