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Kenyan bank receives accreditation to fund green projects

By Edith Mutethya in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2020-11-13 10:54
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An ATM is seen in the banking hall at the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Kencom branch in Nairobi, Kenya July 10, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Kenya Commercial Bank, the top bank in east Africa in terms of liquidity, growth, profitability and operational efficiency, according to the Banker's Top 1000 World Banks ranking for 2020, has been accredited as the first financial intermediary for the implementation of green financing in east Africa.

The accreditation by the United Nations Green Climate Fund paves way for the bank to receive funds from the Green Climate Fund for on-lending to beneficiary institutions involved in the development of green-climate resilient investment assets or projects in Kenya as well as in the region where the bank operates as the implementing entity.

The accreditation was announced during the 27th Green Climate Fund Board meeting held in South Korea's city of Songdo on Nov 9-13.

This followed an extensive due-diligence assessment conducted by Green Climate Fund since 2017 to ascertain the bank's preparedness in managing climate change programs.

The bank has been accredited under the medium to large private sector category, hence it's capable of fronting projects of between $50 million and $250 million.

"We are very proud of the efforts and investment we have put over the years to mainstream and entrench sustainable business that has earned us this recognition," Joshua Oigara, the CEO of Kenya Commercial Bank Group, said.

"It is a milestone for the bank and the country as it opens up investment and development of the green economy through Green Climate Fund support."

Oigara said the bank already has certain sectors that it's looking to invest in, aimed at reducing green gas emissions.

"However, the fund will generally enable us to fill the climate finance gaps in all the sectors of the economy. The accreditation gives us an opportunity to scale up a more global capability that we didn't have before," he said.

Ukur Yatani, the Treasury cabinet secretary, welcomed the development saying the accreditation underpins Kenya's position as a leader in green finance.

"Kenya Commercial Bank's accreditation now cements Kenya's strong leadership and prowess in green finance. It opens the private sector window for climate mitigation and adaptation projects and programs investments in the country," he said.

"It is a key milestone that the bank is the first locally established lender and private entity to be accredited as the direct access in the medium category to receive up to $250 million."

Kenya Commercial Bank Group has the largest branch network in the region with 360 branches, 1,090 ATMs and over 23,230 merchants and agents offering banking services across East Africa.

The bank has presence in Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.

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