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Beyond banking, BAI makes a difference in Angolans’ lives

Article - November 3, 2011
From education and health care to culture and sports, BAI is a company that takes its corporate responsibilities very seriously
BAI’s management believes that the lender has to benefit the people and the society in which it operates and not just make profits from its clients. To that end, the bank has an extensive social responsibility programme that includes programmes for education, art and culture, sports, social reintegration and health care.

“Growth necessarily derives from taking on greater and wider-reaching responsibilities,” according to BAI’s social responsibility report. “The bank correspondingly seeks an alignment between its business strategy, affirming its competitive position in the marketplace along with the general interest and wellbeing of its social partners.”

BAI has taken a special interest in educational programmes. Better educated Angolans will be in a position to create and take advantage of economic opportunities, improving their own lives and, of course, spurring growth and use of bank services.

For those reasons, BAI participates in the Information Technology in the Classroom programme. The initiative provides computer training to teachers and allows schoolchildren to interact with computers, many for the first time.

BAI is highly active in the promotion of Angolan arts. It has sponsored various cinema festivals in Luanda and since 1999 it has organised BAI Arte, an annual multimedia event showcasing art and dance performances. This year Cabinda province hosted the first BAI Arte to be held outside Luanda, from June 3-9. The bank has even supported the making of a film, O Alambamento, which was shot in the nation’s capital. The Angolan Contemporary Dance Company has also benefited from the lender’s arts programme.

In addition, BAI has helped send Angolan art to the Bordeaux Biennial, backed the publishing of photojournalism books and sponsored the BAI Carnival Song Award contest at Luanda’s biggest annual cultural event.

Educated and creative minds are important, but so are healthy bodies and BAI helps here as well. The bank has been a sponsor of the Angolan Basketball Federation for several years and was the official bank of Angola’s national football team, the Black Antelopes, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Fighting illness is another important aspect of staying healthy, and in much of Africa AIDS is a particularly prevalent scourge. BAI is engaging in the fight against the disease by supporting awareness campaigns and by backing donation campaigns to help fund hospital programmes.

Angola’s civil war only ended in 2002, and many of the victims of that war are still in need of help to become productive members of society. BAI helps them, too, by offering them micro-credits that permit them to start businesses and contribute to their own and their families’ wellbeing.