Akiba Commercial Bank was founded in 1993, at a time when Tanzania's banks were not meeting the financial needs of micro- and small-business owners. In 1997, Akiba received its operating license and formally launched operations. Today, Akiba is a full-service, commercial bank in the Tanzanian capital city, Dar es Salaam and has branches in other cities in the country.
Accion partnered with Akiba in early 2002, with the initial launch of an institutional assessment exercise. Over the course of the next few years, Accion provided technical assistance services for Akiba’s operations, largely in the areas of training, product design and marketing.
In 2008, Akiba and Accion entered into a management agreement to deploy Accion microfinance experts at the helm of the bank's microfinance operations. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to expand Akiba beyond its current footprint of branches in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi to reach thousands of microentrepreneurs across Tanzania.
Accion also capitalized Akiba with a U.S. $2.5 million amounting to a 20% stake in the bank through which Accion also was eligible for two board seats through which it contributes to the governance quality at the bank.. The majority of Akiba's shares are owned by individual Tanzanians. International partners include Accion, Triodos, FMO, SIDI and Incofin.