In June the Equity Group and Equity Group Foundation together with the United Nations system in Kenya, and its SDG Partnership Platform signed a strategic partnership to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya by 2030. The strengthened partnership will promote and catalyse investments in the SDGs beyond short term cycles, enabling the UN system in Kenya to reach more people on the ground through Equity’s strong brand in the community, its infrastructure network, development expertise and local knowledge. Additionally, the partnership will promote social and financial inclusion improving economic outcomes for human development and contributing to the socio-economic transformation of Kenya. The coming together of the two institutions will support Kenya’s transition as an emerging middle-income country through harnessing innovative partnerships, investments, and financing to accelerate the SDGs for poverty alleviation, and minimizing reliance on aid for transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the Kenyan people.
“Equity is joining this alliance as the implementation partner for various social impact initiatives aligned to the SDGs with the end goal of trickling down to the local communities. We will deploy USD 6 billion on the SDG Partnership Platform, and we expect 5 million MSMEs to benefit from this financing within the region. We are convinced that these enterprises will create at least 5 jobs each. The engine of job creation is enterprises which will also create market for the raw products from our communities and address the issue of unemployment.” said Equity Group MD and CEO Dr James Mwangi.
Equity Group whose purpose is to transform lives, give dignity and expand opportunities for wealth creation, continues to play a leading role in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals. Through its regional banking subsidiaries, Equity continues to collaborate with UN agencies in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and in other footprint countries.
Further commenting during the signing ceremony, Dr Mwangi, said, “Our existing partnerships with UN agencies have proven to be mutually beneficial to our common objectives of socio-economic development through the transformation of lives and livelihoods. Every time we have collaborated with the UN it has resulted in great outcomes. For instance, alongside UN agencies and Government in our Social Protection work we have supported 3.3 million refugee and vulnerable beneficiaries and provided USD 852 million, as well as capacity building to advance their financial inclusion.”
Through the enhanced partnership, Equity will work together with the UN Resident Coordinators Office, the SDG Partnership Platform and the 23 UN agencies with operations in Kenya to accelerate knowledge management for SDG achievement, with training and catalytic investments to facilitate market access and cross border trade across diverse value chains especially for women and youth entrepreneurs for on the development and implementation of Equity’s `Africa Plan for Resilience and Recovery’, in light of the impacts of COVID-19.
Arif Neky, Senior Advisor UN Strategic Partnerships and National Coordinator SDG Partnerships Platform commented on the same saying, “This partnership with Equity excites us because many Equity Group Foundation principles are aligned to those of the UN. Working with Equity, we shall connect and catalyse partnerships and investments in the SDGs beyond short term cycles, particularly enabling us to reach the people on the ground through Equity’s network.”
The partnership execution strategy will incorporate and involve the larger ecosystem and will transition from policy development to driving on the ground implementation through collaboration with key stakeholders such as Government, NGOs and the private sector.
With the prevailing economic trends, Equity continues to lead in supporting development agencies to achieve their objectives within their areas of jurisdiction through disrupting and innovating within the region’s financial sector.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership, UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya, Dr Stephen Jackson said, “Today we mark a milestone with an ambition to scale up and accelerate the opportunities that improve the economy and the lives of Kenyans. This is an exciting opportunity to innovate, co-create and expand opportunities that are targeted to create a world class public-private model that everyone can emulate around the world.”
Dr Jackson further noted that Kenya has joined the middle-income economies and that donors are now shifting from aid/grant-based support to financing to ensure the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030 Goals. “By partnering with Equity, we now can offer tremendous value to the local communities. We have identified sub-sectors and discovered that there are growth opportunities across various market segments.” added Dr Jackson.
Equity has a unique position of co-designing evidence-based socio-economic interventions informed by insights from a customer base of 15 million clients and by leveraging on the Group’s bespoke implementation model which combines Equity’s ability to apply its commercial infrastructure and sunk capital to deliver efficient and impactful social impact programs, thus guaranteeing a high return on social impact investments.
“Equity has focused to grow its partnerships and champion collaborations with like-minded partners to further our purpose, which is to champion the economic transformation of Africa. We have confidence and trust in the UN system, which has a proven track record of building a brand of care and empathy and whose focus is on people centered initiatives just like Equity,” added Dr. Mwangi.
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