Equity Group Invests $6 bn in Regional SMEs Over Next 5 Years

Equity Group has launched a Kshs 678 billion (USD 6 Billion) Africa Recovery & Resilience Plan aimed at accelerating the economic recovery & resilience of the Eastern & Central Africa region

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi, displays the new logo at the Group’s headquarters in Upperhill. Looking on is Equity Bank Uganda Board Chairman Apollo Makubuya and Equity Bank Tanzania Managing Director Robert Kiboti.

Equity Group plans to invest USD 6 Billion in a private sector-focused stimulus package to accelerate economic recovery and resilience in the Eastern and Central Africa region over the next 5 years.

Equity’s Eastern and Central Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan is envisaged to provide financing of up to 2 per cent in which the Group operates.

The lending to the private sector will be in the form of blended financing of short-term overdrafts, medium-term loans and credit facilities that require long-term project and development financing.

Equity Group CEO Dr James Mwangi says the loans will be disbursed at an interest rate of 13-18 per cent as the bank seeks to support businesses to thrive and recover from the devastating health, social, humanitarian, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The recovery plan will have a special focus on youth and women, supporting them to be the primary drivers of creating and expanding opportunities in the real economy. Under the Young Africa Works Initiative in partnership and collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, the plan will build capacity in young people through financial literacy, entrepreneurship training and digital literacy,” added Dr Mwangi.

The recovery plan will have a special focus on youth and women as it seeks to leverage productive capacities and comparative advantages to transform the region into a manufacturing hub that converts agricultural raw material into finished products for export and national use.

The Regional Recovery and Resilience Plan seeks to enhance the social contract with society while targeting sustainability on the basis of resilience by including environmental and climate change considerations. The plan strives to achieve a social-economic transformation of the region in a socially ethical and environmentally sustainable manner. Being a purpose-driven plan, inclusion is at the centre of consideration to ensure nobody is left behind and the plan is fully anchored on sustainability.

“We seek to use our AAA+ rated finance brand to ensure the plan enhances its social contract with society by seeking partnership and collaboration with local communities to ensure their participation and involvement. The plan incorporates strong principles and practices to assure all stakeholders of transparency and openness, under ESG (Environmental Social Governance) considerations,” said Dr Mwangi.

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IK is a Masinde Muliro University graduate. His interests are in news and analysis on women's rights, politics, technology, law, and global affairs.

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