The African Development Bank and Equity Group Holdings (EGH) have signed a $100 million (Kshs 11 Billion) loan facility to support the commercial bank’s expansion across Eastern and Central Africa, enhancing its ability to serve small and medium enterprises as it grows.
The loan, a tier two facility with a seven-year maturity, is expected to promote EGH’s ability to offer bespoke products to MSMEs, strengthen its balance sheet and optimize its capital structure across the continent with a special focus on women and youth entrepreneurs.
Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings 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 cashflow of enterprises. We have seen the impact of pumping oxygen to our MSMEs during this period. They have emerged more resilient thereby protecting jobs and creating more job opportunities through venturing into more innovative initiatives such as manufacturing of internationally certified quality PPEs,” he said
“Access to finance represents a significant barrier to SMEs in many African markets, one that has sharpened as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” said Stefan Nalletamby, the African Development Bank’s Director for financial sector development. The timing of the facility 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.”
He also noted that the loan is aligned with a number of the Bank’s High-5 strategic objectives, including improve the quality of life for the people of Africa, Feed Africa, Light up and Power Africa, and Industrialize Africa.