Every year, on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, the African Bankers Awards are held to celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.
Dubbed the “most prestigious awards in Africa’s Banking and Finance sector”, this year’s awards were held on May 23, 2017 at The Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad, India.
Being the 11th edition of the awards, this year’s fete honoured the KCB Bank with a nomination as the Socially Responsible Bank of the Year. The award falls squarely in the laps of KCB Foundation whose main mandate is enterprise development and education scholarship programmes.
The Socially Responsible Bank of the Year award is presented to a firm that has shown, through company policies and projects, the greatest socially responsible practices. The award category also targets companies, which go beyond the philanthropic use of funds, to use their overall knowledge, resources and reputation to improve the lives of the less advantaged in society.
Prior to the nomination, KCB Foundation’s flagship project, 2jiajiri, clinched a 1st Runner’s up position at this year’s Think Business Awards in Kenya for a similar category.
2jiajiri is a 5-year enterprise development and wealth creation program that was officially launched in 2016, and aims to transform the youth of today into the employers of tomorrow. The 2jiajiri program is designed to bridge the unemployment gap caused by a lack of skills and limited access to business capital that exists among the youth. The goal of the program is to boost the dignity of the informal sector as a key driver of economic growth and the largest source of employment opportunities for the young people.
The programme aims to build a cadre of skilled youth and facilitate them to access the much-needed business capital and financial services to complete the transformation from job seekers to job creators.
So far, the program graduated a pilot class of 2,234 beneficiaries in 2016 and admitted a second class of 10,000 beneficiaries in February 2017. The program is being implemented in 27 counties country wide and working in partnership with over 114 technical training institutions across the country.
Through its Mifugo ni Mali program, the KCB Foundation has been able to position itself as a caring brand that meets the needs of communities in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) by commercialising the livestock sector to reduce extreme poverty in the identified counties in the country.
In choosing to work with communities that are marginalised, KCB Foundation is reaching out to minority groups that would have otherwise been a neglected lot.
Through its scholarship program, the Foundation aims to improve access and quality of education for bright but needy students through the provision of scholarships, learning materials and improved public school infrastructure and the efforts are already felt a hundredfold. So far, 1312 children’s’ lives have been touched, each posting sterling results at the end of their secondary school education.
The KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi welcomed the nomination, saying it demonstrated the impact that KCB Foundation has had in the communities it has been involved with through its various programmes.
“Through our Enterprise Development and Education programmes, the KCB Foundation hopes to promote sustainable development, prosperity and poverty reduction as avenues to addressing the hardship, high poverty levels and recurrent challenges that affect the communities where KCB Bank operates,” she said.
For the prestigious award, KCB Foundation was up against the East African Development Bank, EFG Hermes (Egypt), Guaranty Trust Bank (Nigeria) and the Groupe Crédit Agricole du Maroc (Morocco), the winners of this year’s fete.