The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, has acquired a 6.71 percent stake in Kenya’s regional lender Equity Bank, officials said Tuesday.
Mohamed Gouled, the vice president of risk and finance at the IFC, said in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, that the investment makes the financial institution the second-largest shareholder of Equity Bank.
“The investment is IFC’s first in Africa that aligns with the corporation’s approach to increase green equity investments in financial institutions,” Gouled said.
Equity Bank has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan as well as a commercial representative office in Ethiopia.
Gouled noted that the sale agreement requires Equity Bank to commit to zero lending for coal-related projects including the development or expansion of coal-fired power plants, coal mines, transportation assets used exclusively for coal or infrastructure assets exclusively dedicated to supporting coal mines and coal transportation.
James Mwangi, the chief executive officer of Equity Group, said that the partnership with IFC will support the sustainable development of Africa through supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from all sectors of the economy including climate-smart businesses.
“With IFC’s reach as the largest global development institution focused on private sector equity, we will be able to further advance economic development by empowering and catalyzing the transformation of the lives and livelihoods of the African people,” Mwangi added.