In 1925, the National Bank of South Africa was acquired by Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas). Following this, three offices were inherited in Northern Rhodesia: Kabwe (Broken Hill), Bwana Mkubwa and Fort Jameson. In 1964, following independence, a separate local board was established. Communications were difficult in the early years, but the building of the Great East Road in the 20s linked Chipata with Lusaka. Barclays opened further offices, particularly to serve the Copperbelt that was then being developed - hence branches at Ndola, Nkana, Roan and Mufulira. Barclays was the first bank in this region. Post-war rural development led to the provision of mobile branches, allowing those in remote areas to access banking services. By 1971, Barclays operated 57 offices, including 27 full branches within the country, and in 1996, the Connect debit card was launched. In the year of its launch, over 2,500 cards were issued, and later in 1997, Connect services were extended to the Copperbelt and eastern Province. In 2000 the banking community was surprised by the appointment of a woman, Margaret Mwanakatwe, as managing director of BBZ. In 2007 the Bank announced plans to open 30 Barclays Express prefabricated branches by the end of the year, along the lines of similar branches in other African countries where Barclays is present. By 2008, when the BBZ was named Best Bank in the Euromoney awards for excellence, there were 70 Barclays offices in Zambia employing 1,200 staff. In 2009 Barclays launched Premier Banking in Zambia. In 2011 Barclays and UNICEF marked four years of their Building Young Futures partnership in Zambia, which has helped to empower more than half a million young people globally by providing opportunities to acquire the skills needed to achieve a better future. Another partnership, with GlaxoSmithKline, was formed in 2013 with the aim of increasing access to affordable healthcare and medicines for the citizens of Zambia. This has since been developed with CARE International to create a social enterprise model for healthcare and entrepreneurship. By 2014 Zambia was the only country in Africa where all three of Barclays’ global community investment programmes were being delivered: Banking on Change, Spaces for Sports and Building Young Futures. In 2012 Barclays and ABSA launched Barclays Life Zambia, offering customers a range of tailored insurance products. The same year saw Barclays named as Bank of the Year in Zambia by The Banker magazine. In 2013 Barclays undertook an innovative and ground breaking bond issue on behalf of the Zambian government. Also in 2013 it was announced that Barclays Zambia was to be incorporated into Barclays Africa Group, of which Barclays owns 62.3%. In 2016 Barclays announced plans for a progressive reduction of its shareholding in Barclays Africa Group Ltd.