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Ecobank Liberia launches Diaspora Mortgage Scheme 

Pan Africanist bank, Ecobank Liberia, partners to bring relief to diaspora Liberians.

By Lewis S. Teh

Monrovia, Liberia, June 10, 2024—Ecobank Liberia, in partnership with Seso Global and T.A. Braithwaite Insurance Brokers, has launched the country’s first diaspora mortgage scheme. 

The scheme, launched virtually over the weekend, is the only one of its kind in Liberia. It allows the Liberian diaspora worldwide to access real estate in their home country like never before.

“This is something we worked on for a very long time, and I think we are here today in the final analysis to launch this product,” said Gibson Kollie, Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Liberia. 

Kollie explained that the bank has been striving to identify and address the needs of its customers, particularly those in the diaspora, who have faced challenges in owning property back home.

“We realize that Liberians outside of the country have been wanting to own property and homes for some time now, but it has been a major challenge,” Kollie added, “Many of them complained about sending money back home and not getting any value in return. 

So, the bank saw the need to come in and address that. The diaspora mortgage scheme aims to enable thousands of Liberians living abroad to collaborate with Ecobank and T.A. Braithwaite Insurance Brokers to own property in Liberia.” 

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He said three construction companies have been identified to work with, including Millennium Builders, Vision Estate, and Atlantic, in developing properties for individuals in the diaspora. 

“Our targets are individuals, especially those in the USA, Canada, the UK, and other European countries. To be eligible for the mortgage, applicants must access the platform developed by Ecobank’s partners, with pre-qualification handled by T.A. Braithwaite and Seso Global.”

 Kollie outlined the requirements: “Ecobank will facilitate the implementation and administer the entire scheme, subject to terms and agreement. 

He said confirmation will be based on the bank’s requirements to grant facilities to qualified individuals based on risk assessment criteria, adding, “The scheme includes a down payment of 30%, an annual interest rate of 12.5%, and a repayment period of eight years.”

 Potential borrowers must commit to remitting or transferring repayments to an Ecobank account. Gabriel Salee, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the keynote speaker via Zoom. 

He emphasized the government’s commitment to engaging the diaspora in national development. “This government is interested in ensuring that our citizens who live in the diaspora have a greater role to play in our national development,” Salee stated. 

He highlighted President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s focus on strengthening the relationship with the diaspora, saying, “We believe that over the years, Liberians have supported themselves and their families in many ways, and most of them have decided to become part and parcel of the overall development of their country.”

According to the Acting Foreign Minister, taking on such a project is a great plus for the country’s overall development.

He encouraged Liberians across the world to take advantage of the opportunity and initiative, adding, “We believe that this initiative will go a long way in promoting our sense of unity and development.” 

DES Braithwaite Group, Executive Director of T.A. Braithwaite Insurance Brokers, said the product has been designed to ensure that individuals living abroad own a property back home in Liberia, adding

 “With Ecobank as our partner, a reputable and stable institution, we are already generating a lot of interest for our diaspora mortgage products in the UK, EU, USA, and Canada.”

Earlier, Ecobank Liberia Managing Director, Dr. Edward Nartey Botchway, lauded partners and staff of the bank for the farsightedness.

He promised that as a pan-African bank, they would ensure that the scheme was fully utilized and that Ecobank customers were given the best. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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