NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 -Stanbic Bank and Stanbic Kenya Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development in a bid to support the Country’s Trade and Industrialization agenda as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) Sector in Kenya.
This move comes at a time when Kenya is in trade dialogues with various partners, to prioritize industrialization as a key Big 4 agenda, while still recovering from the negative impacts of the global COVID 19 pandemic.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Betty Maina said, “SMEs play a vital role in driving economic growth and development and contribute to over 36% of the GDP. We must therefore support them through various intervention programmes that allow them to reach their full potential. One of the government’s key focus is to partner with able players, especially in the private sector to achieve this.”
As part of the proposed interventions outlined in the MoU, both the Ministry, the bank, and the Foundation have identified sub-sectors as possible areas of collaboration. These include supporting the government’s trade negotiations, capacity building and enterprise development of MSMEs, access to finance, and access to market for the MSMEs. The capacity building programme is targeting to reach 50,000 trainees and an additional 1000 trainers of trainers (TOT)
Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, the Head of Stanbic Kenya Foundation, Pauline Mbayah said, “Through the various government agencies, we are looking at implementing different interventions to support MSMEs. These include capacity building, entrepreneurial training programs, and provision of targeted infrastructure support to the Biashara Centres. Doing so will not only empower the enterprises to take their businesses to the next level, but it will also contribute to the larger agenda of driving Kenya’s economic growth.”
Early this year, the bank partnered with Microsoft Kenya and the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development to launch a digital upskilling program that targeted individuals who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 economic downturn.
The program also targets to address job seekers and entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the digital revolution to upskill themselves.
Stanbic has been forging partnerships with key stakeholders from the private and public sectors to help drive investments that are aligned with the larger Big 4 Agenda. These include investments in Health, Manufacturing, Trade, Agriculture, and Affordable Housing.
Speaking to these partnerships, the CE for Stanbic Bank Kenya, Charles Mudiwa said, “As a bank, we are focused on offering value beyond financial services. Staying true to our purpose of driving Kenya’s economic growth, we are also dedicated to the development of the country’s social pillars by leveraging on our established networks, available resources, and strategic partnerships to inject investments into key sectors that align with the governments larger Big 4 Agenda.“
Since last year, the bank has contributed significantly to strengthening the healthcare system, especially during this pandemic. In partnership with several organizations, the bank donated 192 Ventilators worth Kshs. 147 million to the Ministry of Health. The Bank has also been working with the Kenya Health Federation and some of its members to purchase and distribute PPEs and hand-washing stations to be distributed to underserved populations.
On the Trade front, the bank launched its Africa China Agent Proposition (ACAP) in a bid to increase trade between Kenya and the China trading corridor.
Through the bank’s affordable housing pillar, Stanbic has invested in the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) in partnership with the government to help make it possible for Kenyans to access affordable home loans. In addition, Stanbic Bank arranged East Africa’s first green bond deal that raised KSh 4.62 billion towards building 5,000 environmentally friendly and affordable student housing in Nairobi and its environs.
Stanbic Bank is also working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to identify areas of support which will include stimulating private sector investment as well as the review and development of policies.