Equity Group, Equity Group Foundation together with the United Nations system in Kenya, and its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) partnership platform have signed a strategic partnership to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Kenya by 2030. The strengthened partnership will promote and catalyze investments in the SDGs beyond short term cycles. It will enable 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 and investments as well as financing to accelerate the SDGs for poverty alleviation. It will also minimize 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 five million micro, small and medium enterprises to benefit from this financing within the region. We are convinced that these enterprises will create at least five 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 Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, 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 SDGs. Through its regional banking subsidiaries, Equity continues to collaborate with UN agencies in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and in other footprint countries.
Speaking further 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 coordinator’s 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 the development and implementation of Equity’s `Africa Plan for Resilience and Recovery’, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arif Neky, senior advisor UN strategic partnerships and national coordinator SDG partnerships platform commenting further on this issue said: “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 catalyze 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 involve the larger ecosystem. In addition, it will transition from policy development to driving on the ground implementation through collaboration with key stakeholders such as governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as 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.”
Equity has a unique position of co-designing evidence-based socio-economic interventions informed by insights from a customer base of fifteen million and by leveraging the group’s bespoke implementation model which combines its ability to apply its commercial infrastructure and sunk capital to deliver efficient and impactful social impact programmes, thus guaranteeing a high return on social impact investments.