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LUSAKA, May 19 (Reuters) – The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) said on Monday it had issued a banking licence to Nigeria’s Access Bank ACCE.LG, which has pledged to invest an initial $7.5 million in Zambia.


Access Bank Group Deputy Managing Director Herbert Wigwe said the Nigerian group planned to open 50 branches in Zambia over the next five years.


Chisha Mwanakatwe, BoZ director for bank supervision, said the central bank wanted to encourage commercial banks to expand into more areas to help lower the cost of access to finance. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; editing by Sue Thomas)