President of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) Yohannes Ayalew (PhD) commenced lease financing through interest-free medium and short-term loans for agro-processing and tourism sectors last week. Yohannes announced that the Policy Bank is on its way to restoring its past glory, currently posting 180 billion Br in assets during the ceremony at Skylight Hotel. It was attended by senior executives from several commercial banks and officials, including State Minister for Finance Eyob Tekalign (PhD). Yohannes revealed that DBE had managed to bring down the proportion of its outstanding sick loans from 40pc four years ago to 7.1pc by implementing tight supervision on corruption and selection of investments. He also noted that the bank will expand the number of branches nationwide to 100 in the coming year. State Minister Eyob noted the underdevelopment of interest-free financing in the country while also advising the bank's officials to keep a tight grip on their current trajectory of financial inclusion. Deputy Vice President of the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, Abdulkerim Bedredin (Sheikh), applauded the central role played by the new financing modality by expanding access to finance to the Islamic community.