The Financial Times-owned Banker Magazine has recognised Kenya’s biggest bank by assets for its Group’s youth empowerment programme.
This year’s winners were announced at the Bank of the Year award ceremony held in London on November 29, 2018.
KCB secured the award through the Group’s social investments arm, KCB Foundation’s flagship youth wealth and employment creation programme, 2jiajiri, aimed at empowering the youth in East Africa to take charge of their financial freedom through skills-based and business training.
The award aims to recognize the most innovative initiatives undertaken by financial institutions that enrich and improve the societies in which they operate.
Speaking at the event, KCB Foundation Managing Director Jane Mwangi said KCB is honoured to be recognised for its efforts to ensure financial inclusion in the region by enabling the youth to build sustainable businesses.
“This award is an affirmation that 2jiajiri is actually doing good in the East Africa region by addressing the region’s collective social challenge of youth unemployment. By investing in skills and businesses run by the youth, we are not only empowering them but enabling KCB to have access to high-margin customers of the future,” she added.
2jiajiri was launched in 2016 by the KCB foundation and aims to create at least 50,000 entrepreneurs in 5 years, thereby creating at least 2.5 million direct and indirect jobs.
It is an enterprise development and wealth creation programme that aims to transform the youth of today into the employers of tomorrow. As its name suggests, 2jiajiri is all about liberating the youth from the expectation of selling their labour to the freedom of self-employment.
The programme focusses on various trades that form the backbone of the informal economy namely: agribusiness, automotive engineering, beauty and personal care, building and construction, domestic services and information technology to unlock the SME potential of businesses in Eastern Africa as it seeks to generate sustainable employment opportunities for the youth.
The Banker Awards, now in its 19th year set the benchmark for the industry by recognising top banks across the globe based on annual financial performance, their multi-channel banking strategies and the pursuit of financial inclusion.
Over 12 CEOs attended the launch which seeks to initiate public participation during the first day of the Global Roundtable meeting.
The six principles will define the banking industry’s role and responsibilities in shaping a sustainable future. They are alignment, impact, customers and clients, stakeholders, governance and culture, transparency and accountability.
They speak to banking business and culture aligned with Climate Change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and relevant national and regional frameworks themes.
In the same month, S&P Global Ratings affirmed KCB’s ratings of B+/B in the long and short-term reinforcing the lender’s market position.
This affirmation further upholds the stable outlook for the bank with S&P adding that the ratings are supported by KCB’s resilient earnings amid regulatory changes in Kenya and challenging economic conditions.
The lender’s operations are concentrated in Kenya and the bank has a regional presence across the East African region— Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and a representative office in Ethiopia.