Equity Kakuma business growth and development manager Daniel Makhulo (right) explains to UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements (left) how the Equity debit card issued to refugees' works. He is accompanied by Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi (second right) and Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer Esther Masese (second left).

Equity has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to implement projects aimed at stimulating sustainable development. The bank  has been at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion and social integration for refugees in Kenya. As part of the private sector partners mission, Equity Group Managing Director  and  chief executive officer, Dr James Mwangi, visited the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana County. This mission was initiated by UNHCR, which invited Equity Group to serve as a private sector catalyst for a new refugee integration initiative known as the “Shirika Plan.”


This  is a collaborative programme   involving UNHCR, the state department for immigration, and the private sector. It  is a five-year transition initiative designed to foster socio-economic inclusion for both refugees and host communities in the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps. Speaking of the partnership Dr Mwangi, who is also the Executive Chairman of Equity Group Foundation (EGF), said :  “We chose to collaborate with UNHCR as their programmes  align seamlessly with our mission at EGF. After engaging in discussions with authorities, including a session with the state department for Immigration, we are confident about our areas of collaboration. The integration process is gradual, and we are proud to be an integral part of it.”

Dr. Mwangi   further said   that the mission to Kakuma represents a united effort by the private sector to tackle the difficulties encountered by refugees and foster their economic inclusion and integration. Additionally, he   noted that EGF has significantly focused on health and is contemplating extending the Equity Afia franchise network within the refugee camps. This planned expansion aims at  providing   high-quality affordable healthcare to an increased number of refugees.

Strategic  partners

The UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly Clements who led the mission to Kakuma expressed gratitude to Equity Group for its willingness to help accelerate the integration of refugees and host communities. She said :  “Our strategic partners, Equity Group, have been big supporters of what we do. These kinds of partnerships and missions mean a lot. Thank you for the pledges you made on behalf of Equity last December.”  Equity Group  committed  to   support  migrants at the Second Global Refugee Form in Geneva last December. 

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), EquityBCDC and the World Food Programme (WFP) are collaborating on a project, titled “Promotion of Sustainable Food Security in the DRC”. The goal of this ambitious initiative is to encourage the growth of a sustainable agro-industrial sector. This sector will aid in diversifying the economy, ensuring food and nutritional security, creating employment opportunities, and enhancing livelihoods within the DRC. The pilot phase is currently underway in two provinces: Kongo Central and Kasai Oriental, with plans to scale it up to the rest of DRC.

Peter Musoko, representative and Country Director of WFP in the DRC, commenting on the partnership said :  “Innovative finance has the power to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustainable development and growth in the DRC, with women and youth at the forefront.” 

EquityBCDC and the WFP  are dedicated to fulfilling the project’s goals through five key strategies. They include : support in boosting the productivity, production, and income of farmers, building capacity and providing support for young men and women to secure dignified and rewarding jobs in agro-industries, encouraging and promoting competitive agro-transformation and valorization driven by the private sector, enhancing beneficiaries’ access to financial resources (credit) and markets, .managing the project effectively and strengthening crucial institutions within the value chain.

This project is set to create impact in the lives of local community members by bolstering food security, generating employment and enhancing living conditions. These outcomes align with Equity’s vision of becoming ‘ the champion of socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa’  and the WFP’s mission to  ‘Save Lives and Change Lives.’



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