KCB and Proparco join forces in Sh12Bn green finance plan

Regional lender KCB and Proparco have entered into a strategic agreement worth $95 million (about Kes12.4 billion) to boost climate-related investments while scaling women-led businesses in the country.

The agreement, which was signed during the 2024 Africa CEO Forum in Kigali, brings on board other players such as European Financing Partners, with Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD). While Proparco will raise $35 million, the EFP will be providing $60 million to the programme.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time. This credit line enables us to scale up our financing efforts to accelerate the green transition in Kenya, build on the success of our women proposition, and ultimately contribute to a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient development,” KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said.

The primary objective of this financial injection is to facilitate the onward lending of funds to projects that accelerate environmental sustainability and generate social impacts, particularly in the health and education industries.

KCB aims to foster development that aligns with global sustainability goals while also addressing local needs. At least 30 percent of the finances will go toward women-led businesses, in line with the “2X Challenge.”

This initiative, driven by G7 development institutions, seeks to promote women’s participation in economic activities, highlighting their critical role in powering inclusive growth in society.

Read also: NBK sale enhances KCB’s competitiveness — Paul Russo

Financing women-led businesses

Additionally, by offering women capital for business, the initiative aims to collapse persistent financial barriers that have traditionally curtailed their entrepreneurial journey.

Overall, the project is expected to maintain nearly 100,000 jobs in the various sectors financed, especially in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, which forms the backbone of Kenya’s economy.

“I am delighted to sign today a partnership between Proparco and a bank as committed as KCB to reducing inequalities and protecting the planet. KCB’s efforts to contribute to Kenya’s economic growth and resilience make it a key partner for Proparco,” Françoise Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco said.

At the moment, KCB supports 14 Sustainable Development Goals anchored on corporate social investments and driving sustainable business practices. Of which, the Bank is committed to positioning itself as a leading green financier.

The partnership not only advances a more sustainable and inclusive future but also underscores a shared commitment to fostering sustainable development, economic resilience, and gender equality in Kenya, thereby advancing Sustainable Development Goals 13 (“Fight climate change”), 5 (“Gender equality”), and 8 (“Decent work and economic growth”).

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