Equity Group has signed a Ksh. 11 billion ($100 million) loan facility with the African Development Bank (AfDB), to support its expansion across Eastern and Central Africa. The expansion is expected to enhance its ability to serve Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as it grows.
Equity Group currently operates in 7 African countries; Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. The Group recently expanded its operations in the DRC, by merging its existing operations of Equity Bank Congo with its acquisition of BCDC to form EquityBCDC.
During the signing ceremony, Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group said, “Together with the African Development Bank Group, Equity Group will be strongly positioned to support MSMEs to keep their lights on during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic that has slowed down the economy impacting on the cashflows of enterprises. By extending credit to them during this period, Equity demonstrates its commitment to walk with its customers, and to empathize with their social economic situation brought about by the pandemic.”
The loan is a tier two facility with a seven-year maturity, is expected to promote Equity Group’s ability to offer products to MSMEs, with a special focus on women and youth entrepreneurs.
Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director for financial sector development said, “EGH has a strong track record of designing products suited to the needs of SMEs as well as emerging corporates. The timing of the facility’s disbursement could not have been more appropriate especially as businesses seek to remain operational in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that is causing financial havoc.”
Equity’s approach to conserving its cashflow and supporting MSMEs through the COVID-19 crisis has provided comfort to lenders across the continent. Its partnership with the African Development Bank will now facilitate further financing of MSMEs.
This is the sixth tranche for Equity Group after signing a Ksh. 5.5 billion loan facility with IFC in September, a Ksh. 10 billion loan from Proparco in October last year and a Ksh. 16.5 billion loan facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Equity also secured a Ksh. 11 billion Credit Facility with Leading European Development Banks DEG, FMO and CDC-UK, and a Ksh. 8.25 billion loan facility with the African Guarantee Fund. These loan facilities will fortify credit flows and liquidity to MSMEs, totaling Ksh. 63.25 billion.