- The move is aimed at creating positive change in communities
- Absa said it is leveraging the power of technology to assist in learning and impart core skills
- Experts have already said the country needs to lay the groundwork for e-learning through investments in ICT infrastructure and digital literacy
Absa Bank Kenya PLC has launched a digital literacy enhancement programme targeting to establish 66 computer labs in schools across the country.
The bank is investing Sh23 million in the nationwide project that is being spearheaded in partnership with Computer for Schools Kenya (CFSK) and will see 1,500 computers donated to different schools in the coming months.
The two organizations rolled out the initiative at the Kikuyu Township Primary School by donating 20 desktop computers that are fully networked and fitted with relevant software to support learning.
The donation was accompanied by desks and tables refurbished from the waste collected during the bank’s rebranding exercise completed last year, saving the environment up to 12 tonnes of e-waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Absa Bank’s Head of Sustainability and Citizenship Jane Waiyaki said the bank will continue to find innovative ways to create positive change in the community in line with its Sustainability and Citizenship Agenda.
“We are leveraging the power of technology to assist in learning, imparting core skills, and developing the educational potential of young students in Kenya,” said Waiyaki.
ABSA’s move comes at a time when experts have said that the country needs to stay ahead of the curve by laying the groundwork for e-learning through investments in ICT infrastructure, digital literacy, digital content and upskilling of teachers and trainers.
Speaking to Business Daily, AM Communications said that the initiative would spur the growth of e-learning in Kenya and act as a signal for global players to double down on their investments in the space, leading to job creation and knowledge transfer.
“E-learning will also help Kenya improve its global competitiveness. It equips learners –whether they are in educational institutions, a corporate setting or small business—with timely knowledge, tools and resources needed to compete in a fast-changing technology-driven global economy,” the communications firm said.
The initiative comes a month after the listed financial institution recorded improved performance for the half year ended June 2021.
During the period, the bank marked an 846% jump in net profits to Sh5.6 billion.
Experts said the profitability was 33%, compared to a similar period last year. The performance was driven by lower provisions as well as the absence of a Sh1.67 Billion exceptional expense item related to rebranding in the prior year.
Brand awareness came in at 82% in the quarter, on track to achieve 95% before 2023 – with the separation appearing to have gone well albeit at significant cost.
Total income also performed well, growing 6.1% mainly driven by increased lending as Absa accelerated efforts in supporting businesses to recover from the pandemic and reposition for growth.
Cost of risk came in at 1.8%, with the normalized rate being 1.8%- 2.2%; which was much lower than the 4.3% hit in 2020.
The bank also delivered a cost-to-income ratio of 44.6%, the lowest in over a decade.
While the underlying business was growing, the bank’s costs were well managed, with total expenses down 2.6%, largely because of spend discipline and cost initiatives which included automation of the processing centre and continued migration of customer transactions to alternative channels.
“In terms of asset quality, Absa was one of the few banks in the industry which has managed its lending book relatively well,” analysts from Standard Investment Bank said.
The bank is also ahead in making substantial provisions, now being written back into the income statement (Sh1.1Bn) in the period, with a slightly larger amount likely in the second half subject to macro conditions in Kenya. Scheme lending has been a driver for lower provisions as the bank has a better understanding of clients.
The bank has previously revealed that it wants to invest Sh1.6 Billion towards digital transformation in 2021 covering; digital wallet, WhatsApp banking, Agency Banking Expansion, Securities trading Automation, Contactless payments, digital loan top-ups, open-sourced innovation platform and enabling core banking system for APIs among others.
Konza rolls out ecosystem forum to drive innovation