Kenya’s small and medium businesses are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these challenges, Absa Bank Kenya PLC says it provided relief to small businesses affected by the pandemic to the tune of KSh 60 billion to enable business recovery.
“Our ambition as Absa Group is to become a leading, purpose-orientated, African bank that is deeply rooted in the countries it serves, which recognises that our own sustainability is directly linked to the sustainability of the communities in which we operate,” Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said during the launch of the banks’ Sustainability Agenda report.
The report enumerates achievements from its initiatives such as; the green/circular economy, empowerment of women in business, Small and Medium Enterprise development, sponsorships and the Covid 19 response.
“We are building a banking culture that is aligned to climate change including our commitment to plant 10 million trees in the next 5 years, ” said Awori.
“Finance can be an enabler for social good and it is at this point that we come in to support businesses survive the pandemic”, said Moses Muthui-Country Strategy Director Absa Bank Kenya emphasised.
The bank’s sustainability strategy is anchored on leveraging business practices and decisions that enhance the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Absa’s sustainability goals include quantitative targets in areas identified as an opportunity for significant impact and value. They include; Quality Education (Goal 4), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8), Reduced Inequalities (goal 10) and Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12).
As part of the 13 commitments that address diverse SDGs, the bank further announced a commitment to equip one million youth with the requisite employment and entrepreneurial skills under its Ready to Work Programme by 2023.
In addition, between now and next year, the bank said it will be investing in training and upskilling the future skills and competencies of its employees with at least one future skill introduced to all staff by 2021.