Kenya’s Equity Bank has been named as the most ‘Socially Responsible Bank in Africa’ at the most prestigious Africa’s banking and financial sector event – The African Banker Awards 2019.
This affirms Equity’s social and environmental leadership on the continent.
The award recognises Equity’s initiatives steered through the Equity Group Foundation (EGF) programmes that are positively impacting communities.
The programmes are across five thematic areas that include education and leadership development, entrepreneurship and financial education, health, agriculture and agribusiness, and energy and environment.
The efforts they are geared towards, go beyond the philanthropic use of funds to use of overall knowledge, resources and reputation to improve livelihoods.
Through EGF, the bank has had successful initiatives, key among them being the improvement of secondary school education access for 16,168 students under the Wings to Fly program; Financial Literacy training that has benefited over 1.7 million citizens; more than 400,000 households have benefitted from 84,708 clean energy products, and 638,522 peasant farmers have been transformed to agribusiness entrepreneurs.
In the Socially Responsible Bank category, Equity had been shortlisted alongside Access Bank (Nigeria), Bank Misr (Egypt), KCB (Kenya) and Qalaa Holdings (Egypt).
Commenting on the impressive achievements of the banks shortlisted for the 2019 awards, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: “We’ve been following the work of the financial services industry for many years. The sector over the years has seen great returns, and 2018 was another strong year for banks.”
The winners of the awards, hosted by African Banker magazine in conjunction with Business in Africa Events, were announced at the African Banker Awards on the fringes of Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
In 2018, Equity Group CEO Dr. James Mwangi won Banker of the Year Award for visionary leadership, and the Bank beat off strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted African Bank of the Year Award for registering top performance across all banking metrics.
Equity Group Foundation (EGF) is a non-profit implementing foundation set up in 2008 as the social arm of Equity Group, with the aim of transforming the lives and livelihoods of people socially and economically by availing modern, inclusive financial services that maximize their opportunities.
The goal of the Foundation is to be champion the socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa through economic opportunities, capacity, tools and technology.
These are deployed to enable individuals and businesses increase their productivity, resilience and participation in socio-economic growth against the odds of poverty and other threats.
Through its financial education and inclusion programmes, over 1.7 million women and youth have so far been trained. Additionally, EGF stimulates job creation and economic growth by providing Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) with advice, mentorship and entrepreneurship training. To date, 44,111 MSMEs have been trained.
EGF increases access to comprehensive health financing and private sector-led, affordable, high quality and standardized health services for poor and middle-income families.
It has so far opened five Equity Afia health clinics out of a targeted 300 clinics, providing out-patient care to more than 65,000 patients since inception.