Equity Group has announced that it invested a total of Ksh. 54.3 billion ($496 million) in social impact projects through the Equity Group Foundation in the first half of 2021.

The projects are anchored around the Foundation’s key pillars of health, energy and environment, food and agriculture, enterprise development and financial inclusion, education and leadership development, and social protection.

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi believes the Group’s principle of putting people before profits has contributed to the Group’s performance in the recently released half-year financial results.

“We recognize that beyond a regulator license we also get a license from our host communities and we have continued to treat them as significant stakeholders and invest in them through our shared prosperity program,” said Dr. Mwangi.

In the health sector, Equity rolled out a COVID-19 program of protecting frontline health workers in 56 county and national referral hospitals and 60 faith-based hospitals to provide PPE. This support will be in place for a period of 3 years for County and National Referral hospitals and will carry on for a period of 18 months for the faith-based hospitals that are designated COVID-19 management facilities.

The Group has also scaled its Equity Afia health franchise to 41 medical centres operated by 38 medical doctors and hopes to record 600,000 patient visits by end of the year.

Additionally, the Group has over the last two years scaled the Wings to Fly Scholarship Program with 18,000 Elimu Scholarships by the Government of Kenya with the support of World Bank. This brings the Secondary School Scholarships to 37,000. In 2021, 86% of the Wings to Fly graduates attained university entry grades.

The Equity Leadership Program has thus far benefitted 17,000 scholars, 893 being beneficiaries of Global Scholarships and the balance attending Kenyan Public universities and TVETs.

In its efforts to conserve the environment, Equity has continued with the tree-planting initiative launched in 2019 that aims to see 35 million trees planted by 2024. This is in support of the national government plans to increase and maintain the country’s forest cover at 10%, with 7 million trees having been planted so far.

In addition to tree planting activities, Equity through its foundation encourages conservation measures especially in schools and smart use of natural resources. This is by environmental practices like expanding forest cover, improving water security, access to clean energy products and promoting the use of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.

It is providing financing for one million clean energy devices, offering to transform 30,000 schools that use wood fuel for cooking in their kitchens to use LPG. So far, 273,635 clean energy products have been distributed through this initiative.

Equity Bank continues to offer support to the Government, UN Agencies and donor community to reach 3.3 million households with cash payments under the Social Safety Net Program. The Group has also intensified effort to transform peasant farmers with agri-business and enhance the financial and entrepreneurial capacity of over 3 million enterprises.