Team Europe partners with Equity Bank to support Kenyan business and agriculture amid Covid-19
- Posted by: Sandra Borma
- Category: Kenya, News
The European Union (EU) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), working together as Team Europe, are providing €120 million (KES 15.8 billion) of new support for Equity Bank to enhance financing for Kenyan companies most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis (European Commission press release, 3 March).
The financing package will support access to finance under appropriate conditions for Kenyan SMEs, including in the agriculture sector, through €100 million loans from the EIB to Equity Bank and €20 million of EU grant support.
New technical assistance, backed by the EU, will further strengthen Equity Bank’s capacity to assess, execute and monitor longer-term agricultural value chain investment projects and further develop provision of long-term financing for agriculture.
Dr James Mwangi of Equity Group Holdings Plc said “By ensuring their survival and growth the MSMEs will continue to protect jobs, create more jobs and support lives and livelihoods in society, serving to create resilience as the pandemic subsides, vaccines become available in Kenya, and market growth returns.”
The financing focuses on:
- Improving access to finance by agriculture
- Growth of agriculture-based economic activity is constrained by limited long-term financing, which delays its development and modernisation.
- Enhancing economic resilience of Kenyan businesses to Covid-19
- The new cooperation with Equity Bank will stimulate investment, creating decent jobs and contributing to the country’s recovery efforts and sustainable development.
- Strengthening cooperation with leading Kenyan financial institutions
Since 1976 the EIB has provided more than €1.5 billion of financing to support private and public investment across Kenya.
Particularly in the context of Covid-19, COLEACP’s support to business management is focusing on access to finance. Through the EU-funded NExT Kenya programme, our Business Development team is actively developing relationships with international financial institutions and other donor programmes that provide support to the horticultural sector in Kenya, and sharing information on calls for application.