KENYA – Kenyan lender Equity Bank is set to receive Sh5.66 billion (US$50.4 million) from United Kingdom’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII), formerly known as CDC Group, for onward lending to small businesses, reports Business Daily.
United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP said the funds will be used to help the bank serve more Kenyans, especially small businesses, to boost business prosperity and help drive Kenya’s economic growth.
However, the Minister did not give particular timelines as to when the bank will receive the funds.
“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” he said.
Mr. Ford further stated that the UK will increase its support for green manufacturing in Kenya by providing an additional Sh61 million (US$545,000) to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.
The funding through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa program will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy and the organized private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans.
Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion (US$370 million) investments across 83 companies with those companies supporting 36,350 jobs and paying Sh2.6 billion (US$23 million) in taxes.
“This is how we will deliver world-class projects, characterized by high standards and outstanding expertise, without forcing huge new debts onto countries such as Kenya,” he said.
It builds on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s commitments at COP26 to help developing countries take advantage of clean technology and grow their economies sustainably.