Financial Partnership Targets Gender Equality, Green Economy in Kenya

NCBA Group, a prominent player in Kenya’s financial services sector, has recently entered a significant agreement with Proparco, a subsidiary of the AFD Group, allocating a substantial USD 50 million towards their sustainability initiative dubbed “Change The Story.”

This partnership underscores NCBA’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, building upon its established rapport with the AFD Group. Their “Change The Story” platform, launched in 2023, is centered on five key pillars and fifteen bold commitments. Noteworthy among these commitments, relevant to this collaboration, are initiatives to channel KES 30 billion into Green & Sustainable Financing and allocate at least 30% of procurement expenditure towards supporting women and youth while promoting diversity and inclusion.

[L] NCBA Group Managing Director, John Gachora and [R] Regional Head of Proparco, East Africa, Audrey Maignan shake hands on USD 50m partnership deal as Ambassador of France to Kenya and Somalia H.E. Arnaud Suquet and NCBA Group Chairman, James Ndegwa look on at Serena Hotel, Nairobi.

Moreover, NCBA has outlined an ambitious expansion plan in Kenya, aiming to bolster support for SMEs and corporate clients while addressing inequality through enhanced financial inclusion. The agreement with Proparco will facilitate increased investments in agriculture and manufacturing sectors, aligning with the 2X Challenge, an initiative focused on empowering women in entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Launched in 2018 by international financial institutions, the 2X Challenge seeks to advance opportunities for women and enhance financing towards gender equality. This project, anticipated to benefit over 1,600 MSMEs and SMEs, contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs], including SDG 5 [Gender Equality], SDG 8 [Decent work and economic growth], and SDG 13 [Climate Action].

John Gachora, NCBA’s Group Managing Director, expressed gratitude towards Proparco for their support in meeting sustainability objectives. He emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships in delivering value to stakeholders, envisioning this collaboration as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, green finance, women’s empowerment, and SME growth.

Proparco’s collaboration with NCBA aligns with its 2023-2027 Strategy, particularly focusing on advancing sustainability goals in Kenya, with emphasis on green financing, women-led enterprises, and SMEs. Emmanuel Haye, Head of Financial Institutions Africa at Proparco, highlighted the shared values between the two entities and emphasized the role of this collaboration in promoting financial inclusion, particularly for women entrepreneurs, within the framework of the 2X Challenge.

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