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Bank to facilitate financing and women economic empowerment

The National Commercial Bank of Africa (NCBA) has today signed a Sh6.7 billion (USD50 million) facility to go towards facilitating green financing and women economic empowerment in Kenya in line with their sustainability commitments.

The funding that is geared to delivering the NCBA’s “Change the Story” sustainability agenda will be provided by   Proparco, a subsidiary of the AFD Group that focuses on private sector development and the funding.

Change The Story platform was launched last year and is anchored on five strategic pillars and a set of fifteen bold commitments which includes mobilizing Sh30 billion for Green and Sustainable Financing, steering at least 30 percent of the general services procurement spent on women and youth as well as promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among others.

Additionally, NCBA also launched an ambitious investment plan to extend its presence in Kenya and to better serve its Small Medium Enterprise (SME) and corporate clients.

Through a deal with Proparco NCBA group will enhance sectoral investments in agriculture and manufacturing as well as join the 2X Challenge, an initiative promoting women in entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The 2X Challenge is an initiative launched by international financial institutions in 2018 to advance opportunities for women and increase financing towards gender-equality.

The project is expected to finance more than 1,600 MSMEs and SMEs, in the context of the Choose Africa initiative, the Agence Française de Dèvelopment (AFD) Group program that aims to support African entrepreneurs.

It will also contribute to SDG 5 “Gender Equality”, SDG 8 “Decent work and economic growth”, SDG 13 “Climate Action.

John Gachora, the Group Managing Director, NCBA said Monday during a meeting that the partnership will deepen shared goals of fostering sustainable economic development and advancing the cause of green finance, women empowerment, and SME growth.

“We are grateful to Proparco for coming on board and enabling us to meet our sustainability commitments. As NCBA, collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships are integral to the value that we deliver to all our stakeholders,” he added.

Emmanuel Haye, Head of Financial Institutions Africa at Proparco said that the collaboration will enhance financial inclusion in Kenya, especially for women entrepreneurs, as the project has qualified for the 2X Challenge.

“NCBA Group endorses the same goals and values as Proparco. The positive role they play to tackle climate change through green projects, as well as social inequalities, resonates with our 2023-2027 Strategy” he added.

NCBA Group is a full-service banking group that provides services that include SME and consumer banking. It operates a network of more than 100 branches in five countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.

Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Development Group has an international network and works closely with partners to build sustainable solutions to environmental and social change in Africa.

 By Wangari Ndirangu

 

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